Re: Night diving at The Fiji Islands

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Posted by DaveJ on January 07, 2003 at 23:09:32:

In Reply to: Night diving at The Fiji Islands posted by Karl S. on January 07, 2003 at 15:54:07:

I spent 2 weeks in Fiji Oct 2000, 1 week on land and 1 week on the liveaboard Nai'a. Liveaboard was far superior, especially night dives. I found the shore based night diving (via a day boat) to be like Karl describes (we stayed at Musket Cove). Diving with the flashlight fish at E6 ranks as one of the all time great experiences.

I just got back from Anthony's Key, Roatan and although nice is nothing near diving in Fiji (or anywhere else in the Pacific). The resort was nice, people great..etc, but if you pay to dive and want to see the weird or big stuff, pass on the Carib and do the Pacific.

Fiji is famous for Soft Corals, and without a doubt they were great, however I feel the soft corals in Sipadan (better known for big stuff) were more abundant and seemed more healthy. I spent 12 days in Sipdan and think hanging garden was as good as anywhere in Fiji. Of course I went after the last big El Nino and that could have influenced what I observed. For reference I've also been to Baja x3, Philippines x4, and Jamaica. For total Package Fiji is great, people, diving, food, ease of travel. For diving Sipadan wins hands down. For dive per dollar can't touch the philippines. Next time I'd skip Roatan and just do La Paz again if I want a short trip, otherwise give me a long plane ride. My trip to Sipadan was 54 hours airport to resort (planned with no delays), 10 hours certainly makes Fiji appealing. I'll be interested in hearing about your experinces in Coz vs. Fiji.

I'm making my 5th trip to the Philippines in April, again fish life is not quite Fiji or Sipadan, but it's soooo damn cheap and they have a good infrastructure for diving. Typical day of diving is $45 and you can make upto 5 dives for your $45, it's a flat rate unlimited diving per day. Liveaboards (3 day @ 175 or 7 day for 850, 7 day goes to better sites).

I a few observations about diving in the So Pacific vs. California. In the So Pacific you can experience several problems not typically found here... vis too good you lose track of your depth (a common problem), kick ass currents including vicious downcurrents more common and stronger and bouyancy skills are a must to avoid all manner of pointy things with venom. How many times have you seen the new (and some old hands) bouncing along the bottom. But I would say the typical SOCal or NOCal diver is better trained and less likely to panic than warmies..


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