We’re gonna need a bigger boat…

Bula Bula Boatblog® Fans,

The most exciting thing about this blog is not that we went diving with bullsharks – though that is pretty exciting, more of that later – but that we had a visitor from back home.

Our very old friend Sally came to stay for a few weeks.

Among other things, Sally is a keen diver, which gave Ju a great excuse to do lots and lots of diving.

She is also a keen underwater photographer with a very fancy camera. You will be pleased to know that we have edited her photos down from four thousand and seventy two, to just three hundred and six.

We even did a freediving course, which is amazing. Ju went from being able to hold his breath from just 40 seconds, to almost two minutes, and got down to 16m. Which comes in very handy when you are snorkelling with mantas, who can hold their breath for a lot longer than that.

But the highlight has to be the dive with the bullsharks.

Sorry about the camera shake. Actually, it’s not camera shake. It’s cameraman shake. Those sharks are BIG.

You swim down to about 20 meters and then a kamikaze diver starts feeding the sharks. Not by hand of course, but on a large pole. He wears metal gloves, but these amazing creatures have mouths bigger than your head so that’s not going to help much. I asked him how long he had been doing this, and he said he started on Saturday which was a bit worrying.

They use these little poles to keep the sharks from eating the customers, while you sit behind a protective safety wall that they’ve built, 

….though you can’t help thinking, “What if they come from behind?”

At least you don’t have to pay until after the dive, so if you do get eaten you haven’t lost anything.

Sadly, lots of them had been injured by fishing hooks, which you could see dangling out of their mouths with the wire still attached.

They are very big, very aggressive and they come very close. You could easily reach out and touch them if you didn’t mind losing an arm.

They are absolutely magnificent.

But as well as being a diver, Sally also likes fishing. We have to confess that the good ship Domini’s fish catching record has not been great; so far we’ve only managed to catch one size 12 wellie. But Sally is an expert. She was taught by her brother Paul who is a fly fishing champion. At least, he’s got all the right gear and talks a good game, even if he doesn’t catch much. So were looking forward to a fantastic fish supper.

And here we are, enjoying a fantastic hog roast.

The fishing could have gone better.

This is the one that got away.

One evening we were invited to an Indo-Fijian religious festival by our new friends Ravi and Anjani. There was a fantastic band, 

…though they didn’t do much in the way of blues so Ju couldn’t really join in.

And Sally tried the Kava.

Very nice. Though she thinks she’ll stick with the Sauvignon Blanc. And lots of it.

Just time for our arty farty competition. First entry is from Sally called “Giant Clam.”

Pretty amazing. Next up is Ju with his “Cool Cave.”

And finally, Sally’s “Jaws.”

Or should that be “Gums?”

And the winner is….

“Jaws.” Well done Sally.

You can come again.

Bula Vinaka, and Moce for now.

Ju & Lyn

Home Alone

Bula Bula Boatbloggers®

Lyn left Fiji for England on July 4th – Independence Day! Though whether it was Ju or Lyn who were getting independent is a moot point. Fortunately, there were lots of friends that we have met along the way who were staying in the marina, so though Ju was a long way from home, he was not alone.

Here he is with Julie from Lola, and Petra, Richard & Laura from Celtic Star. I’m not sure Ju would have got away with that shirt if Lyn had been here.

Then Andrew & Joe turned up from Accomplice, so to celebrate we went to the best curry house in town.

(What is it with these shirts? – Ed)

One day a group of us decided to go to Natadola beach, so we rented a car, tapped it into Google maps and off we went. Unfortunately Google Maps doesn’t take you to Natadola Beach. It takes you to a tiny out of the way village so far off the beaten track that you could never find it again. And the little village not wanting to miss a trick has started to make a nice little business from all the lost tourists who end up there by mistake. (No doubt Google are on some sort of commission. Or will be as soon as they read this.)

So for a few dollars, Jimbo from the village,

…will take you to all the places that Google doesn’t reach.

There was horse riding,

…with a massage to follow for those of us who weren’t used to being on a horse. Then the caves, where they used to hide from the enemy during the Fijian Wars.

Nice view.

But we all made it through.

We went fishing.

And a slap up meal with freshly caught lobsters in the village to finish.

If Google had been any better we’d have missed all that.

Another exciting day out was at the rugby International. Fiji vs Australia. Rugby is a really big deal in Fiji, and it starts of with the Fijian version of the Haka which is called the Cibi,

… a war ritual designed to terrify the enemy into an early surrender. A great start to the game that must have put fear into the hearts of the Australians. It was a shame Fiji lost after all that.

At this time of year, the Sugar Trains all come out, transporting the sugar cane from one place to another.

“Be careful with all that sugar cane,” grumbled Thomas, “Looks like it’s going to fall off.”

“Oh, no,” said the Fat Controller. “That will never do.”

Another fun day out was at the dunes, which are massive.

…and knackering to climb. One step forward and half a slide back.

Swimming isn’t recommended.

Another example of health and safety gone reasonable.

And grazing in the forest is forbidden.

Though no one seems to have told the cows.

That’s it for now Boatblog® Fans. Vinaka for reading, and it won’t be long before Lyn’s back.

And (sneak preview) a very special guest. 

So things are going to get pretty wild.

Moce for now.