FIJI:Dive Kadavu--as good as Fiji can get!

FIJI:Dive Kadavu--as good as Fiji can get!

Post by Daniel Kessl » Sun, 04 Aug 1996 04:00:00

If the Somosomo channel separating Taveuni from Vanua Levu and the Beqa
Channel are getting a little kicked-in with so many flippers, then head
South to Fiji's 4th largest island, Kadavu where a number of dive resorts
have opened up shop such as DIVE KADAVU, MALAWEI, NUKUBALAVU and a host
of others such as Albert's Place which are barely more than 'diving
camps' with a few pup tents!  Kadavu, pronounced 'kan-dah-vu' has twice
daily service from Nadi with two airlines, Sunflower and Air Fiji.  I had
been down to the Astrolab Lagoon aboard the ill-fated Molly Dean but we
never ventured beyond the island of Ono which is due North of Kadavu
across a narrow channel so this was terre incognito for me although I've
clocked in over 150 dives in Fiji on 8 trips!
When you get off on the dirt strip at Kadavu, be prepared to wade into
the water to board an uncovered launch for the 20 minute ride to DIVE
KADAVU.
The resort is clustered along a steep hillside with a small beach with a
dining area and a few bures.  The real excitment here is the diving and
DIVE KADAVU has a stable twin-hulled 27-footer with 2-80 horsepower
motors and a flat deck with new aluminum tanks.  There is space for dry
storage and the dive staff of Peter and Bure came with color charts
showing the dive site and couldn't be more helpful.  Underwater
photograpers were given leeway to do their thing and no 'follow the
leader' here!  
The dive sites mostly consisted of large c***'bommies' or c***
pinacles within a 15-20 minute boat excursion.  Many of the bommies had
'pass-throughs' for those enamored of tunnels.  There's even a blue
ribbon eel that can generally be located.  White tipped reef sharks were
also in evidence along with pretty corals, soft and hard but no turtles
or rays.
The general plan is two morning dives with a small break on a nearby
beach where refreshments are served and back to the new dive site.  After
lunch, a 3rd dive is offered providing there are 4 takers at an
additional charge.  Generally speaking, this plan seems to work best for
the non-diving spouse.
The individual bures were comfortable but some bathrooms lacked screening
for the omnipresent mosquitoes.  Before dinner, there was the usual hors
d'oeuvres consisting of sashimi with a make-shift Wasabi sauce.  The
lunch and dinner menus were limited and choices between two options were
made a breakfast.
Outside Rainbow Reef, DIVE KADAVU does have a super dive site of
comparable value called 'the evil trench' where you descend to 135 feet
and pass through a cravass to a larger gallery opening onto the open sea
at 170.  A fat Bronze Whaler patrolled above and with the excitment of
the deep dive, I experienced the kind of 'RUSH' that is the hallmark of a
great and seldome encountered dive!  Four days at DIVE KADAVU and I had
visited all of their major sites and went on to four days at NUKUBALAVAU.