Fiji Scuba Diving Hammerhead Scare, Nadi, Fiji!
Snorkeling off Nadi, Fiji
Diving and snorkeling is one of the only things to do in Nadi, and they have plenty of it. Couple hours in the water, checking out the reef and fish we returned to land. Funny how water, applying constant resistance to your muscles when swimming, can create an immense appetite. We returned and unloaded the boat before the divers had arrived and all sat down to devour the food before it even hit the table. Few of the people from the hostel went to play a game of volleyball and cool off in the pool after. Drying off after the pool we looked over to see a group of people huddled in a circle. I thought it was a little early for a drinking game but hey, I'm in! As we approached we realized it was one of the girls from New Zealand and an Aussie guy sitting in a hammock telling a story or sorts.
Stingray in the distance in Nadi, Fiji
We tuned in, having missed the beginning but heard the incredible story about what had happened during their dive.
As our boats had parted ways, the divers headed towards Namotu and Tavarua, two twin island not far from each other. They got dropped off in between to sink down and commence their dive from however many meters under surface. They had agreed with the boat "captain" in about an hour, they would rise, raise their "sausage", which is a tall inflatable tube you hold out of the water to get your location noticed, and get picked up once they were done. Problem being, as they began to rise at the end of the dive and pressurize properly, each time they had to stop, the current would move them from their pick up location. By the time they had reached the surface, their position was a fair distance from where they were supposed to be, and with the swell picking up, since they were outside the coverage of the islands, the sausage was not visible.
Don't panic, they thought, our guide will eventually realize we are not where we had arranged and do a couple laps looking for us. Swimming in this would be exhausting and useless, just wait. They put some air into their vests and sat floating at the top of the water, the dive guide, an Aussie guy and a Kiwi girl. After some time, and some nervous talking to ease the discomfort, the Kiwi girl said to the Aussie, "Hey mate, you're flippers are hitting mine." She looked over here shoulder, and he was about 6 or so feet away, it couldn't be him. The guide? He was not within touching distance either. They both looked at her "What?" Her face dropped and she looked down to see a silhouette of a long object swimming under her. Hammerhead Shark. Anyone's natural reaction is to NOT stay calm. She started to kick her feet and warn the guys! The guide took control, said the smartest thing to do is keep their backs to each other, in like a triangle, and face the sharks so they cant come behind you, and stay still. With the air in their vests keeping them afloat, they just sat there bobbing in the water with their eyes fixated below them at the passing shark. Minutes later, another hammerhead arrived. Two hammerhead sharks, circling curiously below these three's helpless feet.
No hammerhead sharks for us! Nadi, Fiji
Finally, after what seemed like a decade to themk, which turned out to be over an agonizing hour, a faint sound arose, and they noticed in the distance, coming over the waves was the boat guide. They waved frantically trying not to kick their feet much, and as the boat got closer, the sharks disappeared. "I could not have got in that boat any quicker" laughed the Kiwi girl who was somehow in a joking mood. After the story was over, and every dissipated to do their own thing, I sat with the Aussie and Kiwi and asked them, would they go diving again?
"We got one lined up for tomorrow, and its my last day, so I guess so" Was his answer, and sure enough, the next day, he was out there again. Lucky for Alex the Kiwi, she didn't have to deal with that dilemma, that was her final dive for the trip but she said she'd most likely go diving again on her next trip, whenever that may be.