Of Gau & Weddings
The next day we arrived at Gau, and dove Nigali Passage – one of the most spectacular dives of the trip! We were dropped into a channel and were pushed along by the current along coral encrusted walls, trailing big schools of jacks and barracuda, until we got to a particular spot where there was a crack in the wall. We all squeezed into the ledge formed by the crack, and then the sharkie show began! Grey reef sharks – lots and lots of them! And as we were stationary and not free swimming, the sharks kept getting closer and closer, until all we could see was a wall of grey reef sharks – mindblowing! And among them were the cutest little baby sharks – they made feel like cuddling them, they were so small!! Aaaaw… But Nigali wasn’t done with us yet – as we slowly floated up to do our safety stop, a banded sea krait came right up to us to give a snakey hello!
On a high from that dive, we got back to the boat to get ready for a land excursion to a local village for a Kava ceremony – and an unexpected wedding! Chris and Giacomo announced that they would like to get married at the village that evening, in a traditional Fijian wedding! We were all thrilled for them – and it turned out to be a really touching and sincere ceremony. They were dressed in traditional Fijian wedding clothes, and received many blessing as the villagers sang and danced to celebrate their marriage. We also drank Kava, the traditional Fijian drink made from a root. It’s not alcoholic, but is purported to have narcotic properties, and is shared as a symbol of welcome and friendship – and we certainly felt really warmly welcomed by the villagers. It’s a night that I will never forget, and Chris and Giacomo’s happiness was palpable for everyone to see. Congratulations again to the happy couple!!
The next day was our last day of diving. We explored another coral encrusted pinnacle, where among other things we spotted a banded pipefish and an absolutely huge nudibranch! Then it was back to Nigali passage for another super sharkie dive – the grey reef sharks were out in force, almost as if they were gathering to bid us goodbye and wish us well!