Leela Year Six - Across the Pacific

Well.... to our own surprise here we are

08 November 2021 | Viti Levu, Fiji
02 September 2021 | Paradise Resort, Taveuni
29 August 2021 | Paradise Resort, Taveuni, Fiji
10 August 2021 | Western S Pacific
19 June 2021 | New Jersey
14 March 2021 | At sea
05 March 2021 | Raroia, Tuamotus
05 February 2021 | Raivavae, The Australs Group, French Polynesia
04 February 2021 | Raivavae, The Australs Group, French Polynesia
17 January 2021 | Tahiti
13 December 2020 | Papeete, Tahiti
14 November 2020 | Pape’ete, Tahiti
14 November 2020 | Tahiti
01 October 2020 | Fakarava
24 September 2020 | Fakarava South Pass
19 August 2020 | Papeete, Tahiti
02 August 2020 | Pape’ete, French Polynesia
09 July 2020 | Papeete, Tahiti
21 June 2020 | Taha'a, French Polynesia
29 May 2020 | Cook's Bay, Moorea

Diving Fiji - week one

02 September 2021 | Paradise Resort, Taveuni
Graham
We had heard that the diving in Fiji is world class but it has exceeded our expectations by a long way. It reminds us of Bonaire thirty years ago, perhaps even better. Only Bonaire and early Cozumel come close in our experience. There is an amazing variety of fish life, at least equal to French Polynesia with loads of new stuff more common in the Western Pacific, but what really stands out is the vast number of different colorful corals, all completely healthy with zero sign of bleaching and the equally vast array of invertebrates, particularly Crinoids and lots of sponges. Just a much healthier diverse ecosystem than we have seen for a long time. I have posted an album at the link below and in the menu but I will document a few of them here where more information might be useful.

Album

There is a wide variety of very healthy hard corals that would need a book to fully document.









but it is the soft corals that are truly amazing









Many varied sponges and Tunicates







This piece of 'candy' is built by a colony of absolutely tiny Bryozoans



There are anemones galore, most with their specific type of resident clownfish







We missed seeing Crinoids in French Polynesia but this place makes up for that in spades. There are countless different variations. At first glance they look like plants, most of them are found nestled in a crevice, but they are in fact animals. The array of 'branches' are feeder arms surrounding a central mouth. They have legs underneath that allow them to move around. This is the first time we have seen them out and about in daylight.





A lot more Nudibranchs and slugs than we have seen previously. Most of these are less than an inch long so not easy to find despite their flamboyant patterns







There are plenty of large clams but these burrowing clams are tiny



This Sea Krait is actually a true snake that has adopted a semi aquatic lifestyle. It hunts in the water but digests its food and breeds on land. It is extremely venomous but entirely placid so no threat to careful divers (us!)





I've concentrated on the other creatures here but there are fish a plenty



This beauty is a large Clown Triggerfish



The ubiquitous Stone Fish is an absolute master of camouflage





We first saw Shrimp Gobies in French Polynesia. This is a different variety. Each Goby cohabits with a blind shrimp. The shrimp excavates the living quarters while the goby keeps watch. The shrimp keeps one feeler on the goby's back at all times and if the goby moves it retreats rapidly into the hole. Each type of shrimp goby cohabits with a single and unique shrimp. Its a strange world down there....



You don't always have to go far. These wonderful immature (but large) Spadefish are hanging out under Leela




Lest you think this is all 'Blue Lagoon' life, this is our dive buddies huddled down and masked up to protect themselves from the driving rain. It was COLD but the diving made it worth the pain.



Again, there are many other pictures in the album linked at the top of the post. I have included comments where more information might be useful but feel free to ask questions. I wonder what week two will bring....

Take care
Comments
Vessel Name: Leela
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 38.8
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, NH
Crew: Graham and Janaki
About:
We are a Brit and an Australian now based in the wonderful community of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We have a delightful home there but a couple of years ago we began to feel a bit over-domesticated so we thought we would buy another boat and head south. [...]
Extra:
Leela, a Bristol 38.8 has turned out to be a wonderful cruising boat for us. Some might find it a little cramped by modern standards but it feels like just the right balance of living space and storage to us. She sails like a dream. She is remarkably well balanced and is comfortable in pretty [...]
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