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 ( 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 ?

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Fiji forums: if any one wants to know about alternate places to... - TripAdvisor

Fiji forums: if any one wants to know about alternate places to... - TripAdvisor

"Then to the airport to fly to Kadavu. There is the smallest airport in the world there, with a stick for the security!!!

We met our boat man and took an 45min ride to the resort Kadavu has no roads, so i just kept looking at the jungle, wondering if i had pushed my limit of comfort.

After arriving at MATAVA ( wonderful website), we just loved the place.

By far, this was the most romantic and best food that we had. No electricity, eating by lantern, snorkeling on the astroble reef, walking to the village, watching the local boys dive...i just can't tell you enough about how i feel i got the FIJIAN experience."

Fiji forums: if any one wants to know about alternate places to... - TripAdvisor

A Dry Towel When You Need It

A Dry Towel When You Need It

The Tilia Foodsaver sitting on your kitchen countertop can be used for more than just packaging leftovers. It provides a great way to compress and seal clean towels for travel.

Most live-aboards provide towels, but day boats and some multi-day boats expect you to bring your own.

Its usually about three days into a dive trip that you realize your dry towel is so wet, crusty and stinky that you wouldn't want to use it to dry your fins, much less your camera gear.

Read full article here:
The Underwater Photographer

FoodSaver Vac 800

Friday, 3 August 2007

Lots of Power Wherever You Go

The Underwater Photographer

Lots of Power Wherever You Go

A digital diver is typically loaded down with electronic toys that will inevitably need recharging. We don't always have the luxury of a sophisticated charging station like on some of the nicer live-aboards, and finding a place to plug in all your rechargeables can sometimes be an issue, especially when traveling internationally.

We've discovered this wonderful 220 power strip/surge protector that will work in every country you visit. Its not a converter, so don't plug in a device that needs 110, but for those 220 devices that have the standard US plug, this is a great little device to carry with you when traveling overseas. You can also plug in any other plug type since the plugs are universal.

The BB-13 Surge Multi-Outlet Surge Protector has the highest clamping voltage rating that is given at 300 volts. It comes with a European "schuko" plug but with the optional grounding adapter, WA-GF, any plug adapter can be added to enable this extraordinary surge protector to be used anywhere in the world. To date, I've used this power strip in Indonesia, Fiji and Hong Kong and it has worked flawlessly.

You can pick up an international power strip and all the optional grounded converters online from the Travel Oasis store.

The Underwater Photographer

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Traveler Reviews - Loved it - we'll be back - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - Loved it - we'll be back - TripAdvisor

"We spent a week at Matava in November 06 and it was everything we anticipated and more. I'm not a diver but my partner is and he did some brilliant dives, seeing mantas and sharks and a myriad of other wonderful things. The highlight for us was walking to the local village and swimming under the waterfall with the local children. So magical, we did it twice! We also snorkelled, walked to the top of the Island, checked out the beautiful organic gardens and spent a lot of time lying around, relaxing totally. The food & hospitality was great and we loved sharing our meals and experiences with the other guests. This is not the place to go if you want fancy pools and bars, but if you want to get away from the 'regular' resorts and off the beaten track a little, then this is it."

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - Loved it - we'll be back - TripAdvisor