Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blue Lagoon and Nemo

3 October 2013
We went on the snorkel trip to the Blue Lagoon this morning.  Yes, this is named for the movie of the same name, which was filmed on the beaches of one of the islands on the lagoon. 

We piled into the little whaler, and had a 20-25 minute ride out to the beach, which is at one end of the island.  (I think it is Turtle Island, but of course it has a Fijian name and I can't remember the name, some of the words and names are difficult to remember for those  of us who don't speak the language.)  The sand is almost white, the water ranging from bright aqua to deep blue, the sun hot overhead - this is truly a gorgeous place!  

We stopped out from the beach, and were suddenly surrounded by fish - this is part of the routine, and the fish are very used to this.  Each of us was given a cracker to break up and feed the fish - soldier fish, small green fish, larger parrot fish - one parrot fish, the bright turquoise with hot pink strips, stuck his/her face out of the water and looked at us like "Hey, I want some too!" 

We anchored at the beach, and climbed out - this was our snorkel spot.  Richard and I promptly entered the water.  Some of the coral, especially in the shallow areas, was severely damaged in a recent cyclone.  But the fish were amazing, and there was more coral as we went deeper into the lagoon.  More and more fish, some coming so close in front of my mask I couldn't focus on them - they looked like they'd bump right into my nose!

And best of all, a family of clown fish, bright orange with a single white stripe, hanging around their sea anemone!  Well, maybe they were anemone fish, they didn't have as many white stripes as regular clown fish, nor did the white have the little black outline.  But still, they were very exciting to see!

We spent about 3 hours out at the lagoon, then it was time to head back so the tender could be used to meet the catamaran and bring back the new guests for the resort.

I spent the afternoon learning how to make a coconut shell bracelet - basically, an old dried coconut is sawed right across to make a bangle bracelet.  A rasp is used to take off the stringy fibers.  Then we sat and used sandpaper to smooth out the surface and bring out the dark brown color.  Once it was all smooth, the bangle was dipped into varnish and left to dry for a few hours.  So I now have a lovely coconut shell bracelet!

Our new guests are a group of marine biology students who are studying in Australia - but none of them are Australian, and no two are from the same country.  Our entire group is quite a mix, from all over the world - we now represent every continent except Africa and Antarctica.  

There are evening activities after dinner, and as Richard said, it's somewhat like summer camp.  Tonight, we started with the chef (son of the village high chief) and our "activities director" teaching everyone the bula dance - sort of a line dance Fiji style.  Richard and I were made the judges, so we didn't have to dance.  (We thought that was hilarious, but, well, Richard got out of having to dance.  I'd rather have danced, LOL!)  Anyway, we watched the dancers, and picked one young lady (not sure where she's from, but she was very good) and the new Swedish guy, who was very enthusiastic and actually pretty good too.

Other activities (we bailed out at this point) included hermit crab races, potato races, spoon races, who knows what else.  Things to keep the guests amused - and most of the guests are 20-somethings.  We're perfectly happy to go back to our bure and do some time on the internet, read, watch the stars, whatever - we don't need to be kept amused.

So we're still having fun, and settling into the rhythm of life on Nacula. 

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