Very nifty little vid on flying to Taveuni. That's the kind of the thing the FVB should be paying you to do. You only missed on thing. At the tail end, flying into Matei the plane passed directly over Taveuni Island Resort. Otherwise you nailed 'em all.
Thanks for the kind words, Scott, I really had a lot of fun taking these photos in to separate trips to Tavarua. Got lucky with the waves too... One of the photographers in the water is Scott Weiner, a frequent guest of Tavarua and a very nice guy. The other is a Japanese guy, Kenyu Takahashi, also a fantastic professional. Not so many stories, I'm afraid, except for the day when the Kenyu and I got distracted in the water at Cloudbreak, talking to each other between sets, and got carried away to the worst possible spot there. A huge set came in straight upon us, I lost my camera by the third or fourth wave and was already considering the extension of the damage when a friend paddled back to the line-up with my Canon DsIII and 70-200/Aquatech combo on his surfboard. He found it by pure chance after being caught in the inside. That's something I won't forget for sure... Stay well, Scott. Aloha!
Loosing equipment like you did is always a sad thing, and I have lost my share of lenses in the past. On the other hand, I think it's part of what we do, and my days as a staff photographer for a big Brazilian newspaper taught me this: get the shot, no matter what. Then be happy with the shot you've got, it will probably be a much more intense feeling than any eventual sadness over the cost of the shot - equipment losses included. Makes sense to me!
Thanks Scott - Fiji really gets under the skin doesn't it? I left Fiji in 1988 but have been back every year since. Working on a new edition of Fiji's Natural Heritage and lead a dive trip to Fiji every 3 years or so.
Hey thanks for the info. I guess I'm looking to have the opportunity to meet people and which is why I'd say Beachouse looks good. I also want to chill though so maybe I'll spend a bit of time maybe at the Blue Lagoon resort too or somewhere like that. Basically I'm just looking for a real mix of everything - local culture/ sport/ party/ new people. Are you in Fiji often or are you based there? It looks amazing, I can't wait!
Thanks for the comment and question. I have to add YOU as a reason for my choosing Makaira! I had originally found Makaira in the tripadvisor site reading all the comments there. But when I saw your underwater pictures here, I knew this was the place I was looking for to see the corals, and more importantly, see Roberta at work on the coral gardening. I have snorkeled many reefs but none of them had the hard corals I was looking for compared to the Makaira area. Bora Bora runs a close 2nd to Taveuni for me. Then I read your posting here about Coral Gardening and knew this was it! Kudos to you Scott for sharing your information and beautifull pictures of the underwater world. 2 thumbs way up there! I know well that my pictures aren't the quality that yours show, but from a typical vacationers' point of view, it still shows the beauty I experienced through my eyes. I will now be a reoccuring visitor to Fiji.
In answer to a couple of your questions about the food situation Scott, I feel that I got to experience that subject in it's fullest. Baba cooked a few of our breakfasts for us as I am not a morning gal! lol... For me to have a delicious breakfast ready and waiting at the hour I choose to finally crawl out of bed was a treat. The banana pancakes were delightfull! I highly recommend them to any guest staying at Makaira. For the most part we cooked our own dinner meals on the verandah. One evening we treated the staff to the all american grilled cheese sandwiches which we soon discovered they had never had. Once they watched me actually fry them, they too said they will be eating "TASTY cheese sandwiches". We called them TASTY cheese because they do not sell AMERICAN cheese slices in the local market. On the top of the package it was made by the "TASTY CHEESE COMPANY". They were individualy wrapped slices and looked somewhat like our american cheese Kraft brand. John prepared his mahimahi fish dinner for us one evening along with the lamb chops too. He is quite the cook! We had a fish chowder that was outstanding. But out of the 2 weeks we were there, we did do mostly our own meals. We also ate in town at what used to be called the Cannibal Cafe. It now has a new name (cannot remember) sinse Cyclone Tomas had done so much damage to it and there were no outside seatings available now. Our daily lunches and snacks consisted of fresh fruits from the property. The papaya's were plentifull. I couldn't seem to eat enough of those. Peta, Mika, and Mateo were kindly delivering them to my verandah every morning, along with fresh coconuts sliced and waiting.For anyone planning on staying at Makaira, I will say that having or getting food is not a problem. On a daily basis there was always someone heading to town and we would catch a ride with them and stop at the markets. On the days that we needed a ride for a private service, "Uncle Harry" was our taxi driver.
Thanks for the report. I have also found that the corals larvae sense where other corals are in order to settle well. So a lottle bit of planting can make a big difference to jump starting natural recovery. The COTS are bad on many reef right now.... noone is breeding the triton shells that I know of. The Triton shells come back quickly within no-take areas, but they are generally taken when seen from reefs so they are quite rare. Resorts can make a cage and offer to buy some live ones from fishers, and they can be fed reqularly with COTS as an activity and they will likely reproduce in the cage. We got one resort to do that in the Yasawas.
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