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After finishing “The Stairs” dive site (see movie and docking at the resort, I walked up the stairs, for lack of something to do during the rest interval, to the restaurant for a drink. While there, I met a family of American expatriates who were spending the day and night at Paradise. As the conversation developed, the family disclosed they had lived on Taveuni for quite some time, but they were now moving back to the States. I asked them what factors influenced their decision and they replied, “Many.”

There was no further elaboration, so I let the matter drop. In the back of my mind though, I mused upon their paradise lost. I was also intrigued by their decision to utilize Paradise Resort as their local high-end day spa. Apparently, this place isn’t just for tourists!

After gulping down two glasses of water garnished with Fijian limes, it was time for the second dive: Vuna Chutes.

Like the previous dive, this site is on Vuna Reef, but on the southern reef’s edge. Jon, our dive captain, started the dive briefing.

I looked out into the blue Pacific and at the southern unpopulated tip of Taveuni and got lost in the “pinch me cause I can’t believe I’m here” moment. He stopped talking eventually – I caught something about a shark, but not much more. The view kept sucking me into la-la land. I only woke up from the trance when the other divers started jumping into the water. Time to get set up.

…. Well, the dive was beautiful. Better than “The Stairs”. I found out afterwards about a large coral head with a “mama” white tip reef shark and some baby white tips underneath the base. I missed it of course. Instead, I happened upon a lone white tip reef shark that paraded in front of me for 10 minutes. I didn’t stop filming the whole time (see my video). I only stopped because the rest of the group had moved way on down the reef and I couldn’t see them anymore.

It was time to move on.

Tonight is Lovo night – Paradise style. I should be back in time to watch the staff put the pig into the ground. After that, I’ll hurry and eat lunch and then take a nap. If I don’t sleep, I’ll sleep through the performance and that will be no fun.

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Comment by Daniel Leuck on November 16, 2010 at 2:35am
As always, your photos and video are amazing. Mika and I are very jealous of all the time you get to spend in Fiji! I'm very curious to know why those American expats are leaving Taveuni. Its one of our favorite places on earth.


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