Er Rick...I'm stuck...

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
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Flag of Fiji  ,
Sunday, November 7, 2004

Another day on the island brings another day of diving, this time a wreck dive and a naturalist dive (to study coral etc.) I was up at 8am to meet Rick down in the Scuba hut. Rick, never one to actually follow rules, told me that we were going to dive down into a wreck that we wasn't, lets say legally allowed to! Usually he took people to a wreck close to the island, but fancied a change today. Instead we were going to travel 30 minutes by boat to a recently sunk cargo ship.

This ship had apparently set sail from Nadi but had forgotten to shut its doors. The captain realised after only 15 minutes, but instead of doing the sensible thing and returning to the Port, decided to carry on hoping they would make it to their intended destination. After another 30 minutes he changed his mind and started to turn back but it was too late. By then the ship had taken on far to much water and sank. Although no lives were lost it was a big embarrassment for the shipping firm and the Fiji government, so it was all covered up. There is now no official record of it happening and all access to it is forbidden.

Rick actually told me this just as we were falling backwards off the boat into the water! Torch in hand we descending down to the upside down ship and its enormous hull. Rick had done this before so he knew where he was going, so I made sure I kept close as we entered the ship through a broken window.

Inside was amazing, we swam through passageways until we found ourselves in the main cargo hold, full of lorries laden with stock. Although all upside down and on their roofs you could quite easily see what they were carrying. Rick later told me that there was a Fiji Bitter lorry on here fully loaded with beer, when word spread of this through the neighboring islands, local divers swam down here and looted it of its 'valuable' cargo within days. unfortunately we didn't find any!

It was while we were swimming through the ship I somehow got caught up on a jagged bit of metal hanging down from the ceiling. I still don't know how it happening but as Rick swam off unaware, I was left in the same spot swimming but not moving!

So there I was hopelessly stuck in the dark waving my torch trying to get Ricks attention. Finally after what seemed like hours, but which was probably more like 5 minutes, Rick returned and somehow un-snagged me - panic over! We left the ship after 30 minutes and swam around one last time, passing the gigantic propeller and rudder. To give you an example of the size of the ship, the propeller was the same size as a 2 story house!
I spent the rest of the morning lazing by the beach, reliving my near death experience with anyone that would listen, and playing beach volleyball with the all-to-good staff! You come to realise that their staff, even the old ladies, must play a lot of volleyball as they were far better than us! We came to become very good friends with all the staff on the island. They all seemed to know our first names after the first day, which became a bit awkward when we would forget theirs! I solved the problem by just calling the ladies darling, they seemed happy with this!

Later in the afternoon we went for our second dive to study the different coral in the water. Although it looked nice, it was hard to get excited about it after the dive in the morning! But that said we did see a lot more fish and its hard to have a boring dive!

Ah a hard day in paradise!

As there isnt any photos this time a return of...!

joke of the day

A few members of a local BSAC club went diving off the South coast, amongst them was Jim and Wilma, a husband and wife who always dived together. On the last dive they got separated, Jim surfaced ok, but his wife was nowhere to be seen. They initiated a search but after a long day and night, it was called off and Jim went back home alone and heartbroken.

The next day the club Diving Officer (DO) knocked on Jim's front door and said "I'm really sorry Jim, but I've got some bad news, some good news and some very good news",

Fearing the worst Jim said "Give it to me straight, what's the bad news?"

"Well we've found your wife's body" came the solemn reply,

"Oh my God" wept Jim...... after a while he said "well, what's the good news?"

"You wouldn't believe it" said the DO excitedly "when we brought her up, we got 2 large crabs and 3 huge lobsters!!!"

After some time Jim said "what's the very good new then?"

"Well, we're going to bring her up again tomorrow morning!" The DO retorted.
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