29 Nov 2011

Save our sharks, Miss Fiji to tell pageant

Please support Fiji's Miss Hibiscus at the South Pacific pageant. She is championing the Fiji Shark Campaign as part of her bid to become Miss South Pacific. This is a great way for us to get the message out! Please spread this on all your Facebook, Bebo, Google + and Twitter networks!

You can support her by voting for her at :misssouthpacificpageant.ws/about-us/contestants-2011.html. You can do it once a day so come back again and again to assist the effort of protecting sharks in Fiji.

Miss Hawaii is FAR ahead at the moment, let's get Miss Fiji up there!

Save our sharks, Miss Fiji to tell pageant


Miss FijiReigning Miss Vodafone Hibiscus Alisi Rabukawaqa will advocate for the stop to the exploitation of sharks across commercial fisheries at the Miss South Pacific Pageant in Samoa next week.

Hibiscus Event Group Executive secretary Aqela Cakobau in a statement said Miss Rabukawaqa would use the pageant as a platform to advocate for shark protection.

“This issue has prompted me to use the Miss South Pacific Pageant platform to champion the protection of the shark species, a species that is held in high regard (as a totem) in the Pacific, and particularly in Cakaudrove where my mother hails from.

“Sharks have a critical role to play in keeping the marine ecosystem in balance,” the Bua lass said.

“As Pacific island people who rely heavily on our marine resources we must be in the forefront of protecting these resources and support initiatives that drive governmental policy changes to save sharks from extinction and at the same time protect the future health of our seas.”

Preparations began in October for Miss Rabukawaqa. Brothers Craig and Warwick Marlow design her sulu/sarong category wear, award winning designer Epeli Tuibeqa who’s designing her traditionally-inspired category costume, music composer Igelesi Ete is assisting with her talent. Head of Communication at the Fiji National University Shailesh Lal is also working with her on her communication and public speaking skills.

The Hibiscus Event Group is funding all aspects of Miss Fiji’s preparations and trip to Samoa and Pure Fiji is donating gift packs for Miss Fiji’s fellow contestants.

The Miss Fiji entourage will leave for Samoa on Sunday December 4.

The Miss South Pacific Pageant proper will take place on Saturday December 10 at the Samoa Cultural Centre.

Vote for Miss Fiji

17 Jul 2011

Let us dive!!!

No blogging, no diving, no nothing... So no diving has just been for the last week, but it feels like it 's been almost as long as no blogging, which has been considerably longer, no surprises there!

When Kini at Hideaway Activities meets pro surfer Kelly Slater at the airport, you know that Windguru was correct, and the big swells are a reality. Many pro surfers, many tow ins and alleged 100ft faces at Cloudbreak, but as I can't find anything about that on the web, I'm guessing the coconut express is exaggerating a little.

Predicted three metre swells were enough to get us to take Skylark and Stingray to safe harbour in Korolevu a week ago, where the boys were on guard through out the high tides, though not sure how much was guarding and how much was drinking kava... Monday was pretty messy, with the swells building, but Tuesday was the biggie, with 20ft waves hitting Fanny Hill at low tide. High tide brought waves over the wall at Hideaway, several of which made their way to the pool, much to the surprise of the guest still swimming. Six inches of sand was deposited on the bottom of the pool, along with several fish, and a gaggle of hermit crabs, so no pool session for us the next day. All shiny and new again now, though somewhat colder and a little salty. Returning to the instructor house revealed that the house was still standing, though the high tide mark was way behind the house, big coral chunks in our garden, which now has more sand on it than the beach. The beer bottle mountain under the house was proven not to be the only support holding it up, as they are now spread all the way to the lemon tree. Captain Indiana Spider Cat did not have to go down with his ship...

Monday looks like it will be OK to dive (please, please, please), boats will be back and it will be interesting to see what has happened to the dive sites. Stingray will have changed the most, but is pretty resilient, and I don't think I'll be finding my mask on Casbah in the near future, might be worth a walk along the beach... The poor old blue starfishes had a hard time, and many were washed up on the beach. Naiomi made it a kid's club activity to put all the starfish back, which was great until the kids started playing frisbee with the poor things. We'll have to see if the nurse shark that has been hanging out on Big Foot and Sundance is still around, and the Napoleon wrasse harem...

So dive shop super tidy, kit all beautifully polished, boats scrubbed and shiny, compressor shed sorted and cleaned, van scrubbed to within an inch of it's life, dive instructors and dive masters all ready to go - here's hoping!!!

I'll update you on what we find underwater soon... Plenty beer botles, I'll wager

6 Mar 2011

And you thought you'd got rid of me....

So, same old excuses, it's been a while, but I have been back in the UK for 6 weeks since christmas, having a wonderful time catching up with family and friends, who kept me busy even when they were fed up of me ;O) I've returned to Fiji, and am starting my second year at Fiji Hideaway - hurrah!! There are even a few people I have seen again - Lesley and Mike (well done Mike for completing your open water course, look after Lesley!) and David. All the staff at Diveaway Fiji and Fiji Hideaway are still enjoying telling me how fat and white I am - apparently it is a compliment in Fiji! I blame the cheese, so good...

My first week back I had several awesome dives on Stingray, I have my favourite rock where I regularly find scorpion leaf fish, durban dancing shrimps, cleaner shrimp, and snowflake and moray eels, which I am keeping a secret... I also found a robust ghost pipefish - one of those 'it would be really cool if that piece of algae was something more exciting - OH MY GOD IT IS' moments. My first time divers were suitably unimpressed that I made them spend 5 minutes looking at a small brown not much moving thing - little do they know they may never see one again! A few days later it was a snub nose pipefish, which was still there the next day - the fish book says its cryptic, so I'm super happy! And mantis shrimps galore, if you're willing to stay still long enough. Fantastic to be back :O)

I then spent a week at Waitabu, a village on Taveuni, doing fish, invertebrate and substrate surveys with the local villagers and other volunteers, under the guidance of Helen Sykes from Resort Support. Waitabu is a locally managed Marine Protected Area that has been in place for 13 years. The villagers recognised that their reef was degraded and the fish stocks were depleted, and requested help in setting up the reserve to ensure fish for their children's futures, initially funded by several organisations. Since then, the village run the project as an eco tourist venture, offering some fabulous snorkeling in the protected area - and it's working! Reef health and fish stocks are up in the protected area, meaning that the fishing grounds have a source of new life, keeping the villagers fed! You can stay in the village in a home stay (you'll be fat and full of kava by the time you leave, the ladies love to feed you!) or you can camp right on the beach front - it is beautiful! Three other villages in the same area of Taveuni also have similar eco tourism projects, and you can hike to the beautiful waterfalls in Tavora Bouma, walk along the coast at Lavena or disappear into the rainforest at Vidawa.

My last week has been spent back down at good old Mango Bay, enjoying the swell that has barely been breaking on the top of the reef. Great conditions and 30m viz on Snapcrackle and Mango Down. Had much fun with Frans and Marincka who had 3 great dives out on the reef, with hawkshead turtles and white tip reef sharks. Ashley, our latest Real Gap open water to divemaster candidate, has been working hard at his advanced and rescue courses, and will hopefully be a rescue diver by the end of tomorrow :O) We did his deep dive on Wonderwall - a vertical wall, covered in soft coral, sea whips and feather stars, and I managed to find a longnose hawkfish on one of the fans at the mouth of the giant trevally cave - another first for me! I must have got my critter spotting goggles back...

More soon, I have heard that there is a leopard shark on Bombay and my mission is to find it... I'll let you know!


10 Jan 2011

Diveaway Fiji (1)

more and more great diving! My first dive on Gunbarrel, the rip channel in front of Hideaway. What a ride...Sharks, loads of Unicorn fish! Came up to the sand flat and had all my bubbles coming sideways with me in the current instead of up!

Today another great dive on Stingray. Everyday something new for me there.

Hump...head Wrasse hanging at 5 meters, and 2 spotted eels in the turtle grass. Amazing! ~Jaxx

Diveaway Fiji