Thursday, 30 April 2009

Joji the Bus driver

At 6pm every evening at Matava the distinct sound of the lali is heard through out the resort.

The guests and staff slowly make their way down to the main bure, the haven for the ritualistic combination of diving and fishing stories. It is during this hour that the conversation flows from the one that got away to debates on the actual size of the mantaray that the divers saw.

Joji or Maggie work behind the bar and with no 6 oclock news we only have each other to entertain ourselves and Joji to drive the bus.

Each evening brings new conversation from all types of different people, you never know who you might meet, where the conversation might lead or where Joji is driving us tonight.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Matava featured front page of Fiji Times - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort was featured front page of Fiji Times on April 23rd 2009.

Fiji times newspaper

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“Our precious heritage has to be well managed and preserved for long term benefits with tourist increasingly looking for pristine destinations for their holidays.

“A very important product of our tourism industry is our environment. This is an emerging trend whereby many visitors give weight to environmental consideration when choosing a holiday.”

Those are the words of the Chairman of Tourism Fiji, Patrick Wong in congratulating Matava Fiji’s premier Eco-Adventure Resort, the official winner of Padi Asia Pacific Awards in the category Project Aware Marine Environment Award 2009.



Matava featured front page of Fiji Times - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Tourism Fiji salutes Matava Eco-Adventure Resort - Fiji Government Online

“Our precious heritage has to be well managed and preserved for long term benefits with tourist increasingly looking for pristine destinations for their holidays.

“A very important product of our tourism industry is our environment. This is an emerging trend whereby many visitors give weight to environmental consideration when choosing a holiday.”

Those are the words of the Chairman of Tourism Fiji, Patrick Wong in congratulating Matava Fiji’s premier Eco-Adventure Resort, the official winner of Padi Asia Pacific Awards in the category Project Aware Marine Environment Award 2009.

Mr Wong said it is no longer just the sun, sand and sea but also the safety and environment ratings of the destination and the interest of local culture, tradition and lifestyle that’s been attracting visitors to the country.

“The uniqueness of our physical attributes i.e weather, geography, flora and the people.

“A broad variety of attractions. There is heritage, historic, cultural, rainforest gardens, our marine environment and resources showing Fiji’s unique ecology, culture and society complimenting all market segments,” Mr Wong said.

Located in the islands of Kadavu, bordered by the Great Astrolobe Reef and set amidst lush tropical surroundings, Matava Eco-Adventure Resort is a small intimate getaway. Matava is designed to blend with its natural environment.

Matava is a genuine eco-hideaway designed to cause minimal impact on the environment and to promote conservation awareness with the local community and visitors.

The Padi Asia Pacific Member awards was developed to better recognize the achievements of those PADI Dive Centers and Resorts who have made significant contributions to the growth and developments of diving.

Tourism Fiji salutes Matava Eco-Adventure Resort - Fiji Government Online

I'm only working to save up for my next trip to go with the flow at Matava - TripAdvisor

Where do I start. My husband (non diver/fisherman) and I met and married in Fiji in 99/2000 and have come back to Fiji over 20 times. We’ve been to most regions and love it. We came across Matava 4 years ago when recommended during one of our other trips. I did communicate with the staff via email for sometime prior to our first visit just to get a good understanding of what to expect, heat, mosquitos etc. The communication was fantastic and my expectations were set for a hot humid stay with the potential of assorted wet season bugs. With this knowledge in hand we chose Xmas/New Year as our first trip (wet season).

From the minute we landed at Vunisea’s quaint airport we knew we were in for something different. We loved the ride from the airport in the old truck with a few stops to get supplies before meeting our transfer boat. The 40 minute trip from Vunisea to Matava is absolutely mind blowing and after 4 return visits to Matava I still can’t get sick of travelling around in these transfer boats. Rain or shine.
Upon arriving on my first visit I was a little disappointed that there was not the traditional golden bar of sand out the front, but that disappointment faded within about 5 mins. Matava is primarily a dive resort however, there is so much to do, including some great snorkeling at the reef right in front of the resort,which incidentally is a marine park thanks to the resorts owners agreement with the local villages, bush walks, guided canoe trips, surfing, game fishing, just hanging out on the deck, having fun with the staff or just chilling on your stunning deck with a good book/ipod whatever.

Our stays have generally been 2 week visits at Easter or Xmas/New Year (so we can have more time off work to spend at Matava) and there are lots of fun festivities to be had with the guests, staff and villagers. Last Xmas/New Years was the absolute best. Our stay was initially 2 weeks, we extended to 3 then extended to a 4th and final week (reality – need to get home to start saving for the next trip). I would have thought that after 4 weeks we may have got a little tired of the best diving I’ve ever experienced. I hooked up with some great dive buddies and seriously, for 3 weeks straight (in the wet season) our chant after surfacing was “that was the best dive ever!”. I managed to pack in 40 dives this trip and could have still done some more, but I’m also a fan of the game fishing.

Bite Me, the 31ft Blackwatch is a fantastic boat completely equipped with all you need for a great day’s fishing. Adrian and Joe are just fantastic and I’m sure they enjoy it just as much as the punters who head out past the reef for some deep sea fun! I’ve been lucky enough to get some Fiji National Records which always puts a smile on everyone’s face. I’ve shared charters with non-fisherpeople who’ve always had a fantastic day and come back for more. I recommend always take plenty of sunblock, shades, a hat and a sarong to cover up when it gets a bit hot.

During the 4 trips to Matava we’ve chosen to try all the accommodation. We love it all. From the budget oceanview bure right on the water’s edge (very traditional) to the medium budget with own bathroom, to the awesome Honeymoon Bure’s on the top of the hill. We loved the deck at the Honeymoon Bure and the fact that you can keep the bathroom door open, stand in your shower and enjoy the most wonderful view of all.
I could continue to go on and on more than I already have however, I would like to list a few points which make us keep coming back:

1.Remoteness – means that guests who travel here are doing so for like minded reasons

2.Great Company – we’ve hardly met a guest we didn’t have great fun with

3.Awesome diving, you name it (apart from wrecks) they have it, drift, no drift, deep, not deep, big fish, little critters, manta’s, sharks, day/night. The local dive team really know their stuff

4.Game fishing, activities, chillin (from someone who usually can’t sit still for 5 mins)

5.Staff РMaggie and the team just do everything they can to make your trip the best Рthey truly make you feel like one of the family (not a clich̩ in this instance)

6.Food – and lots of it! Fresh, diverse, GREAT deserts (and I’m NOT a desert person) and cold beer

7.The new Bure – we loved the character of the old bure but the new one is something else

8.The Deck – a great place for those cold beers and stories at sunset, before dinner, and for just chillin

9.The most amazing blues and beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen – I will NEVER get sick of those waters

I SOOOO wish I was back there right now....

  • My ratings for this hotel are:
    • 5 Value
    • 5 Rooms
    • 5 Location
    • 5 Cleanliness
    • 5 Service
  • Date of Stay: January 2009
  • Visit was for: Leisure
  • Traveling group: With Spouse/Partner
  • Member since: today
  • Would you recommend this hotel to a friend? Yes

I'm only working to save up for my next trip to go with the flow at Matava - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Dive For Earth Day

Make a world of difference this Earth Day, 22 April 2009

Earth is a water planet and the planet needs our help. Why? Climate change is a major threat with increased ocean temperatures and ocean acidification impacting fragile underwater environments. Dive for Earth Day is an extraordinary opportunity to take action and help address the underwater issues that concern you most.

How can you help?

Individual Divers and Water Enthusiasts:

Volunteer today! Search for Dive for Earth Day events near you and choose from hundreds of conservation activities that put aquatic issues on the Earth Day map.

Dive Professionals and Organisations:
Coordinate an event!
Organise a coral reef monitoring project, underwater cleanup, AWARE Kids event or AWARE Fish ID Specialty Course. Register online to receive free resources to help make your day a success.

About Dive for Earth Day
Earth Day raises environmental awareness on a global scale. Since the 30th anniversary of Earth Day in 2000, Project AWARE has helped divers focus attention on aquatic environments for this annual event. Thousands of diver volunteers in more than 115 countries have helped protect underwater environments and educate local communities for Project AWARE’s Dive for Earth Day.
Read more about Project AWARE’s Dive for Earth Day initiatives around the world and share your news with the Project AWARE community.

Make Every Day Earth Day

There are many simple, low-cost things you can do each day and each time you dive to lower your impact on the environment. Begin by following Project AWARE’s Ten Ways a Diver Can Protect the Underwater Environment or check out our Tips to Keep Waters Debris Free.

Dive For Earth Day

Dive For Earth Day

Make a world of difference this Earth Day, 22 April 2009

Earth is a water planet and the planet needs our help. Why? Climate change is a major threat with increased ocean temperatures and ocean acidification impacting fragile underwater environments. Dive for Earth Day is an extraordinary opportunity to take action and help address the underwater issues that concern you most.
How can you help?

Individual Divers and Water Enthusiasts:

Volunteer today! Search for Dive for Earth Day events near you and choose from hundreds of conservation activities that put aquatic issues on the Earth Day map.
Dive Professionals and Organisations:
Coordinate an event!
Organise a coral reef monitoring project, underwater cleanup, AWARE Kids event or AWARE Fish ID Specialty Course. Register online to receive free resources to help make your day a success.
About Dive for Earth Day
Earth Day raises environmental awareness on a global scale. Since the 30th anniversary of Earth Day in 2000, Project AWARE has helped divers focus attention on aquatic environments for this annual event. Thousands of diver volunteers in more than 115 countries have helped protect underwater environments and educate local communities for Project AWARE’s Dive for Earth Day.
Read more about Project AWARE’s Dive for Earth Day initiatives around the world and share your news with the Project AWARE community.


Make Every Day Earth Day
There are many simple, low-cost things you can do each day and each time you dive to lower your impact on the environment. Begin by following Project AWARE’s Ten Ways a Diver Can Protect the Underwater Environment or check out our Tips to Keep Waters Debris Free.

Dive For Earth Day

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Matava wins Major Environmental Award at the PADI Asia Pacific Member Awards 2009

Matava has won the PADI Asia Pacific Member Awards 2009 in the category Project AWARE Marine Environmental Award 2009 

KADAVU, FIJI ISLANDS - 15th April 2009 - Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco-Adventure Resort is proud to announce that it is the official 2009 winner of PADI Asia Pacific Member Awards 2009 in the Project AWARE Marine Environmental Award 2009.PADI

The PADI Asia Pacific Member Awards were developed to better recognise the achievements of those PADI Dive Centres and Resorts who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of diving.

In competition with more than a thousand dive centres throughout the region, Matava was awarded the great honor of this award as a token of appreciation for all the efforts and initiatives put forward by the company in the last few years.

"At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding similar efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji's leading role and efforts in this regard especially." said Matava Director, Mr Richard Akhtar.

Mr Ian Cumming, PADI Regional Director for the Fiji Islands, said "I'd just like to send my congratulations to the Team at Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort who have taken out the Project AWARE Marine Environmental Award for 2009."

"Having visited the resort I know firsthand the mighty efforts everyone there have gone to to ensure the resort is very much the 'Eco Adventure' resort that has guests coming back time and again. Given the location of the resort, which adds greatly to its charm, it is a wonderful achievement that everyone involved in the resort should be very proud of!" Mr Cumming continued.
Main bure at Matava, Kadavu, Fiji
Project AWARE Foundation Chairman, Dr. Drew Richardson recognizes the importance of the scuba diving community taking its part in protection of global ecosystems. "This Award is about rewarding vision, excellence and pursuit of conservation. More importantly, this award ensures the enjoyment of underwater environments for future generations," states Richardson.

"Our Marine Environmental awards recognise dive operators making a positive impact on local communities and the environment, as well as providing great dive holidays! The number of outstanding environmental programs taking place is inspiring," said Joanna McNamara, Project AWARE Coordinator.

Joanne Marston, Manager of Project AWARE, said "Project AWARE Foundation is delighted that Matava's positive environmental actions have been recognized by PADI Asia Pacific.  As a Project AWARE Go ECO Operator Matava show a dedication and commitment to conservation that goes above and beyond.  Congratulations Matava."

Adopting a fresh new format that provides a system in which all PADI Members can participate, the PADI Member Awards programme was based on a system that ensured PADI Members compete with other PADI Members within their own geographical region for one of the five Awards. All PADI Dive Centres and Resorts were considered for nomination by a specially convened selection panel, who selected up to three finalists for each of the Awards.

A panel of PADI judges then considered all of the finalists and Matava is very pleased to be announced as the winner of the PADI Member Award 2009 in the category: Project AWARE Marine Environmental Award 2009.

Mr Akhtar went on to say that "This PADI Member Award gives us special recognition within the entire tourism industry and shows our customers that we are responsible and committed to reducing the environmental impacts of our business. After 6 years of hard work and commitment to our strict environmental policies, it is rewarding to be recognised again and this time by the world's largest international scuba certification agency, PADI.

"Our recent major resort upgrade in early 2008, and the addition of our new high-tech solar power plant solution for the Main Bure, kitchen and The Terrace restaurant area, we believe we are the leader in eco-sustainable resorts in the country."


Mr Akhtar finished by saying "Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco-Adventure Resort has proved that it is indeed among the leaders in environmentally sensitive resorts worldwide, and this latest award solidifies our position as an example of how resorts can operate AND help maintain and improve the surrounding environment."
 


PADI is the world's largest recreational dive training, certification and membership organization. PADI Members (dive centers, resorts, educational facilities, instructors, assistant instructors and divemasters) issue more than 1,000,000 certifications worldwide each year, making underwater exploration and adventure accessible to the public, while maintaining the highest industry standards for dive training, safety and customer service.

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava - Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 12 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian 'bures' with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views

Mad Fish Dive Centre is our on-site PADI Dive Centre offering the best of diving in the South Pacific.


 
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Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Scuba dive in Fiji with Matava

Nature Comes Naturally At Matava

Scuba dive in Fiji with Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway

5 Star Rating

Visit Date: 24th November 2007

Our dive trip to Matava Eco-Resort exceeded our expectations. We felt like we were living in harmony with nature in our private bure while still having modern conveniences. The beauty of the island flora and fauna and the Astrolabe Reef was what we came for and we were not disappointed. We book 2-3 dive trips a year and our reason for choosing Kadavu was because of Astrolabe Reefs reputation for diversity and Manta Rays. We booked Matava based on trip advisor reviews, good value for the money, and the likelihood that we’d get to dive with Manta Rays (they take their boats to Manta Reef 1-2 times/week and see Manta’s about 80% of the time).

Getting There. All of our gear transferred without a hitch on flights arriving from Nadi and returning to Suva . Our baggage was overweight so we owed about $20 FJ in fees. There are few roads on Kadavu and the only way to Matava is by boat and they pick you up. It was a pretty day both coming and going so we enjoyed the ride.

Diving. Our first day of diving, we went to Manta Reef and within 5 minutes we were viewing the majestic beauty of graceful gliding and feeding Manta Rays. Never to be forgotten was the mother/baby pair that performed a barrel roll at the surface! We hung below the reef and watched several different Mantas feeding overhead. Other days of diving we spent completing our PADI Advanced Open Water Certification which we needed to be dive volunteers at our local aquarium. Our Dive Instructor, Simon Parry, was both fun and on task! He picked the dive sites where we could complete our required skills but also made sure there was plenty of reef life to view along the way. There were 3 dive masters at Matava (Simon, Joe and Tae) who knew the reefs well and would help you find what you were looking for. Our Fiji underwater photos are located at [--]. We did two days of diving Viti Levu which included the shark feeding dive at Beqa Adventure Divers (Pacific Harbor, Beqa Lagoon) so many of the shark pictures were taken there.

Flora and Fauna and Other Activities: When we weren’t diving, we enjoyed the incredible views of the ocean and neighboring little island from our bure deck. There were sea kayaks which you could use to investigate the beaches of neighboring islands and coves. We spent most of our time being entertained by the various sightings, calls and songs of the birds that live and feed at Matava. Our bird photos are located at [--]

Meals. All meals were served at set times (announced by lali drumming) on the main bure covered deck with a beautiful ocean view. Although meal times are set, they are happy to work with your special circumstances. A couple days we were not back from diving at lunchtime so they just served our lunch when we returned. The breakfasts were mainly cereal or granola, toast and fresh fruit plates with an occasional special add on to make it interesting. Dinners were the best meal of the day. Usually some type of fresh fish.


Scuba dive in Fiji with Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway

Guests: The resort guests greatly added to the experience with nightly chats over dinner and drinks. How lucky we were to have been there at the same time as professional underwater photographer Terry Arpino and his son, Alex (uwpgallery.com), Fiji Reef Check National Coordinator Helen Sykes and her partner, Stuart Gow (resortsupportfiji.com) and Tania de Hoon and her husband Jimmy. Tania used to own Aquaventure Dive Resort on Tavenui and is now Operations Manager for the Fiji Adventure Cruise Tui Tai. On the last night of our stay, we also enjoyed the company of Bill Goodwin, author of Frommer’s South Pacific Guidebook.

We enjoyed sharing dinner and conversation with the owners (Richard, Jeanie and Adrian). Adrian’s passion is fishing and he is the Captain of Matava’s game fishing boat, Bite Me, which has 21 Fiji National Records.

Ratings are based on 1 (Dissatisfied) to 5 (Totally Satisfied)
The staff was attentive and informative 5 Star Rating
My personal gear was washed and stored away 5 Star Rating
The quality of the dive trip 5 Star Rating
Attention to safety & environment 5 Star Rating
Condition of the dive boats 5 Star Rating
Dive briefing 5 Star Rating
Dive Leader 5 Star Rating
Value for money 5 Star Rating

Scuba dive in Fiji with Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway

Monday, 13 April 2009

Health of the Great Astrolabe Reef, Kadavu, Fiji

Health of the Great Astrolabe Reef


Dates:
31st May - 7th June 2005

Reef type:
The Great Astrolabe Reef (GAR) consists of two barrier reefs and a lagoon structure with several islands - including Ono Island - inside the lagoon. Kadavu is the biggest island in the area, with a fringing reef surrounding it.

There are fringing reefs around all the islands and patchy reef bommies close by. The eastern windward barrier reef breaks up at just a few passages to the open sea. The western leeward barrier reef is broken up more by passages, channels and stretches of bommie complexes.

Only one nautical mile north of the GAR lies the smaller “North Astrolabe Reef” (NAR). It is an atoll of 4 nautical miles diameter.

Vitareef data was collected inside the lagoon on coral bommies next to the fringing reef on the north west side of Ono as well as on the outside of the western barrier reef at a bommie complex system (Alacrity Rocks). We also ran transects at this outside study site. Observational dives were made at different locations all around the Great Astrolabe Reef including the eastern (windward) side.
Read full report here Great Astrolabe Reef, Kadavu, Fiji

The Manta Dance

The Manta Dance

So another breakfast we are served 'happy diver muffins' with eggs and 'maybe might see Manta toast'.

Myself and Sadie and Matt from Guam and Mark from Brisbane head out to Manta Reef for our morning dives. The 40 minute drive to this dive site is scattered with flying fish and a few yellow fin to keep us entertained. We drop down to 18m and move slowly across this flat topped coral bed that slowly undulates into two small but rather wide sea mounts.

This the Manta feeding site! So I begin the Manta dance, the calling of the mantas, the most hypnotically alluring dance, Yeah right! So it doesnt work, No Manta's in sight!

Soon the four of us are dancing, if you can call it that. Matt spots a swim through and signals that he's gonna take a look, him and Mark head down while myself and Sadie cruise over the top, a beautiful school of baracuda are waiting for us on the other side and as Matt fumbles with his camera to get a good shot, out of no where emerges our dancing partner - shiny, so graceful, black polished back with a gleaming white belly, slowly cruising, putting our dance to shame.


Our mouths are wide open just like the Mantas, except he is feeding and we are in awe of this beautiful creature. And soon another and another. It doesn't get much better then this!

Kate the Kiwi Diving Instructor at Mad Fish Dive Centre

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Fiji and Tuvalu Diving Report on Matava Resort on 2003/02

Matava is a wonderful, remote getaway where the people will make you feel welcome like family.  The food will more than satisfy.  And the setting is lovely.   If you are ok without air conditioning, and don't mind fairly
basic accommodations, this could be the place for you.  Throw the diving on top of it all, and you have a fairly inexpensive dive vacation that feeds your soul.  You may never want to leave, as some of our group felt when it
came time to depart. 
 
Undercurrent Diving Report on Matava Resort

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Face of Australia

Vote now to help Josh Jensen to become the Face of Australia and light up diving in Australia for the viewers of The Underwater Channel!

We invited ace Aussie divers to submit video showreels pitching for the role and six semi-finalists have now been selected from the candidates.

Josh Jensen

Qualifications: Marine Biologist; PADI Dive Instructor

Base: Tewantin, 150 kms north of Brisbane

Occupation: 10 years fulltime work in the dive industry travelling the world. Underwater cameraman owning his own underwater imaging business with his dive partner wife.

Pitch: I’m passionate about the underwater world and have brilliant contacts, in-depth knowledge and experience of the area. I have more than a year’s worth of story ideas for UWC and enjoy talking about anything relating to the underwater world.

Vote for Josh!

Swimming With Sharks: Shark Allies - Commercial Conservation

Shark Allies - Commercial Conservation

As a long running theme here at this blog we have advocated for commercial shark diving involvement and leadership in conservation efforts.

Last week we got the following email and announcement from Stefanie Brendl, owner of Hawaiian Shark Encounters.

Shark conservation, outreach, and education is best served by the front line operators in the region.

Welcome to the new conservation website Shark Allies and Kudos to the guys in Hawaii for dreaming this up:

Hi Guys,


At last, our non-profit "Shark Allies" is getting off the ground. We have been tinkering around with websites and organizational stuff, but at last, we are going official. We have a booth at the Ocean Expo in Oahu this weekend where we will hand out a lot of info, introduce our first three projects, have some petitions to sign and hopefully get some members and volunteers.

Our first projects are:

A) Supporting and expanding the Marine Science Program at Waialua High School. We gave them money from Shark Encounters last year so they could start. The students love it and it has been very successful. They need more money to expand it so more students can sign up.

B)Supporting research for the study of the movement of sharks in the Hawaiian islands. Shark Encounters has been supporting a tagging project done by the Shark Lab of UH for two years that has given us a lot of new data for Galapagos and Sandbar sharks. We want to expand it to tiger sharks and beyond the North Shore.

C) Shark Fin legislation in Hawaii. Right now Sharks have to be landed whole, but it is not illegal to bring in or transship fins. So containers packed with fins still come into Hawaii.
We want to work towards a ban on all shark fin products in Hawaii.

This is a very small and humble start, keeping it local at first. But hopefully it can grow into an organization that can make a difference beyond Hawaii.

Thanks,
Stefanie

SharkAllies.org


Underwater Thrills:Swimming With Sharks: Shark Allies - Commercial Conservation

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Missing Home

So every time I see this spectacular coloured tropical species I get a sudden rush of adrenaline and instinctively start sizing up the prey. I then quickly remember that I'm in Fiji not New Zealand and not undergoing the typical NZ cray hunt (which I have to admit I do miss).



So instead I just have to hover motionlesly staring at this beautiful creatures painted form, decievingly delicate looking features and strong well developed front legs.

In fact after spending so much time watching these fellows I don't know if I can bring myself back to the hunt that Im so used to at home.

Kate the Kiwi Diving Instructor at Mad Fish Dive Centre

Friday, 3 April 2009

The Day I met Bella and Rupert

So it took me a while for my eye to adjust to the fact that the reef was not just a blur of color but was actually made up of individual living things. It as my first dive in Fiji where I saw them.

Never have I seen this marvel of  nature anywhere else, New Zealand could boast some wonderful creatures but none like this tiny perfectly painted shell-less molusc. And it instantly became my favourite - The Nudibranch.



From the Family Chromodorididae it took me some time to distinguish nudibranchs clearly from the flatworms which also frequent the reef. This tiny creature is intricate with colors that just amaze me.

So I began searching for them on every dive, the divemasters here, Mas, Jone and Jo definitly had developed their eye to find them and could spot one a good few meters away.

I'd thought I had seen them all, but today I found my favourite. With a light pink skirt and black stripes following the perfectly formed frame, I called them Bella and Rupert.

Now i'm sure there is many scientific experts on the subject of Nudibranchs that could identify classes and subclasses of these creatures on fine anatomical features. But all I can say (without sounding too girly) is that they are so pretty.

Kate the Kiwi Diving Instructor at Mad Fish Dive Centre