Location: North Astrolabe

Today was a rush! We set out from Suva in the morning with a course plotted to Astrolabe Reef, a large atoll to the north of Kadavu. The trip took about 4 hours, and the going was great, with calm seas and cooler weather, so no need to sweat. The atoll itself was beautiful, with bright blue waters of shallow reefs surrounded by dark blue waters of the deep ocean. In the center of the atoll was an old lighthouse, not in service, of course. When we finally anchored, we prepped the boat for diving and sent out a group to snorkel and explore the reef for potential night diving spots. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans for us. Within the span of about 20 minutes, the weather went from sort of cloudy and a little cold to a full-blown storm! In a rush, we had to pack everything back up again and head for safer waters because the reef we were at was no longer safe.

Another passage to Suva was underway, this time in the middle of the night. Dinner was served below deck and sliding back and forth. With good food and company, the trip wasn’t as bad as it could have been and was honestly quite fun. Experiencing our first storm really put our sea legs to the test, and all crew and students handled it beautifully. The students played cards after dinner and listened to music all night long under the red lights of the saloon, making the best of an unforeseen situation. Now that the scary first storm is out of the way, we all feel ready for anything!

As of tomorrow, we have hit our two-week mark, and I couldn’t be more surprised. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. We continue to look forward to learning more about the sea around us and the boat we live on, and all the things and people in between! Now we head to Beqa (Pronounced Benga) to hopefully start our night dives and progress further toward all students being Advanced Divers!