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Here’s why we love the waters of the South Pacific so much! Below are some of the water activities highlights from our expedition of the region last November.
Yanaba & Egum Island: “As we left the atoll, a small pod of pilot whales said goodbye to us, along with a setting sun.”
Budaluna: “The tropical island Budaluna was bathed in sparkling sunlight and the water shimmered without a breeze. Guests snorkelled and dived the reef that surrounded a nearby sand cay. Species seen: Clark’s anemonefish, school of surgeonfish, whip coral, foliose corals, staghorn with neon damselfish, (juvenile green turtle during the recce), giant clam, Moorish idol.”
Toa Maru II Wreck with Dizo Dive*: “We descended with the wreck’s reference line to 14m, then trailed the southern part of the wreck to a maximum depth of 18m. We cruised around the wreck, exploring the superstructure, various champagne bottles, and glass jars full of different objects. There was a section of the superstructure with a swim through, bringing us to the other side of the wreck. With coral spawn clouding a lot of the water column (viz 7-10m), the wreck had a distinctive eerie feel. Divers absolutely loved the structures to explore and the thriving reef encrusted within the walls. We had a Dive Gizo Dive Instructor leading the dive. We spent 90 minutes exploring the wreck and all guests were beaming after their dive! *Note this dive is not part of the complimentary dive offer and will be an optional extra. Species seen: Impressive sponges, bannerfish, ascidians, damselfish, schools of fusilier, encrusting corals, moorish idols, porcupinefish, tomato anemonefish, butterflyfish, lionfish.
Mangalonga & Langa Langa Lagoon: “The snorkellers said they never wanted to get out of the water! And the scuba divers shared the great experience, spotting a Moray Eel and talked about how amazing it felt being circled by schools of batfish on their Mangalonga drift dive. Species Seen: schools of anthias, fusiliers, half and half pullers, neon damselfish, moray eel, lionfish, cow-tailed ray, schools of batfish, spadefish, whip corals, beautiful large gorgonian fans, plenty of Christmas tree worms, ascidians.”
Marau Sound, Sand Island: “Divers had an incredible wall dive and snorkelers had a variety of experiences. On the sand cay itself, the locals had set up shelters and umbrellas with seating. Many guests went there for a swim and a relax. The locals had coconut drinks for when guests got thirsty – it was very special. Species Seen: encrusting corals, boulder corals, barrel sponges, lionfish, schooling trevally, boxfish, nudibranchs, whip corals, gorgonian fans.”
Star Harbour & Santa Ana, Frigate Isl: “Some went for a snorkel off the beach which gave some excellent corals and fish. Others were transferred out to Xplorer by Steve and they snorkelled over the wall. Snorkelling was superb. Divers encountered a school of squid, and spotted 2 black tip reef sharks. Species seen: School of squid, 2 black tip reef sharks, school of curious batfish, branching corals, bannerfish.”
Nendo: “Divers had a magnificent time exploring overhangs & swim-throughs adorned in colourful corals. Snorkellers enjoyed experiencing the lush reef flat at 4m. Visibility was exceptional. Species seen: Clarke’s anemonefish, true clownfish, school of bannerfish, whip corals, encrusting corals, lots of sponge life, trevally, fusilier, nudibranchs.”
Elephant Island, Hog Harbour: “Again, divers had a wonderful wall dive and snorkelers really didn’t want to stop. Species seen: encrusting corals and sponges, blue damselfish, Clarke’s anemonefish, juvenile green sea turtle, schools of anthias, Moorish idols”
Malekula: “Divers had an interesting dive using swim-throughs and caves. Dive Instructor Liv spotted a 2.5m dugong! Species seen: Dugong(!), Green sea turtles, encrusting corals, garden eels, moorish idols, butterflyfish, angelfish, anemonefish (Clarke’s, pink skunk), moray eel.”