Bird Island

Oh blog… how I’m getting behind.  I’m just going to try to do a short post on this and add the pictures tomorrow.  Really the pictures are what speak for the day and they are on my friends laptop.

The girls (minus Mallory) and our trusty hobie 16

After the amazing race and getting a REALLY good nights sleep we woke up and went to Uprising/Pac Harbour for just a day trip.  Sarah Aussie, Sarah Canada, Brittany, and I got up and took the 8 or 9ish bus.  By the way we definitely recommend Pacific to take for buses here.  They are decently spacish, always have some sort of awesome pirated movie (this time it was The Loch Ness Monster and then Jurassic Park), and are fairly nice.  Sunbeam is the other one recommended.  When we took it to Nadi the bus was freezing with the air con, the movie was horrible and loud so we couldn’t sleep, then the bus broke down on the way, and the seats were teeny tiny.  Not so good

Unedited picture of the beautiful water off of bird island

Anyways the group gets off the bus with our stuff, walk to the beach and immediately see John and Mallory laying on the beach.  Yay friends!  While catching up Brittany and I glance over and see a white sail boat setting up maybe 50 feet away.  Could it possibly be Tod, our sailing friend from before?  We take a casual stroll over and yep it sure is Tod.  Still couldn’t remember our names, but remembered our faces!  He immediately asked us if we wanted to go sailing.  We told him we had friends too and so he offered up Phil and his boat too.

This picture pretty much contains the whole island.

He was so nice asking if we wanted to go to Bird Island, Beqa, Yanca, or another place.  We were just chill anywhere would be awesome.  He told us he and Phil would figure it out, he got us snorkel gear from Uprising, and said he’d just take $10 for the day.  So he kept setting up, we put our luggage away, and got ready.  We all hopped on his boat (yes 7 people on a hobie, we were ridin’ low) and he sailed us to Phil.  Got off, divided up, and sailed to Bird Island.  It took about an hour and a half or so.  Just me, Mallory, John, and Tod.  Learned even more about Tod’s life.  It was awesome to hear another American perspective on Fiji and just to hear what he’s done an his commitment to his daughter even across the ocean.  Just amazing.

All the girls and our two trusty guides > Phil and Tod

We talked the entire hour and a half, the four of us.  And then we start approaching the island.  Picture perfect Pacific it was.  Turquoise blue water in all shades.  Surrounded by coral.  The island was just bleached corals all piled up.  One tree, some bits of vegetation.  Maybe 30 by 70 feet squared.  Maybe.  Just gorgeous.  Phil and the rest of the girls meet up with us there.  We walk around the island, pick up shells and things, and then start picture taking.  After all, if you’re somewhere this gorgeous it has to be documented… especially if you’re with a group of girls with only one camera.

Gotta love class group on the beach jumping pictures

So we take a bazillion pictures and while a few of the girls just laid in the sun, Sarah Canada, John, Mallory, and I went snorkling.  It was one of the best snorkling experiences I have ever had.  Oh how I wish I had an underwater camera.  The corals were beautiful and there was so many fish in all the colors.  Tiny bright blue fish, larger rainbow colored fish.  Valleys, peaks, canyons… a whole underwater world.  I even saw a sea turtle!!! Which is amazing because they are pretty rare.  I didn’t want to stop.  Only did because I was getting tired.  But every way I turned was another new and beautiful site.  Taking coral reef ecology definitely helped me appreciate the diversity and just different things on the reef.  But we had to go back to shore.

Then John and Tod and Phil and I went and sailed the boats fairly fast, trying to get them to tip up on one half of them.  Not as fast as the sailing clinic, but definitely not bad at all.

((actually now that I think about it I’m not sure I’ve told you about the sailing clinic… that happened after the amazing race, not this (I think…). But we just went on the hobie cats racing team with some of the top racers in the world.  They hooked up and took us up to speeds of 12 knots.  Rose and I were in a boat together.  It was so fast, the wind in your hair and tipping up so you’re almost sure the boat is going to capsize.  having to lean over the side to keep it steady.  It was amazing.  There’s a clinic this weekend, but sadly (well kind of) I won’t be going there, instead to Port Denarau!))

Anyways back to bird island.  After just a bit we went back to the island, got back on the boats and headed back.  It took longer to get back for sure and it was pretty cold with the wind and the water and being shaded by the sail.  Not as much talking on the way back, just a big.  We then got off, ate some food (we were starving after that day), and took the bus home.  Such a perfect day.  We had left Uprising around 10am and didn’t get back til almost 4pm.  Just casual friends, fun, and the beautiful Pacific.  It’s days like those that I live for here and make me sure I want to come back someday.  Take my family or friends and just show off the wonders.

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About Meg LaFollette

I studied abroad in Fiji for 5 months in 2012 and absolutely fell in love with traveling! I went to New Zealand right after and then Peru this summer. When not traveling (and sometimes during) I love healthy, environmentally conscious living. Animals, biology, horses, and behavior are other passions of mine.
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