Fiji's fabulous corals

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Posted by Merry on November 17, 2022 at 08:52:50:

Phil and I had been looking forward to our trip to Fiji since the beginning of the pandemic. Along with Richard Sala’s group, we spent 17 days aboard the famous Nai’a liveaboard. The Nai’a crew is exemplary – from managing the interior, to running the skiffs, to reading currents and picking up divers in choppy seas. We were there on the full moon, which enhanced current strength and unpredictability. But 79 degree water was no hardship!

Spectacular dive sites in the Bligh Water current ranged from the spectacular submerged sea mount, Mount Mutiny, to Humann Nature and UndeNAI’Able reefs in the Vatu-i-Ra Passage, to the coral-rich islands of Namena Marine Reserve, Vatu-i-ra, Makogai, Wakaya, and to Nigali Passage at South Gau Island. Although we’d read about Fiji’s Bligh Water, I was unprepared for the many shades of jewel-like blue water, stunning vistas, enormous coral bommies, mind-boggling species of hard and soft corals as well as reefs that completely hazed-over with orange and purple anthias fish.

Gallery will all photos: https://www.divermerry.com/Fiji

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Our skiff, Mighty Righty

Lucky Lefty skiff at Wakaya Island

Although staghorn coral and other species of hard coral have relatively subtle colors, brilliantly colored damselfish populate the areas above and within.

Staghorn coral, Acropora sp.

Acropora species of hard corals form dense tiers.

Scene from Mount Mutiny

Mushroom leather coral, Sarcophyton sp.

Mushroom leather coral, Sarcophyton sp.

Mushroom leather coral, Sarcophyton sp.

Hard green coral with scalefin anthias.

Many different species of magnificent sea fan were irresistible photo subjects.

Soft coral and sea fans

Dendronepthya species of soft coral

Chironephthya soft coral

Chrionephthya soft coral

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