- MadMermaids Scuba Ltd.
Scuba Dive Vacation
Destination Fiji with
Our Fiji Scuba Dive Vacation... Picture this;
As we exited the aircraft we were greeted by tropical warmth, we noticed that everybody was smiling, I turned to my wife to see my own smile reflected in hers and at that point I knew that we had made a good choice when we booked our Fiji scuba dive vacation. Our international flight landed, it was night time and after collecting our bags we were welcomed by John from MadMermaids Scuba who was holding a board with our names. He escorted us to our hotel and after a short conversation about the next day’s arrangements we parted company.
We had opted to have a scenic flight to the Yasawa Island group which are on the western side of Fiji and we understood from our conversation with John that he and the other six divers in our dive group were also traveling to the Yasawa Islands the next day but by fast catamaran. The next morning after breakfast we checked out of our hotel and headed off in the hotels taxi to catch the sea plane. As we turned from the main highway onto a bumpy private road I remarked to the taxi driver that I hoped the sea plane runway didn’t have so many potholes; he laughed and patted me on the shoulder, thinking that I had meant to make that joke. We boarded the small plane that was going to take us to the Yasawa Island group and we were soon in the air, our hearts pounded with the rhythmic motor of the seaplane as we gazed in awe at the wonder of Fiji just 500 feet below. Lush vegetation, waterfalls, white sand beaches, turquoise sea and the outlines of huge coral reefs, it was an experience that I will never forget. After about 40 minutes the plane landed within yards of a perfect beach, it was so perfect that I expected a little guy in a white suit to appear and shout, "It's the plane, it's the plane" like the 80's show "Fantasy Island". When the pilot turned the engine off we heard music and laughter, the Fijian resort staff had playfully gathered to sing us the Fiji welcome song.
Our hearts quickened in anticipation when we stepped into the famous blue lagoon, just three barefoot steps and we were on the white sand beach of our own fantasy island on the first day of our Fiji scuba dive vacation. After a welcome drink and still barefoot we were led through the coconut palms to our beachfront accommodation, my wife let out a squeal of delight as the door was opened for us, our bags were delivered and we had a shower in our open air stone walled shower. The pace in Fiji is so much slower and time seemed to respect this to allow us to unwind and adjust to “Fiji Time”. You soon get used to saying Bula to everybody and of course the smiling becomes habitual. Later on that first day John arrived with the other divers who had also booked their dive group vacation through MadMermaids Scuba and while they were having lunch he found us and asked if we would like an afternoon dive and of course we did!
At the dive shop we met the other divers who were also on a MadMermaids Scuba dive vacation and soon we were on board the best dive boat we had ever seen. John welcomed us on board and introduced us to the crew and local dive master who also dived with us, he told us briefly about the dive boat, where the oxygen kit and life vests were located and how long it would take to get to the dive site. Only 5 minutes later we were at the dive site where John, a PADI Staff Instructor, gave the dive site brief. He explained that those divers who were comfortable with a free decent would descend with the dive master and the divers who might have difficulty equalizing their ears would descend using the anchor line with him. He explained to the group later that it is common for divers to get a little rusty and things like buoyancy skills come back soon enough but maybe not right away, so if your ears don’t always clear easily it is good use the line for that first decent. Half the group descended with John and the others with the dive master, at the sandy bottom we were all reunited and set off in buddy teams following the dive master to the dive site. This first dive was only 15 meters deep and we surfaced after 40 minutes, John had checked our gauges a few times to make sure that nobody ran out of air.
The next ten days passed in a relaxed mix of diving, swimming, sunbathing, sleeping and dining. We came away from that holiday as Advanced divers as John integrated the course into our dives. The fantastic Fiji scuba dive vacation; The Scuba diving, the beautiful corals and tropical fish, the warm water, the warm tropical sun, the warm smiles, the gently swaying palms, the food and drink, the white sandy beach and the new friends we made from our dive group all made our Fiji dive vacation special or was it the things we didn’t have, the TV the cars, the shoes!
We left Fiji but in Fiji we left our hearts. Bula Vinaka Fiji… until next time.
If you could picture yourself as the people in the story then make it happen with a MadMermaids Scuba dive vacation. Fiji Scuba dive group vacations with MadMermaids Scuba are safe and fun diving vacations in paradise.
Fiji tourist information:
Fiji is a collection of over 300 islands in the tropical south west pacific. The island group is mostly compact, with most islands visible from its neighbors, and getting from island to island is generally very easy.
Scuba Diving in Fiji is world class and Fiji is often refered to as, "The soft coral capital of the world". Fiji is one of the cheapest destinations in the South Pacific. Tipping is not encouraged and contrary to local culture. Most credit cards are accepted and there are ATM machines at Westpac and ANZ banks in major towns. Currency is the Fiji dollar.
Fiji's climate is hot and sunny all year round (day/night average temperature is Jan 24/30; July 20/27) with higher rainfall from Dec to March. There are several peaks in the tourist season, notably from July to September when the package holidays are popular with Australians and New Zealanders escaping their winter. However, hotel rates seem to remain the same throughout the year
Most international flights to Fiji arrive at Nadi Airport on the west coast of Viti Levu. Fiji is served by several international airlines, the major airlines being Air New Zealand and Air Pacific (code share with Qantas)
Travel insurance is advisable for any visit to Fiji. If you intend to Scuba Dive, make sure that your insurance covers you. Local private doctors are very good but hospitals are generally short staffed and under-funded and can handle basic emergencies only.
There are several travel guide books dedicated to Fiji. The best of these in our opinion is The Fiji Handbook published by Moon Travel Handbooks. It is very informative with an in-depth travel guide for independent travelers. Fiji - Lonely Planet offers lots in the way of accommodation but is a rather unimaginative account.