Monday, 31 December 2007

7 new OW Divers at Matava

Matava Resort's 'Mad Fish Dive Centre' offers guests a full range of PADI Dive Certifications.

During the Christmas to New Years Eve week, Mad Fish Dive Centre qualified seven guests to full PADI Open Water Certification , a dive qualification that they will have for life.

PADI Go Eco


7 new OW Divers at Matava

Saturday, 29 December 2007

A beautiful relaxed wedding we'll never forget

Vinaka vaka levu to all of you! Thanks for an awesome time guys - beautiful relaxed wedding we'll never forget, delicious food we will be dreaming about for ages & such warm and friendly hospitality. Special thanks to Simon for introducing us to the world of diving; to Maggie, for planning all the details of our wedding that we didn't really think about; and to Richard for some fun evenings- and sore heads! Our stay here has been inspiring – Kadavu sa rei talei.

Vinaka!”

Bronwen and Michael McGee

USA

Friday, 28 December 2007

Crazy Christmas Courses

Congratulations first of all to Michael and Bronwin McGee who got married at Matava on Xmas day. They just about made the wedding on time, after an uber 3 hr session of confined skills for their PADI Openwater course in the morning, we got back to the dive shop at 12.20, the wedding was at 1 on a nearby beach. While Richard was pacing the shores, the pastor was getting restless and Maggie was stressing out, the couple to be were more chilled out than anyone, slowly meandering back to their bure to get changed.

We all had a day off on the 26th, after wedding/xmas celebrations, then on the 27th 2 became 5 – Sally Cobb, Allison Walker and Thomas Castets joined the newlyweds, Richard made a rare appearance in the water and we had one of those amazing moments underwater, whilst surrounded by an uncountable number of fish, I watched my 5 new PADI students do a perfect free ascent. Awesome!

The next day was the start of a new PADI Openwater course, Caitlin Kelly, Chris Johnson, Jill Boag and Emma Richardson stepped up. Emma (scared of fish), completed her PADI DSD and the others went on to do the full open water course. The first dive can only be described as mayhem - divers everywhere, surrounded by a cloud of sand. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Mr Tevita Baivou – our resident Divemaster. However, after some serious skill sessions and lot of hard work, it was incredible to see the difference by the end of the course. All 3 put in a massive effort to get through the course and at the end, it was like looking at 3 different divers.

So a big thank you to all my Xmas students. I did some serious celebrating on New year!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Matava gets TripAdvisor Popularity Index: #1 of 6 hotels in Kadavu Island

TripAdvisor:

Matava gets TripAdvisor Popularity Index: #1 of 6 hotels in Kadavu Island

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 based on 16 reviews

TripAdvisor Popularity Index: #1 of 6 hotels in Kadavu Island

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Global Shark Assessment

Matava is actively involved in helping collect data for this project. Come a long and have a dive and help us record the large number of sharks we see in Kadavu!

Divers: You have very valuable experience and information that can be put to good use in scientific surveys- I know I do and I have only 500 dives. Many of you may know that the number of Marine Protected Areas and no-take zones have increased dramatically in recent years, so we need new methods (alternatives to fishing) to determine how species are responding to protection.

Project Description:

I am part of a working group that is conducting a Global Shark Assessment to evaluate how shark populations have changed since the beginning of industrial scale fishing, and to make predictions about how these populations will respond to global climate change and to different methods of fishing and protection.

Specifically, I am using scuba diver's observations to census shark populations at different spatial and temporal scales via two surveys: Historical Sightings Survey (HSS) and Current Sightings Survey (CSS).

HSS gets divers to report sightings and diving effort for an area by decade. Ideal candidates for the HSS are dive professionals or recreational divers. Although the HSS asks divers to fill out their observations from memory, divers that do have logbooks are encouraged to fill out the survey from memory and then with the logbook to get an estimate of error.

CSS gets divers to report sightings for each dive. This survey is more specific and detailed than the HSS. All ocean going divers (professionals, recreational, and tourists) are candidates for this survey.

Results of the HSS will be used to show where sharks are abundant and where they have been lost over the past 3-4 decades. These findings will be compared with global databases of human population, fishing pressure, protection status, and coastal development to gain understanding of what factors best contribute to the protection of sharks.

The study will not only provide valuable information about where sharks are surviving, but it will also show that scuba divers can provide valuable information that is comparable to that provided by fishermen or volunteers in the Breeding Bird Survey.

WHY would you want to fill out a survey?

With overwhelming evidence that shark populations have declined dramatically over the last 50 years, there are still places where some shark species are persisting and even thought to be thriving. Identification of these species and areas is an important step in determining the best method for recovery. In a time when the number of no-take zones and fishing restrictions are increasing, there is a need for acquiring data through alternative, non-extractive methods. All scuba divers/snorkelers that have been in the ocean can help with this effort.

WHO can help?

ANYONE that has ever dived/snorkeled in the ocean! There are two surveys: Historical Sightings Survey (HSS) and the Current Sightings Survey (CSS). Ideal candidates for the HSS are dive professionals or recreational divers. Since preliminary interviews suggested that most dive professionals do not keep logbooks, the survey asks divers to report their sightings and effort from memory. Preliminary research suggested that divers could recall the level of detail being asked in the HSS with reasonable accuracy; however, divers that do have logbooks are being encouraged to fill out the survey from memory and then with the logbook to get an estimate of error.

CSS gets divers to report sightings (or no sightings) for each dive. This survey is more specific and detailed than the HSS. All ocean going divers (professionals, recreational, and tourists) are candidates for this survey. CSS is not to be filled out from memory, it is for dives that you have environmental and sightings information for (either you have just done this dive or it is recorded in a logbook)- again it must include dives where you did and did not see sharks.

HOW to help?

1) Fill out the online survey- it should ONLY take a few minutes (1-2 minutes per area), OR 2) Send me an email (globalshark@gmail.com) and I'll send you an excel survey, OR 3) If you prefer the phone then I can call you (please note your timezone). THEN forward this survey (or my contact info.) to as many divers or dive shops that you can- the more people that fill out this survey the more we will know about the sharks people see.

Why is this important?

Sharks are an essential component of marine ecosystems; yet, human pressure has put many species at dangerously low abundance levels. Determining what tools (e.g. Marine Protected Areas, coastal development, undisturbed nurseries, fishing regulations, etc.) are best for their survival will be essential for restoring, at least in part, these systems to their former resilience.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Whales Revenge

As you know, every year thousands of whales and dolphins are slaughtered senselessly in the name of so-called 'scientific research'. The countries that still practice whaling cite traditions and customs. In my neck of the woods rape and pillage used to be customary and in my adopted home, cannibalism! Draw your own conclusions as to the comparisons however if your are disgusted, upset or just concerned about what is going on, why not click on the link, play the game to beat the whalers and sign the petition against commercial whaling. It really only takes a moment… and who knows…maybe even help towards the eventual banning of this barbaric practice.

http://www.whalesrevenge.com


786030 Richard Akhtar from Kadavu, Fiji - signed petition on 22nd December 2007

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Email from Peter about Google and Shark Finning: Shark Fin Ads on Google

Just recieved this from the Coral list email, quite encouraging that Google's "Don't be evil" extends to the oceans of our world as well.

Stuart

====================================================

From: Pete Faulkner
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 9:53 PM
Subject: [Coral-List] Shark Fin Ads on Google

Dear Listers

Following on from my post some time ago regarding Google Adwords for a shark fin supplier....

Having had numerous email conversations with Google (not an easy task in itself!) I have finally had a response from them suggesting that the posting of advertising for shark fins violates their advertising standards. We can therefore expect the removal of the offending advertisement in the near future.

I know that many of you also wrote to Google to express your concerns so I thought you would like to know that we have collectively had some success.

Cheers
Pete Faulkner

--
Pete Faulkner

Conus Dive Training Partner
Mission : awareness Presenter
Coral Cay Conservation Chairman
PADI Master Instructor #615745
Reef Check Australia Trainer

www.conusdivetcs.com.au
www.coralcay.org
_______________________________________________
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List@coral.aoml.noaa.gov
http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Kadavu Manta video

Another great wee Kadavu Manta video:

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

BSAC calls for photos

The British Sub-Aqua Club is looking for a new photograph for the BSAC membership card and would like to invite members to contribute.

If you have an eye-catching, diving-related image that can be used in landscape and you are a member of BSAC, e-mail your photo to sandrac@bsac.com.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Status of Coral Reefs in the South West Pacific: 2004


"Status of Coral Reefs in the South West Pacific: 2004"

This book is based on the reef survey data contributed to the Fiji GCRMN between 2000 and 2004, as well as presenting a picture of reef health in Nauru, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

It should be relevant to everyone working in reef ecology and management, as
it allows you to view your own projects in the larger country and region-wide scale. Contributing organisations are acknowledged and so may wish to cite it in references.

It is on sale for the cost of publication - I believe F$34.00, available from IPS Publications, University of the South Pacific, Tel (679) 323 2248 Email editorips@usp.ac.fj

On line catalogue and books sales www.ipsbooks.usp.ac.fj

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Information and support of the cause to end whaling

We at Matava recommend these sites for their information and support of the cause to end whaling.

Many of the sites listed above also have anti-whaling petitions and projects to support and protect whales.

I urge you to help these organisations with all their endeavours. While we may not directly agree with the tactics used by some groups we understand and respect the resolve they show in the campign to save the whales. One thing we all have in common is a love of these amazing marine mammals.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Lonely Planet's new guidebook goes green-08 November, 2007

MELBOURNE - Lonely Planet's new "Australia" guidebook, published this month, will feature an all-new section called the GreenDex -- a quick-reference index of sustainable accommodation, tours and experiences to help visitors travel responsibly within the country.

With a growing number of travellers recognising the importance of travelling sustainably, Lonely Planet is steadily increasing the amount of responsible travel content in its guides.

In a recent Lonely Planet survey of 24,500 travellers worldwide, over 90 percent of people said they would consider travelling in a low-impact way in the future. The addition of the GreenDex to this new "Australia" guidebook enables travellers to easily look up the best eco experiences in the country.

Senior commissioning editor, Errol Hunt, said he hoped the new Australia guidebook would "help travellers ensure that their own travel leaves as light a 'footprint' as possible, while still being fun and enlightening."

The attractions, tours and accommodation choices listed in the GreenDex have all been selected by Lonely Planet authors because they demonstrate an active sustainable-tourism policy.

Some are involved in conservation or environmental education, and many are owned and operated by local and indigenous operators, thereby maintaining and preserving local identity and culture.

Some of the listings have also been certified by Ecotourism Australia, which means they meet high standards of environmental sustainability, business ethics and cultural sensitivity.

According to Hunt, "Tourism in Australia, as in any country, needs to respond to the increasing call for visible sustainable tourism options. There are lots of great Australian tourism operators doing this already.

"We hope that the new GreenDex in our "Australia" guide, and other similar initiatives, will drive other operators in the same direction, as they see that there's a clear financial advantage in operating an environmentally-sustainable business.

"The GreenDex follows Lonely Planet's philosophy of being selective rather than encyclopaedic – our guidebook doesn't list every single tourism operator in the country, and neither does our GreenDex list every business that's sustainable – it only lists companies that are sustainable and also recommended by our authors," said Hunt.

Following feedback from travellers, this new edition of "Australia" also re-focuses on the needs of budget and midrange travellers, and combines extensive coverage with features readers ask for: tips for getting around the country by car, camping and caravanning and the best of contemporary Indigenous Australia.

For this new "Australia" guidebook, the authors explored more remote places than ever before: from King Island off Tasmania in the far south to Tiwi Islands, off the Northern Territory in the far north.

Other highlights include top travel recommendations by well-known Australians, tips on volunteering, advice on seasonal work and a special "Driving Australia" chapter.

Lonely Planet's new guidebook goes green

Monday, 19 November 2007

Cool video from underwater.com.au

Cool video from underwater.com.au

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Continuous underwater video monitoring systems


Ocean Presence Technologies (OPT) offers a family of continuous underwater video monitoring systems that can be controlled over the Internet. Developed for manta ray research for The Manta Network, the camera systems are now being offered for a wide range of other applications.

OPT's Underwater IP Camera (UWIPCam®, OceanCam®, AquariCam®) is the first video camera system that can be controlled over the Internet from anywhere in the world. Four models are available: OPT-02 AquariCam, OPT-03 Shallow Ocean model rated to 60 feet, OPT-04 is a Deep Ocean model rated to 150 feet and coming soon, the Ultra-deep Ocean system (OPT-05/06) that will go to depths of 250-400 feet.

The underwater video camera system can be used in a wide range of situations. The applications for housed PTZ camera systems whether for marine and aquatic or terrestrial placement include:

Research -- Manta ray and other animal/plant applications (marine, freshwater, land)

Telepresence & Education -- live educational experiences delivered to computer screens anywhere on the planet including classrooms. Applications include: Aquariums, zoos, commercial exhibits, conservation oriented educational organizations and virtual entertainment.

Monitoring/surveillance/security applications (private, commercial or government) -- any company that operates in an underwater, high-humidity, low-light or corrosive environment. These include: water treatment, oil drilling, nuclear, corrosive material transporting, manufacturing and other security applications.

Promotion and advertising -- using real-time video to market and sell resorts, cruise ships or cause-related marketing organizations directly to prospective buyers.
MantaCam Visit and support the Manta Network
Each camera sold benefits manta research!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Fiji’s reefs in spectacular condition!

Fiji’s reefs in spectacular condition!

Fiji’s reefs show high coral health after recovering from a coral bleaching event.

Coral reefs have frequently been in the news over the past few years, usually for all the wrong reasons, in articles about dying corals across the globe. However, Fiji has had reason to celebrate, with recent scientific reports suggesting that the reefs here are remarkably resilient, and currently in the best condition recorded. (this millennium!)

Fiji is a large archipelago with a great variety of reef types, spread across the country. While not denying that reefs have their ups and downs, the Fiji branches of the Global Coral Reef Network (GCRMN) and Reef Check have just published the results of eight years of study, where reefs have been seen to recover from events such as Cyclones, Crown of Thorns Starfish and High-temperature Coral Bleaching, within five years.

Dive operators around the Fiji Islands have supported and carried out scientific reef surveys on their dive sites, which have shown reefs affected by coral bleaching in 2000 were back to normal amounts of coral cover by 2005, and even better than normal by 2007.

Many reefs are currently showing a spectacular array of hard corals, with more than 80% coral cover, and 40% Acropora branching and table corals, the most attractive to fish, marine animals, and divers. This suggests that corals in Fiji can survive quite catastrophic events as long as they do not occur too often, a nice cause for optimism for the South Pacific reefs.

Detailed reef health reports can be found at:

By: Helen R Sykes

Director Marine Ecology Fiji

Fiji Co-coordinator Reef Check

Fiji Co-coordinator GCRMN

Friday, 9 November 2007

Fiji Telecom sector now open to all

Well this is great news for us outer islands like Kadavu, where maybe a little competition will increase our choices of how get past dodgy phone lines and only dial up service!

===================================

Telecom sector now open to all

Thursday November 08, 2007

Fiji’s telecommunications sector is now deregulated.

Interim Minister for Commerce, Industry, Investment and Communications Taito Waradi confirmed this today.

He said the Telecommunications Bill (that provides for the deregulation of Fiji's monopolised telecom sector) is now in place “as per the Cabinet decision on Tuesday”.

“The 1989 decree is now repealed. This new bill now replaces (the old one) which for the last 18 years locked us into exclusivity. We are now operating in a deregulated environment. There is no more (telecom) monopoly in Fiji,” Waradi said.

Read full article here...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Streaming Multimedia From The Sun!

I know this isn't diving, but the thought of it out here in Matava is just great! here's a review from attitude | Oct 20 2007.

solar powered chinese pmp

Here is an idea that I thought should have hit the market a long time back. I use a calculator whose battery is charged by the sun. There are solar cookers, heaters & what not. It seems ironic that more companies have not thought of making use of this source of energy in case of cell phones or PMP’s. Zhejiang Sorbo has stepped in to change all that with its solar powered PMP.

I understand that is a product has a surface area that is too small such a technology is hard to integrate. But with most of these devices their back panel seems to be a perfect place to put a solar panel. The Chinese company has employed just that technique for its new light powered SB-5007 PMP. It contains a solar panel at the back which charges the internal battery of the device using the energy of the sun. if you are thinking that the product is confined to only that one uniqueness then think again. It is a gadget loaded with features & acts as a mass storage device.

It looks cool, stylish & functions brilliantly. To top it all off, you need not plug in he charger every time. I love the idea & think it should be incorporated on all small gadgets. Running out of charge in your cell is annoying when you are outdoors. Especially for someone like me who always seems to forget to charge his cell before a holiday trip. With this, now you can just go out & get recharged.

Buy one here:
http://wzshengbo.en.alibaba.com/offerdetail/201403339/Solar_energy_Digital_MP4_SB_5007_.html
------
Detailed Selling Lead Description

Functions:
1) Solar-energy MP4 media player and USB Mass Storage function.
2) 262K colors and high speed 2.0 inches TFT display which support high-definition JPEG pictures.
3) It supports electronic book reading function, you can listen to the music while reading the electronic book. It also has bookmark function.
4) FM radio function.
5) Digital recording,A-B repetition function.
6) Supporting many languages.
7) Interesting game function.
8) High-efficiency PV function, its charged by solar-energy through the solar panel, the power stored is used to charge the built-in 650mAh/3.7V chargeable lithium battery.

Features:
1) Energy saving. Conventional ray,candela and sunlight irradiate directly on the solar panel, the power can be converted and charge the inside chargeable lithium battery. Charging by solar power is the most efficient one, It makes use of the natural energy effectively.
2) The card extended function which support 128 M to 2G MINI SD card extended.
3) Powerful function and perfect compatibility which can support many different file formats. Inside built a chargeable lithium battery, so never need to change battery.
4) It can play for a long time with low power consumption ; it can download files in a short time and support USB2.0 high-speed PC connecting port.
5) Playing by built-in speaker in high quality which can let you share your music with your friends at any time.
6) 262K colors and high speed 2.0 inches TFT display which make it clear and fluid to see video documents and read electronic book.
7)Safe to use, novel ,fashion and exquisite; convenient to carry; long lifespan; high cost performance.

Size: 99*51.6*18 mm
Weight: 62.14 g

Monday, 5 November 2007

Blue_Ribbon_Eel from Brian on Flickr


Blue_Ribbon_Eel
Originally uploaded by BrianMayes.
Awesome shot of a signature Fiji species!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Matava Mantas on YouTube

Very cool Manta video, although IMO the music sucks! Why does everyone put BORING music to anything underwater. It's almost like bad porn music! How about some Buzzcocks or Stiff Little Fingers? It would certainly make it all a LOT more Fun! anyway that's my tuppence...

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Kadavu Island forum: Snorkeling at Kadvu - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island forum: Snorkeling at Kadvu - TripAdvisor

"I have been looking at reviews of various hotel/resorts on Kadavu. I have observed that most everyone mentions how great the diving is, but almost no one mentions snorkeling at all. I am drawing the conclusion that perhaps Kadavu is not a great destination for snorkeling as compared to other places in Fiji. Is this accurate or am I reading too much into this? If the latter, what resort would you recommend with lots of good/great snorkeling sites nearby and readily accesible?"

Matava- the astrolabe hideaway. Great place, great snorkelling ,great people. They will go out of their way to help you!"

Kadavu Island forum: Snorkeling at Kadvu - TripAdvisor

More manta videos from Kadavu

More Manta Magic!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Kadavu by Roger

Kadavu by Roger

"The island of Kadavu (Pronounced 'Kan-daw-vu' with accent on the second syllable) is something of a throwback to 'old Fiji'.

1. The mongoose was introduced by the British and has apparently eaten many of the birds on the other islands. Not on Kadavu.

2. The Cane Toad was introduced by the British and has multiplied out of control to the point of being a nuisance. Not on Kadavu.

3. During colonial times, the British found that the natives were not all that ambitious, so they imported workers from India. But not to Kadavu.

4. The Crown of Thorns starfish is killing some of the coral around Fiji. Kadavu is relatively unaffected. I didn't see any."

Kadavu by Roger

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Traveler Reviews - matava a priceless peice of paradise. - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - matava a priceless peice of paradise. - TripAdvisor

"what can i say!

but perfect one day,better the next!

Matava was everything one could want in a holiday, the best diving I've done in fiji, world class fishing the best results one could ask for,and as for service and food well say no more,the beer was cold,the food off the planet 5star+and just the whole resort oozed good karma which as a guest you noticed,the staff had perpetual smiles and were always well presented, not to mention the management the guys were hands on with daily activities and always had time for questions on the best options for day trips,or any activity you wished 2 persue whilst here..."

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - matava a priceless peice of paradise. - TripAdvisor

Saturday, 13 October 2007

The Digital Power Struggle

The Digital Power Struggle


This is an actual unretouched photo of the makeshift charging station being utilized over its capacity on a recent dive trip.
Whether you are shooting film or digital, you're probably very familiar with the need for POWER! With more and more shooters on every dive trip, even the best dive boats may fall short of space and plugs to fill the demand.

If you're just getting into digital photography, you might want to consider some of these details.

Always bring along your own power strip and/or extension cord and write your name on it.

If you are traveling internationally, check with the boat or resort ahead of time to see what power requirements are. Most battery chargers today are 110 and 220 compatible, but might need a special cord. In the worst case, you might need to carry a transformer with you, but they are very, very heavy and not much fun to lug around and will likely be unnecessary unless you are going someplace really remote.

Afraid someone's going to unplug you prematurely? Try using plastic ties to secure your plug so they are still in place when you need those fully charged batteries. You'll need to cut them off, but they are cheap and will keep others from unplugging you.

If you find that you need to carry many power cords for all these chargers, think about cutting down the cords so they are only 12" long. You can purchase new plugs at most hardware stores and they install in a snap. Make sure you pay attention to whether or not your plug is grounded or not and purchase the appropriate plug. This also cuts down on the space they take to pack.

Don't be a power hog. In most cases everyone ends up tapping into each other's power strips, but if everyone is courteous there will be plenty to go around for everyone.

Article from:
The Underwater Photographer (loads of other great tips here!)

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Hire Underwater Cameras - SCUBACAMS.CO.UK

Next time you go on holiday why not Hire An Underwater Camera From ScubaCams.co.uk Whether your going on a beach holiday and want some great underwater photos of you and the kids splashing around in the sea (or pool). Going scuba diving, snorkeling or just swimming in the sea, wouldn't it be great to be able to take good quality underwater photographs, without having to buy an expensive waterproof camera you would never use back at home. We deliver to the whole of the U.K. and Ireland. Simply hire an affordable Underwater Camera from us and return it by post after your finished with it...what could be simpler. Underwater Photography - Its easy with us

We know its hard enough to take good photos, even on dry land, that's why our Underwater Cameras are so simple to use. All our camera hire packs come with simple instructions and help sheets to make sure you get the best underwater photos possible. We carefully select our underwater cameras and waterproof cases to ensure they are the highest quality and easiest to use around. Check out our underwater cameras available to rent

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  • nikonos 35mm underwater camera35 mm - Nikonos - 50 Meters Waterproof
  • Hire Underwater Cameras - SCUBACAMS.CO.UK

    Tuesday, 2 October 2007

    Yasawa Island forum: Yasawa and Kadavu - TripAdvisor

    Yasawa Island forum: Yasawa and Kadavu - TripAdvisor

    prairieflower: "I also have about 3 or 4 nights to spend in Kadavu. I am thinking about flying there from Nadi or Suva. Any comments? Also, does anyone have something to say about the Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway? I would like to snorkel the Astrolabe Reef and this resort sounds good.
    Did anyone see sharks?!
    Thanks for your input."

    charley48: "HANDS DOWN...MATAVA..too busy right this second to write about it, but we have traveled and we have stayed in paradise...and this was the BEST...enjoy...more later, if you are interested.

    i booked it from the states, Rosies Travel. She is the largest in Fiji and does a GREAT job. They have kiosks everywhere and the staff is trained. I did it over the internet.

    ps the divers saw sharks right below we snorkelers. they were delighted.."

    Yasawa Island forum: Yasawa and Kadavu - TripAdvisor

    Friday, 28 September 2007

    Reef Photo & Video Now Offers Impressive D200 Seatool Housing

    Reef Photo & Video Now Offers Impressive D200 Seatool Housing



    Reef Photo & Video is excited to offer the world's SMALLEST & LIGHTEST housing for the Nikon D200 Digital SLR Camera


    In keeping with their tradition of ultra compact underwater photographic housings, Seatool is proud to offer yet another revolutionary housing that brings a new level of underwater SLR performance to divers worldwide with the D200 Ultra Compact SLR housing.

    Ultra compact, lightweight body
    The Seatool D200 underwater housing for the Nikon D200 is machined from pure, solid blocks of aluminum to produce a light weight yet rugged package that will offer many years of service, yet keep weight to a minimum. Small and light enough to hand carry on aircraft, it's the perfect tool for the traveling diver faced with strict airline weight restrictions.

    Because the housing body conforms so closely to the camera, the housing attains nearly neutral buoyancy (slightly negative) for effortless underwater handling handling. It also means that all camera controls are placed within easy reach, even for divers with small hands.

    Premium Port Optics
    The Seatool D200 features a selection of multicoated glass port optics to insure that you get the very best images possible from your camera.

    Industry's Finest Latching System: Cam-Lock
    One of the housing's most innovative features are its cam-lock latches. These latches employ a locking cam lever to securely lock the housing back with little effort. Locking latches, prevent accidental opening.

    Versatile Strobe Compatibility
    Both optical and Nikonos style sync ports allow virtually any strobe on the market to be attached. Automatic & Accurate Optical TTL is possible with the sophisticated Inon D-2000 and Z-240 series strobes. Any strobe that can be attached via Nikonos style sync connectors can also be used.

    Easy Camera Installation
    A quick release camera tray offers effortless installation and removal of the camera with simple control alignment.

    The end result of this meticulous attention to detail is the smallest, lightest underwater housing available for the Nikon D200.

    Seatool - The Housing for the Next Generation
    The Seatool D200 represents the state of the art in high performance underwater housings, and does so in the smallest D200 housing ever offered. Contact one of our friendly Seatool dealers today to reserve yours!

    To find out more, click here: http://www.seatoolusa.com/d200/

    About Reef Photo & Video
    Fort Lauderdale, FL, based Reef Photo & Video is the USA importer for Seatool Underwater Photo & Video Equipment. Reef Photo & Video has a full service retail store offering the finest underwater imaging brands under one roof, the industry's most comprehensive e-commerce site, and unequaled commitment to customer service. Staffed by divers, Reef Photo & Video prides itself on having the most knowledgeable sales staff in the industry.
    To learn more about Reef Photo & Video: www.reefphoto.com

    Tuesday, 18 September 2007

    Best Day Ever

    Best Day Ever

    A few people commented on the morose tone of my last entry, so I’m following it up with a cheery blog.

    Just to add another twist to the story, I got the call a week ago saying my assignment was given the all-clear to return, so I’ve decided to spend another three months in Fiji to finish it off. But more on that later - first, a rundown on one of the most amazing days I’ve ever had. Ed and I hopped on an aeroplane down to Kadavu, an island half an hour’s flight to the south of Suva, to join Kellie, Cassie and Simo who were visiting from Australia for a few days relaxing Fiji-style. We reached Kadavu and after some miscommunication we found ourselves in the wrong boat heading the wrong way around the island, so a 40 minute trip became two and a half hours in a tinny. Instead of appreciating the gorgeous coastline we spent the whole trip kicking ourselves for the mix-up, and arrived slightly grumpy and crumpled.

    With the sight of our friends though and the beautiful place we were in, we shook off the frustration, settled down to a cup of tea and began to soak up the surroundings. Matava is a small collection of bures nestled on the side of a hill, squeezed between coconut palms and looking out over turquoise waters. There’s no electricity so at dusk everyone is handed a kerosene lamp to carry around, and the food is some of the best I’ve had in Fiji.

    Now to the amazing day. Kadavu is known for its diving, particularly the Astrolabe reef near Matava. We had plans of doing some diving while there, but woke up on our third day a bit tired and decided against it. Then at breakfast we discovered the site for the day was the Manta Reef, and immediately changed our minds. This is the spot where manta rays are often seen, and we tried desperately not to get our hopes up on the 45 min boat ride to the site - Joe, our dive master, said they see mantas on about 70% of dives there. We kitted up and splashed into the water, and less than five minutes in, what looked like a UFO glided past. We all watched in awe, the ray was about 3 m across and circled back a fewtimes inquisitively to

    By jayscoh
    February 16th 2007

    Read the ful blog here... Best Day Ever

    Sunday, 16 September 2007

    Yasawa Islands forums: trying to decide - TripAdvisor

    Yasawa Islands forums: trying to decide - TripAdvisor

    "If you want secluded, look up Matava on Kadavu. That is by far the most wonderful place i have ever been and i have traveled.

    This is real Fiji, and that staff there, well, i wanted to take them all home.

    They have an organic garden and the food, i put on lots of pounds, couldn't wait for the next meal. Lots to do, and the Astrolabe reef is right there.

    There is an island 5 min, by kayak(free) to kayak around and snorkle right off the magical beach."

    Yasawa Islands forums: trying to decide - TripAdvisor

    Friday, 14 September 2007

    PADI eLearning Logs 1000th Participant

    PADI eLearning Logs 1000th Participant

    Online program quickly becoming one of PADI’s most successful new diver acquisition efforts

    The popular PADI eLearning program reached a major milestone as the 1000th participant enrolled just a few weeks after the program’s launch. At this pace, PADI eLearning will become one of PADI’s most successful new diver acquisition initiatives -- great news for PADI Dive Centers and Resorts seeking innovative ways to attract new divers and increase business.

    “During DEMA Show 2006, the PADI message was loud and clear: Embrace the internet and succeed. It was a risky, and honestly, a highly controversial topic that inspired industry-wide debate and discussion,” shared PADI President and Chief Operating Operator, Drew Richardson. “But now, less than one year later, I’m seeing retail and resort operators take this message to heart. PADI Members are adapting and changing the way they do business and using the internet as a key strategy for growth. And it’s working. At the end of July 2007, PADI Open Water Diver certifications in the PADI Americas territory are up more than 17 percent over July 2006 - an overall increase of 2.35 percent year to date. This increase in PADI Member Retail and Resort business isn’t a coincidence. There is a direct correlation between increased new diver certifications and business growth for PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. The July 2007 numbers indicate that PADI eLearning is playing a key role in this growth.

    One retailer seeing an increase in business from PADI eLearning is Colonel Echols from Landshark Scuba in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. This progressive retailer has promoted PADI eLearning from the start and he’s thrilled with the results. “PADI eLearning has been great for us. Because of PADI eLearning, we have 20 percent more open water students walking through our doors and buying equipment - and we’re getting $55 US more for this premium privilege.”

    “Just today,” Echols continued, “I was ecstatic to learn we had six new customers call in and tell us they want to sign up for eLearning because it fits into their schedule better – and it’s only Tuesday!” According to Echols, PADI eLearning student divers come to his store better prepared, too. “My observation is that eLearners pay attention and follow directions better.”

    “Colonel Echol’s enthusiasm is contagious and I applaud it,” closed Richardson. “I’m tired of reading propaganda about industry doom and gloom ... how the industry is dying, how it’s not the same as it once was. Well, the business environment is not the same as it once was, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad news. For many PADI Members, business is up in all areas. Their success is our success and we’re all growing together. It’s exciting and rewarding to know that we’re taking the right steps to support our lifeblood as a membership organization, PADI Members. PADI remains committed to the continued development of innovative and progressive programs for member success, which helps the industry as a whole to grow.”

    There’s no quick fix for increasing business. Growth and success are directly tied to effective strategies and winning programs such as PADI eLearning. Align your business with PADI - the acknowledged market leader in scuba training and education - and tap into proven strategies to grow your business. Contact the PADI International Resort and Retailer Associations today at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada) or +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2260.

    Thursday, 13 September 2007

    Reduce overfishing, says Greenpeace - Fiji Times Online

    Update: 10.44am

    ENVIRONMENTAL group Greenpeace has accused Pacific nations of continuing to treat tuna stocks as limitless and says the level of fishing in the region has to be cut back.

    Greenpeace Oceans Team Leader Nilesh Goundar who is attending this year's Tuna Forum in Papua New Guinea, says the industry still considers Pacific ocean tuna stocks as a lucrative all-you-can-take region.

    He says the level of catch must be set to a sustainable precautionary level and the Pacific region must resist the push to fish more.

    He says over-fishing will lead to an unsustainable harvest with huge socio-economic and environmental costs as has happened elsewhere in the world, reports Radio Australia.

    Greenpeace says it will push for 50 percent less fishing across Pacific tuna fisheries at the Tuna commission meeting in December.

    Reduce overfishing, says Greenpeace - Fiji Times Online
    Copyright © 2004 - 2007, Fiji Times Limited.

    Tuesday, 11 September 2007

    Outside Online: Trips of a Lifetime: Fiji

    Trips of a Lifetime: New Zealand, Fiji, Australia | Outside Online:

    Fiji

    Exploring the Wild Side
    (New Trip)
    Witness fire walking in highland villages, raft the Class III Upper Navua through a rainforest dotted with waterfalls, and snorkel the coral gardens of the Mamanuca Islands on this 15-day romp through Fiji's remotest regions. You'll spend nights in beach lodges and tribal villages.

    Outfitter: Asia Transpacific Journeys (800-642-2742, www.asiatranspacific.com)
    When to Go: June and August
    Price: $4,195
    Difficulty: Moderate

    Trips of a Lifetime: New Zealand, Fiji, Australia | Outside Online

    Monday, 10 September 2007

    Lightening Up for International Dive Trips

    The Underwater Photographer - Lightening Up for International Dive Trips

    "Hey, Lighten-up!

    STORY BY BONNIE PELNAR

    Getting penalized for overweight baggage is an all-too-often occurrence for most underwater photographers, but when the airlines lowered the baggage weight allowance to 50 pounds per bag for domestic flights things got even worse. Many of us resigned ourselves to the idea that we would pay dearly, expected the worst and hoped for the best. Now the international carriers have followed suit. This means even higher overweight fees and added expenses when traveling to those nice warm dive destinations. By the time you get all your dive gear, topside cameras and lenses and underwater camera gear packed, you've got little room for clothes, or anything else. Its time to lighten up!"

    Lightening Up for International Dive Trips

    Dive Light Basics - Before You Buy a Dive Light

    Dive Light Basics - Before You Buy a Dive Light

    Cool article and excellent pointers on buying a dive light. I almost wrote something almost identical, but searched first to find this on About.com.

    Stuart

    ==================================================

    Dive Light Basics - Before You Buy a Dive Light

    Which dive light is the right one? Choosing a dive light isn't easy, and the dozens of products available make it even harder. Normally, dive lights are used for night diving but can be taken down during the day, too. When shopping for a light, seek the help of a seasoned professional at your dive center. Here are some things to consider.

    Read the whole article at Dive Light Basics - Before You Buy a Dive Light

    About.com




    Sunday, 9 September 2007

    Exciting Celebrity Diver Contest from Scuba.com

    Don't miss this chance to participate in a unique promotion and awareness campaign.

    What do supermodels Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford, actresses Jessica Alba and Sandra Bullock, Academy Award-winners Tom Hanks and James Cameron, Golden Globe winner Tom Cruise and Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart have in common? They’re all scuba divers, of course! Take a look at the new
    Celebrity Diver trivia quiz at scuba.com to test your knowledge about these and many other celebrities. Do you know which James Bond lead actor (Pierce Brosnon, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or Timothy Dalton) is a scuba diver? Did you know that Grateful Dead Musician Jerry Garcia designed an important scuba diving accessory?

    Interested in something else? Scuba.com offers a wide selection of contests, quizzes, and polls updated regularly on topics such as extreme diver pictures, trivia, and log book entries. Check out the full list of scuba diving contests to show off your knowledge about many different topics, learn something new, and get a chance to win some cash towards scuba gear at the same time. You don’t even have to be a scuba diver; there is something for everyone. Go to Scuba.com and click View All Contests at the bottom of the page to check it out.

    Perhaps you are the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan and know exactly which schools participated in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, the exact names of the unforgivable curses, which spell can be used to unlock doors, and the color of the basilisk’s eyes. Or maybe you just love the movies. Either way, you will enjoy the extensive Harry Potter trivia quiz at scuba.com. Enter for your chance to win a $100 scuba.com gift certificate.

    For all you divers out there with cameras, submit your funniest pictures to the extreme diver contest showing your scuba spirit and wackiness in all sorts of places. Upload any and all of your pictures whether it’s under the water, in the snow, or even right after your first open water dive. For the enthusiastic photographers, you can submit your paramount pictures to the photo contest and get voted on from hundreds of other divers. You can even take one of the pictures and send it to your scuba buddy as an e-card.

    Perhaps you had one of the craziest dives of your life this weekend and want to share it with the world. We have just the place for you: our online scuba log book. Anyone can share their own experiences, vote on their favorites, or just browse through the hundreds of stories submitted by other divers just like you. There are big fish stories in Florida, shark encounters in Costa Rica, and adrenaline filled stories of getting swept out to sea before being rescued.

    In addition to the contests and quizzes, you can participate in our online diver polls. See what others think about such topics as the best dive location, best type of fins, and solo diving.

    No one ever complains about winning free gear, so check out the contest page, upload some photos and play around. Who knows, maybe you could be a winner. There are winners every month. You could be next.

    Thursday, 6 September 2007

    Fiji forums: where to stay for 3 different experiences in Fiji - TripAdvisor

    Fiji forums: where to stay for 3 different experiences in Fiji - TripAdvisor

    "Another island I'd highly recommend for diving (and surfing) is Kadavu.

    It's rugged, untamed, and the diving on the Great Astrolabe Reef is spectacular. For a great little eco resort, check out Matava. The food is fabulous for a resort of that caliber, the bures are authentic thatched bures, the owners are on site and manage as well and are a lot of fun - an American and two Brits.

    They have no beach to speak of, but you can take kayaks and paddle to a lovely sandy beach.

    Good luck, and let us all know what you decided!"

    Fiji forums: where to stay for 3 different experiences in Fiji - TripAdvisor

    Monday, 3 September 2007

    SeaLife Introduces NEW Mini Wide Angle Lens

    Impressive new accessory for popular SeaLife product to be available in dive stores shortly.

    July 3, 2007 - SeaLife will begin shipping its new Mini Wide Angle lens (item SL973) this week. The Mini Wide Angle Lens is specially designed to fit the hot-selling line of mini series cameras - the ReefMaster Mini (SL320) and ECOshot (SL321)

    Advanced photographers know how important it is to get close to your subject “The closer the better”, says Joe Wysocki, Owner of Optiquatics which runs underwater photography trips out of Malibu, California. “A wide angle lens allows you to fit the subject into the picture, while maintaining a close-up shooting distance”

    The new Mini Wide Angle lens increases the camera’s viewing angle by 43%. It also allows close-up picture from 12” to infinity. This is a must-have lens for taking great underwater pictures with the SeaLife mini series of cameras.

    The lens also completes the expandable system for the mini series of cameras. With a retail of only $79.95, the lens will make the ReefMaster and ECOshot the most affordable 6mp Dive camera system that can be expanded.

    For under $600, consumers can get the ReefMaster Mini ProSet (SL325) and the Mini Wide Angle Lens (SL973) and have a fantastic underwater system which includes SeaLife’s Land & Sea Exposure modes with True Color correction in both Sea mode and Video for more vivid, realistic colors.

    In anticipation of the arrival of the new lens, we are running a special promotion that allows the dealer to receive a FREE Mini Wide Angle Lens whenever they purchase two of the mini series of cameras.

    For more information on the Mini Wide Angle Lens and the SeaLife 2 for 1 Promotion, contact your territory sales rep or SeaLife customer service @ 856 866-9191.

    Mini Wide Angle Lens Specifications

    · 0.45X conversion lens increases shooting angle by 43% (from 35º to 50º)

    · Easily snaps on and off underwater

    · Sharp focus from 12” (30cm) to infinity

    · Fully-multi coated optical glass

    · Waterproof to 200’ (60m)

    · Includes neoprene lens covers, storage case and safety lanyard

    · Super compact lens for SeaLife ReefMaster Mini (SL320) and ECOshot (SL321) digital cameras





    Thursday, 30 August 2007

    Fiji forums: Diving - TripAdvisor

    Fiji forums: Diving - TripAdvisor

    "If you are looking for cheapish, with good diving, great food, and a fun place, check out Matava Eco Resort..

    It's not upscale like Naviti or Treasure Island, it's definitely an 'eco resort' so you're not going to have electricity, TV, hairdryers (all solar powered) but the food is exceptional, the diving incredible, they have waterfall hikes, overnight kayak trips, kayaking, the whole bit.

    AND until April they offer 40% off of their accommodations, 30% off from April - June.

    With the added plus of having a 10 tank dive, but only paying for 6.

    Not sure when you were going, but this is a great deal at a really fun resort.

    Now, mind you, it's not specifically a honeymoon destination, but I've been there several times and have had lots and lots of people go there, and everyone loves it. A great atmosphere with great people and amazing food (you'll be blown away by what they feed you for a budget resort!).

    They have private, ocean view bures as well"

    Fiji forums: Diving - TripAdvisor

    Fiji forums: Splitting Time Up in Fiji - Honeymoon - TripAdvisor

    Fiji forums: Splitting Time Up in Fiji - Honeymoon - TripAdvisor

    "I was just on Kadavu, at Matava (matava.com) and also in the Yasawas.

    I thought that Kadavu was spectacular and very remote. This was so romantic and the 'resort' was unbelievable. The place is an organic farm, fruits hanging all over the place, organic garden, making the food so yummy. There are no roads and all travel is done by boat. The snorkeling/diving is on the 4th largest reef in the world. We hiked into a village and swam at the base of this huge waterfall. We kayaked out to the smalll island opposite Matava and along the shore. The staff was the icing on the cake. I am still sending them presents. I wanted to keep all of them in my pocket!!! enjoy, look at the website."

    Fiji forums: Splitting Time Up in Fiji - Honeymoon - TripAdvisor

    Friday, 24 August 2007

    Fiji forums: Young, but not backpackers in Fiji, South Pacific - TripAdvisor

    Fiji forums: Young, but not backpackers in Fiji, South Pacific - TripAdvisor

    "If the bar/nightclub issue is not important, I'd recommend Matava Resort on the island of Kadavu.

    It is terrific, and you will get a great island/rustic experience.

    They have great thatched bures with ocean views, and lots of wonderful activities.

    No bars, no nightclubs, not even roads that lead around the island, but a true, genuine experience."

    Fiji forums: Young, but not backpackers in Fiji, South Pacific - TripAdvisor

    Thursday, 23 August 2007

    Too Precious to Wear - Corals At Risk

    Trade protection for precious rednecklace corals reversed by secret ballot

    Over the past several years, the popularity of precious corals for jewelry, fashion, and décor has permeated markets from Asia and Europe to the United States. Such strong consumer interest threatens coral reefs, yet offers a unique opportunity for us to play a role in saving them.

    coralThe corals that make up reefs around the world are living animals that provide marine species with food, fertile grounds for reproduction, and a safe haven from predators. Coral reefs host the most diverse array of species of any ecosystem in the ocean. Although they cover less than 1% of the ocean floor, these reefs are home to more than 25% of all species in the sea. Because of their longevity – some reefs may be 40,000 years old – they record changes in the environment, making them archives for the ocean’s history. And modern medicine is exploring how corals might cure diseases and save lives.

    coral piecesBut these beautiful creatures are in crisis. The precious corals used in jewelry have suffered greatly from overfishing to meet demand for this fashion item. Corals grow so slowly that it can take decades for them to recover, if at all. Other threats include destructive fishing gears, oil and gas exploration, invasive species, and climate change. Despite the severity of these issues, recent polls show that people remain confused about why coral reefs are at risk today and, moreover, why they should care.

    jeweleryCoral reefs are the most diverse ecosystems in the ocean. Twenty-five percent of all marine life depend on coral reefs for food, safe havens from predators, and places to find mates. Reefs provide a source of food for more than one billion people around the world. Their majestic beauty inspires divers and has created booming tourism industries all over the world.

    fungusUnfortunately, corals are in serious trouble. The list of threats to corals is long including, climate change, overfishing, ocean acidification, pollution, and fishing practices such as dynamite and cyanide fishing. The direct removal of corals from the ocean for consumer products such as jewelry and home décor also threatens corals.

    SeaWeb’s Too Precious To Wear campaign aims to create a demand for coral conservation. We are working with leaders in the fashion and design world to spread the word about the value of these beautiful ocean animals and to promote products that celebrate the beauty of corals without harming the ocean.

    Tuesday, 21 August 2007

    SCUBASUPERPOWER.COM - Let's Go Scuba Diving in Fiji

    SCUBASUPERPOWER.COM - Let's Go Scuba Diving in Fiji:

    "Fiji - Ready for an exotic diving trip? Begin the day in a swimsuit, grab a quick cup of coffee, then slip on a wetsuit (usually still damp from the previous day's activity). Air tank on, mask in place, you take a giant stride off the stern platform of the dive boat. It's a relief to be in the water again.

    Fiji's reefs are some of the most diverse and untouched in the world, with hundreds of species of coral and fish clamoring for space on every reef and sheer wall drop-off.

    Floating effortlessly along the reef wall you examine soft corals in a rainbow of colors protruding from hard coral outcroppings, their waving fingers reach out for the plankton-rich current. Clouds of orange, blue, and purple anthias engulf the coralheads as you swim by."

    SCUBASUPERPOWER.COM - Let's Go Scuba Diving in Fiji:

    Friday, 10 August 2007

    More Fiji National Records fall to Bite Me


    This week I had the pleasure of that renown angler, author and editor of BlueWater magazine, Tim Simpson fishing aboard Bite Me.

    Tim and I get together every July and troll ultra-light 4kg line class for Kadavu's annual run of big wahoo and Pacific sailfish fish that gather along the barrier reef slopes. This ultra light fun fest is timed to coincide with the start of the season thought this year we were a few days early and the bite was just firing up at the end of the week. Its what I call 'my annual week off' and we just go out there to have some fun and target a couple of IGFA World Records.I run Avet SX reels on custom Stickfacewrangler all roller 4kg rods and Tim brought a couple of his Shimano TLD15s on Daiwa and Custom rods.

    This year we were trying out the new orange Platypus Lo-Stretch IGFA line which proved to be excellent for visibility and sensitivity.Tim brought a bag full of Halco minnows and Williamson skirted lures which we took great delight in sacrificing to the hungry yellowfin that plagued our every move. The small schooling fish of about 15-20lbs were hours of entertainment but we finally skirted the little ones and Tim hooked up a more respectable yellowfin that dived for the depths and challenged us with a stubbourness that only yellowfin do so well.Calling for some investigative boat manoevering to find the direction the tuna was happiest with and 50 minutes of gaining line inch by inch only to watch it screem off again, we finally boated a new M-04kg Fiji National Record Yellowfin Tuna. Weighing in at 14.6kg (32lbs) it was not a massive tuna by any standards but significant on 4 kilo line class and tastey to boot !

    Not content with a yellowfin record, we then proceeded to hook up some lively little mahi mahi which cavorted across the ocean waves in typical mahi fashion. The largest of which weighed in at 7.2kg (16lbs) setting a new record for Fiji mahi on 4 kilo line class. Fishing 4 kilo line class in Fiji waters is entirely beyong the comprehention of most local anglers. Fish are generally caught here for food not for sport. Most local anglers consider 10 kilo line class to be 'light tackle' and look on in horror when I pitch up at the Pacific Harbour 3 day International tournament with a plethora of 4,6 and 8kg outfits. Last year we took 2 National light tackle Records and our anglers walked away with thousands of dollard in prizes, much to the chagrin of some of the 'old guard'!


    This week, the yellowfin were so prolific that it was common to have multiple hook-ups, even when trolling right beside the barrier reef. Deckie Joe frequently found himself clearing second and third rods with yellowfin attached. I often had to run down from the bridge to clear rods as Tim and Joe had their hands full of speeding tuna.

    One morning, whilst trolling a mixed spread for wahoo and sailfish, we got jumped by yellowfin in the usual manner. (lots of shouting and screeming reels). Tim selected a rod and Joe then selected the next. Out on the rigger however, the skipbait garfish with Pakula Fluzy rigged on the nose simply sat quietly and slowly began to sink as I nudged Bite Me to a stop. No problem there I thought, these were only very small tuna and Tim was already making headway with his fish coming under control. Jut leave the skipbait out there - its well clear of the props and the anglers lines.Suddenly the rigger clip pops and the reel gives a short sharp ratchet blast. Tim starts yelling "Strike on the rigger" but I'm not so sure. Its not that deep here and that skipbait might just have sunk deep enough to snag coral. (Oops..Darn). A second later the reel starts to tick over and Tim calls me down from the bridge to grab the rod. I'm still not convinced its a fish....

    By now the two little tuna are coming on board and Tim pops up to the bridge to drive on the fish I don't think I have. Moments later all doubts are dispelled as the bit of coral I envisage on the end of my line barrels off seaward in a long thumping run.Hmmm... What eats a sinking skipbait in 40 meters of water right next to the reef....Dogtooth tuna ? shark ? Oh oh, was that skipbait rigged on wire leader for wahoo or mono for a sail ?Sinking feeling...I can see this all ending in tears...but after 10 minutes, I am still connected (Phew! wire rig)So, anyhoo, long story short...from gain a bit / lose a lot to gain a lot / lose a bit we finally get colour and all eyes are on the fish to try to see what it is just in case it busts us off on the home stretch and we don't identify it. (Don't go there - its a painful experience) Lo and behold up comes a very grumpy Giant Trevally. Now, we normally release GTS but this one turns out to be a new Fiji National Record on 4 kilo line. I have to say I was quite chuffed at landing a GT on 4kg line after an hour long fight so close to the reef as these bruisers are notorious for spooling or 'reefing' anglers even on heavy tackle so I elected to weigh the fish which set a new Fiji record of 10.20kg (22.5lbs).Very nice, Thank you. Beers all round !

    The wahoo and sails just didn't cooperate with us this week as the water temperature hovered at 26.6 but all the other species here kept us busy with screaming reels and busted lines. Tim had a definite world record wahoo on but the line mysteriously parted about 15 minutes into the fight. Probably got bit by another fish.

    He also fought a sailfish for over 5 hours and my colleague Richard fought a yellowfin for over 4 hours. Mor on that later.To all you heavy tackle anglers out there, the next time you skull drag a mahi or wahoo in on your 130lb marlin gear, imagine how much fun it would have been to fight that fish on 8lb line.....4 hour chair fight on a big blue marlin ? Pah. Try a 50lb yellowfin on 8 pound line. Now thats what I call a fight.Any takers ?