Beqa Lagoon Fiji Trip Report Oct – Nov 2023

Written by Webmaster

19 January 2024


Trip Report written by club member Jane Wong


Day One

After a long day of transfers and a 3 hour taxi journey into the jungle that is Waidroka resort, I arrived just in time for a singing circle and kava ceremony whilst waiting for the rest of the club members to arrive – with some lucky participants arriving just before midnight for a 7am start the next day. Our first dives of the trip resulted in some of the group seeing “the largest guitar shark ever” and then being scolded by our militaristic dive guide – this set the tone for our visit to Waidroka, where we experienced quite a bit of strong talking to’s.

Day two

We woke up bright and early, ready for a day of diving the renowned Beqa Lagoon Shark Dive. Serious business only as we were given a very in depth briefing of the dive plan the night before, we had to be on our best behaviour after yesterday’s misadventures. We were all in high spirits as we arrived to the dive site, greeted by nurse sharks circling the boat and incredible conditions of glassy blue water which apparently were the best the dive guides had experienced. While waiting for the other boat to arrive we jumped in for a sneak peak of what the dive would be like, snorkelling with at least two dozen nurse sharks. The dive itself was breathtaking; we were treated with at least 15 bull sharks and despite our guide’s concerns – zero eaten divers.

Day 3

Today we took a 1 hr boat ride to a super untouched atoll called Cakau Lekaleka where we were spoilt with what a lot of us agreed were the most pristine and colourful reefs we had ever experienced. Lots of swim-throughs, an endless wall of diverse corals, gray whaler sharks, blacktips, whitetips, and hawksbill and green turtles galore. This was unfortunately our final night with The Goleby’s and we decided to send them off with a band. With an attempt to put his Taveuni learned skills to the test, Kyden climbed his first coconut tree – or attempted to at least – with a successful retrieval of one coconut but an unsuccessful landing, resulting in him landing square on his coccyx. A few cheeky local gins over many card games turned into drunken charades that had all the staff cackling at the end of the night.

Day 4

Our second set of shark dives saw us witnessing a very rough mating interaction between two tawny nurse sharks, whipping up a frenzy quite close to the location of our safety stop. One very close-up encounter with a bull shark for one of our divers resulted in another stern talking to by our militaristic dive guide, leading to some choosing not to dive for the rest of the day. Those who made that decision ended up choosing correctly, as our dive ended up being a 30 minute drift over 50m of sand after the current ripped the guide off the site and we were advised to follow. We called it an “exploratory” dive and went back to the resort early for lunch.

Day 5

Our last dive day and we set off to try to compensate for our failed exploration the day before, despite not so ideal conditions. We set off on a treacherous boat ride out – equivalent to a rough journey out to the Yongala, but looking at our trip leader Danielle you would have thought we were on water ride at an amusement park. While the rest of us tried to keep our breakfasts in our stomachs, she looked like she was having the time of her life. Our first dive, as could have been predicted, ended up being a washing machine dive – losing Richard on our descent and our dive guide breaking his mask. We managed to burn off a few calories fighting against raging currents, but didn’t manage to see much. The second dive was, blessedly, much more relaxed after the initial workout of the first – where we enjoyed colourful corals and lots of critters.

Overall the resort and guide left much to be desired, but the shark diving was unparalleled.

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