Beqa Lagoon is one of Fiji's national underwater treasures and for most of the month of May, we're going to focus like a laser beam on this body of water and surrounding reefs.
This is clearly a corner of Fiji that most visitors pass by and it's a shame.
The island of Beqa is rich with the culture of the firewalkers and given how close it is to the Mainland of Viti Levu, it's amazing how remote it feels.
Divers will not want to forsake Beqa.
Surrounded by one of the largest barrier reefs in the world it lies 8 km South off Viti Levu and about 130 km from Nadi. The lagoon is an extinct volcanic crater with a 40-mile ring reef has formed on the lip of the old crater. The formation is situated on the windward side of Viti Levu, and is the recipientof south-easterly trades (and the nutrients they bring).
The reef on the windward (southern) side of the Lagoon is not particularly rich in marine life as is the case of the main reef running along the south side of Viti Levu. The reason for this is the same reason why this area is so desired by surfers: Huge swells continually pummel the area which does not make an optimal environment for flora and fauna.
Whereas prevailing swell batters the southerly reef, the opposite (Northwest side) of the lagoon circle near Yanuca Island to the west of Beqa – is protected by the southern reef, the Lagoon, and by the islands in the Lagoon.
The result -- a haven rich in marine and reef life—especially soft corals and sea fans.
In a few days we'll begin our Beqa series with an exclusive video and blog by Scott Putnam, one of Fiji's premier underwater video journalists.
This will be followed by a three part interview with Kirsti Deacon-Smith and her companion Paul Knight, who run the dive operation at Lalati, a resort located on Beqa Island.
The interviews will be followed by another blog and video from Scott Putnam on one of Beqa's premier dive sites, the Golden Arches.
If you're a diver and you're thinking about visiting Beqa, this is a feeding frenzy you won't want to miss.