Location: Viani Bay, Fiji
I think everyone aboard Argo would say that today was one for the history books. I know we say that every day, but I will run the risk of sounding redundant to narrate the unique events of day 49.
Our day began early as always, with excitement in the air for the upcoming dives. We partnered with a local dive company who helped us find the best spots and enabled us to dive as a group rather than having to break our diving up into several days. The site had plenty of new fish we’d never seen, great for the Marine Bio fish ID logbooks as well as every type of coral imaginable. Our Divemaster showed us a type of soft coral called “ghost coral,” which turned instantly white after a small prod.
After a full morning of diving, we moved Argo back to the secluded bay we visited yesterday. As I’m sure you have seen from our pictures, Fiji is incredibly beautiful. Our bay is surrounded by low hills that create a ridge in the shape of a horseshoe. The dry hills slope down to meet the lush green of the jungle-like undergrowth that runs to the water’s edge, where it meets palm trees that lean precariously out over the turquoise water.
After our various athletic endeavors of the previous day, the crew was excited to get back onshore to throw the frisbee and eat with the locals who graciously set up a cooking fire just off the beach. Our pre-dinner game of frisbee catch had only just begun when we were joined by a group of local kids. Their enthusiasm was palpable, and within a few minutes, we had exchanged names and the joyous shouts of “Pass!” as well as Treyyyy! Evannn! Saaaam! Haleyyyy! Saraaaaaa! and Livaaaa! or Ollieeee! (which proved to be easier names to grasp than Olivia) filled the evening air. I like to think of sports as a universal language. (A way of speaking through the love of a simple game that transcends generations, culture and spoken language.) The smiles on the faces of everyone were enough to prove that even on the other side of the globe, a group of people from far away walks of life, with little in common save for the ability to throw a disc, can spend hours that passed like minutes laughing together at the simplicity of life.
We ate our dinner under the dark silhouettes of the palms that filtered firelight and starlight alike, through their gently waving branches. We were graciously welcomed by Elizabeth Fisher and her father Jack, whose family led not only the BBQ but adventures in torch making and fishing by firelight.
All in all, it has been a wonderful day spent with wonderful people. Stay tuned for news of our student lead passage back to Savusavu. Wish us luck!