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Friday, July 22, 2016

FIJI: Sawa-i-Lau, Snorkeling with Yasawa's Fishies

Neon clams against mauve coral.  How cool is that?!?  Sawa-i-Lau, Yasawas, Fiji.
Unwilling to pop $55/person for Sawa-i-Lau's caves, I looked a little deeper for my fun - snorkeling!  

Hard to believe, but nearly a month passed since my last snorkel, on Makogai.  

Best of all, the tourists came mostly for Yasawa's  Sawa-i-Lau caves, so the likelihood of a fin in my face was low -- for the most part these crystal clear waters were all mine!  The skies were sunny, the waters warm, the coral heads, substantial.
These guys like to hide in plain sight, motionless., almost as though the believe they're invisible.  In the right spot,
they very nearly are.  
Sawa-i-Lau, Yasawas, Fiji.
Like the Tonga's Ha'apais, Yasawa's  Sawa-i-Lau reefs appear to be partly in recovery.  While there is some dead coral, some corals remained healthy and others bear bright new "buds" of growth.  


Our friend Patty of Armagh called this set-up "the Nursery."  Sawa-i-Lau, Yasawas, Fiji.
The reef is populated with the usual tropical pretties... Again, like most of Tonga, turtles, rays, sharks -- larger species, to me  the primary indicators of a vibrant ecosystem were are noticeable in their absence.  

Still, definitely worth the dip.


Curious?  Or protective or harassed?  Clownfish in anemones.
Sawa-i-Lau, Yasawas, Fiji.
And thanks to finally seeing Finding Nemo, whenever I see clownfish, as I did there, predictably amidst the anemones, I keep hearing Albert Brooks (Marlin) and Ellen DeGeneres (Dory)'s voices.  While I'm not nor do I have any intention of bagging the cuties for anyone's aquarium, I now wonder if they feel harassed and protective, when before i just thought they were curious.


Not sure what this was, but its head reminded me of a seahorse,  Tip to tail, it was about five inches long.  Michele & Mark of svreach.com noted it is indeed a relative of the seahorse -- a pipefish, perhaps a dragon-faced pipefish.  Sawa-i-Lau, Yasawas, Fiji.
In the reefs, the only thing I take, is pictures.

That fuzzy-looking reddish creature in the lower right corner is bad news for the reef.  It's a crown of thorn,a coral eater with a  voracious appetite.Sawa-i-Lau, Yasawas, Fiji.
Another crown of thorn, this one's the sea foam green colored spikes, below the white coral.  Sawa-i-Lau, Yasawas, Fiji.
Location Location
We are still in Fiji's Yasawa islands, anchored off Blue Lagoon Resort, Nacula island (S16.54.761 E177.23.024).  Sawa-i-Lau was our anchorage (S16.50.808 E177.28.047) before this one.

The changes in tides and light transformed the colors and shapes of these cool rock spires at Sawa-i-Lau, Fiji's Yasawas isles.
Cruising by the Numbers
December 2014 to November 2015 we sailed over 10,000 miles from Florida to New Zealand.  where spent cyclone season.   In May, we sailed 1,000+ miles to Fiji.  Next we’re off to Vanuatu, New Caledonia finishing in Australia, 4,500+ miles later.  There, around November, we’ll sell our boat, travel a bit, then go back to work …somewhere.