My time in Fiji is coming to an end, something which I’m not overly happy about! Having originally planned to stay for 2 months, I extended for an extra month and now Tovuto base really does feel like home; it will be hard to leave.
I arrived not knowing the first thing about diving, but the legend that is our dive instructor (Ron) taught me up from a complete beginner to advanced open water in just 5 days (I’ve now clocked over 80 dives in 3 months). Myself and the two other volunteers were then unleashed to learn the different types of sea cucumbers, corals and other mysterious entities that dwell beneath the ocean in the Yasawas. These I would get to know very well in the coming months.
Learning the surveying techniques and what we were surveying took around 2 weeks . So by the time that most of the volunteers I arrived with left, at the end of my first month, all the new marine volunteers arrived. I was able to teach them what was what, along with Tai and Candice (the Marine Science Officer and Science Coordinator). I then moved onto surveying fish in my 3rd month. It really is a satisfying feeling knowing that what you are doing will make a difference to people’s lives, the environment and the future of this beautiful place.
It’s not all hard work though, we are on Fiji time after all. We try and do a fun dive every week ( a dive where we don’t survey), but to me all dives are fun! Normally we try and go to Cathedral (the shark dive), but all of the dive sites around here are as equally impressive and fun. I’ve seen many different types of shark, eels and ray; I’ve also been lucky enough to see turtles on numerous occasions!! We have also came across a beautiful pod of 8 dolphins on our boat journey back to base, after we finished a survey, which was incredible!!
One of the best things about base though; is that it is not just a bunch of divers, but Education and Construction volunteers as well. Making friends with all of these volunteers, and the local families, is one of the things that I will remember forever. When everybody comes together; be it for a movie night, scavenger hunt or one of the crazy parties (we’ve had a few)!! We are one BIG Fijian family!!
This is an experience I will never forget!