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Friday, August 19, 2016

FIJI: Underwater, Yasawas' Other Blue Lagoon

First saw this "collagen-lipped bulls-eye" marked fish in Fiji of Makongai.  Off Blue Lagoon Resort, Fiji Yasawas, I was able
to finally get a reasonable photo of one.
Fiji Yasawas "other" Blue Lagoon* -- the one off Nacula Island -- rather than better known and in our opinion, too deep Blue Lagoon anchorage off Nanuya LaiLai Island offers some nice snorkeling.  

*Again, credit goes to Rich and Cyndi of Legacy for turning us on to Fiji's "other" Blue Lagoon.
One many colorful parrot fish off Fiji Yasawas Nacula Island.

Nacula's hardly world-renown, like Namena or Sosomo's aptly-named Rainbow Reef off Taveuni.  Nor does it earn the snorkel/dive accolades that Beqa does.  
Not quite sure how this little catfish off Yasawas Nacula rated a pair of remoras cleaner-fish, who more typically service sharks, rays and the massive emperor Napoleon parrotfish.  Of course, none of those big players were present on this reef.


Another common colorful South Pacific reef fish which,
embarrassingly, not sure of its species.  Off Nacula, Fiji,
Yasawas Nacula isle.
The coral is not that awesomely colorful, though there is some good sized bommies.  You're unlikely to get the "wow" factor of exotic bigger sea life, like turtles, sharks or mantas.  

But... you can walk off the beach, swim, dinghy or kayak and almost instantaneously be amidst the reef.  "The other" Blue Lagoon (Resort) reef is just so darned accessible and pleasant.  

The usual reef players with a little twist are all there.... a wide array of parrot fish, some dinner-plate-sized angel fish, little blue chromis, a whole host of other stripey colorful fish and an intriguing new-to-me or two.  While not crowded, you might need to keep a sharp eye out for flippers of less observant snorkelers.

Before you dive in, you're sure to enjoy the easy anchoring, long stretches of sandy beach, friendly resorts and happy holiday-ers.  Afterward, there's a nice range of trails, beachside walks to ambles of varying steepness for territorial views (more on that in my next post).
Close up of a big school of silvery fish.  Not sure what these were... Jackfish?  They were about 1 1/2 feet long.
Off Fiji Yasawas Nacula island reef, the "other" Blue Lagoon.
I never even got around to snorkeling the reef on the other side of Oarsman Resort, much less looking into the local dive shop snorkel and dive tours.  

Simply leisurely enjoying sunny, dry, Nacula, the time went by all too fast!  If you're looking for a mellow spot to get wet when you want to, Fiji's other Blue Lagoon Resort makes it easy.


The arc of Nacula Island's Blue Lagoon Resort is easy to see.  If you look carefully, you'll see our small sailboat at anchor
at the upper right of the reef.   Fiji, Yasawas.

Location Location
This is a recent retrospective from when we anchored off of Nacula in Fiji's Yasawas, (S16.54.761 E177.23.024) July 19th - July 24th, 2016.  We are currently moored off Vanuatu's Port Vila, Yachting World Marina, (S17.44.722 E168.18.726) readying to cruise Vanuatu.


Cruising by the Numbers
  1. We cruised just under 440 miles in Fiji, between late May and early August.  
  2. Our August 2016 sail from Fiji to Vanuatu was 525 miles.
  3. Our May 2016 sail from New Zealand to Fiji was 1090 miles.
  4. December 2015 - May 2016 if we weren't cruising New Zealand or hunkering, we were making massive road trips from New Zealand's tip to its tail.
  5. From December 2014 - November 2015 we sailed from Northern Florida's Atlantic side to New Zealand, over 10,000 miles, with more than a few stops in between.
  6. Prior to that we sailed sailed from St. Lucia to Florida and also spent a season cruising the Bahamas.
Up Next
After Vanuatu, New Caledonia.  After New Caledonia, Australia, by December 2016.  There, we plan to sell our boat, and go back to work, somewhere.