Frontier Fiji, Island of Gau
Trip Start Jan 05, 2007
1Trip End Mar 14, 2007
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Where I stayed
We arrived at our new home Naviavia Beach - 5 Staff, 2 Conservation Apprentices (unpaid interns) & 25 Research Assistants (RAs). There was a race for the bures - traditional palm thatched huts. Here we were to run the gauntlet with crabs, mice, moths & rats who all wanted to be inside our mosquito net havens, not trapped outside them
Conservation training involved dive training for those not qualified & then we had to learn 120 species of fish, 26 families of coral & numerous algae & invertebrates, in addition to the survey techniques called Baseline protocol to measure all these things. We put out 4-8 baseline teams of 4 each day until we started to have supply issues. The supply boat was weeks late & it got to the point there there was not any fuel on the island, so we couldn't use the boats to go anywhere. There were lots of challenges - we had compressor issues which curtailed our diving, so there were snorkel baselines too. We also had a few injuries on camp - a dislocated shoulder & one of the guys was knocked out playing 'stuck in the mud' on the beach, which neccessitated a medivac back to Suva
We did collect lots of scientific data which should help monitor the situation on the coral reefs. We also did some awesome diving, of which Nigali passage out at the Barrier Reef was the best dive (out of the 178 I have ever done!).
I am now revelling in the comparative luxury of fresh water showers & a proper bed & food with vitamins at a Backpackers called Tsulu at Pacific Harbour before heading off to the Yassawa Islands for a few days.