Blogs from Caqalai, Fiji, Oceania


Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai March 20th 2016

Over the last two weeks, we have had new volunteers arriving, although in a much smaller number and visited Snake Island a tiny island with incredible coral reefs between ourselves and it. The island is home to many birds as well as sea snakes, although we didn’t see any this time (more like snakeless island). Sea snakes are not shy creatures and have come up to us during dives. They end up growing to 1.5m in length. The dives we are doing now are coral, benthic and invertebrate point outs ready for surveying the reefs. There are around 60 species we need to be able to identify in all their different forms so no easy or quick task. I have also been working on a waste plan for the island ensuring that our practises are something ... read more

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai March 4th 2016

First week back on Caqalai finished this morning, waking up at 5am to say goodbye to the volunteers, who were leaving this month. Everyone gets to know each other very quickly and before you know it people are leaving to head off to other projects, travelling or just going back home. It made me think how fast this month has gone and how over the last two weeks we have been in limbo stage after the strongest tropical cyclone (Winston) ever to hit the Southern Hemisphere. When Winston hit we were already in Suva (the capital of Fiji), we moved to a hostel to meet up with the rest of the group and tried to figure out what was happening, what state Fiji was in and how we could help. We were able to ask The ... read more

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai February 21st 2016

Last Friday we decided to have a trip to Suva, the capital of Fiji. Initially there were only going to be a few of us, however shortly after leaving the island we were met by staff on Leleuvia island (where we change boats) who stated they were all evacuating the island due to the Tropical Cyclone Winston. Soon after this, Caqalai were evacuated and now everyone is in Suva. TC Winston was a category 5 cyclone that ripped through Fiji. Unfortunately there were some casualties and many houses have been destroyed. We were fortunately safe in a hotel in Suva. Caqalai island is been badly affected with the Kava hall being flattened, a coconut tree landing on the Common Room and 3 bures (Fiji houses) are damaged, although we are not too sure which ones. One ... read more

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai February 17th 2016

Already within the first two weeks I have forgotten about the cold UK winter that I left behind as you settle in with your new family of people from all over the world. Presently there are 32 of us- all different ages and all different backgrounds, but with similar passions- marine conservation and diving. So many volunteers have previously said that Caqalai is like living in a documentary, and that was proved by our second week when a night hawksbill turtle started laying her eggs beside one of the bures (a traditional Fijian house). We were lucky enough to watch her as she began hiding the last of her eggs before heading back to the sea. On our 4th open water dive out at one of the marine sites, we saw white tipped reef sharks, turtles, ... read more
leopard snowflake eel

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai March 11th 2010

Bula & Kia Ora!!! (EN below & more pictures on page 2) Het is fijn weer te reizen. Merk dat het me al gemakkelijker af gaat, maak tegenwoordig niet eens meer boekingen vooruit omdat ik echt niet weet wat er volgende week, morgen of zelfs over een paar uur gaat gebeuren. Je wordt er dus erg flexibel van en dat bevalt me wel. Waarom alles compleet plannen zodat de leuke spontane dingen niet meer kunnen gebeuren?! Fiji dus... Wat een zaligheid! De taxichauf zei meteen 'no worry no hurry' tegen me en ik was op slag verliefd op Fiji. Het is grappig te merken dat ik altijd op zoek ga naar herkenning, vergelijkingen maakt, zodat je jezelf gerust stelt. Fiji lijkt een beetje op Bali en gezien ik het daar zo naar mn zin had gehad ... read more
School picture
My class
Posing for the camera

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai November 4th 2009

7/10 At Navua Jetty, we caught the local bus with no windows into Suva. We booked into the Suva Motor Inn again, and it was sheer luxury to have a warm shower and bathroom to ourselves. After the shower it was time to find our favourite coffee place for an iced coffee. The Republic of Cappuccino had changed its name to Esquires Coffee House, but the coffee and food was still the same. The street hassling was more noticeable this time and Phil had to almost shout at the hawkers who were trying to sell us stuff. All part of the experience! After a quick dip in the pool when we got back, it was dinner time again, and we ate in the restaurant at the hotel. 8/10 First thing in the morning it was time ... read more

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai June 28th 2008

We took a small boat to the island of Caqalai which is pronounced "Thangalai." We have a little "bure" with a double bed under a mosquito net and a view of the beach and ocean and the tiny island called "Snake Island." At low tide you can walk to snake island. We only spotted one of the little white and black striped, and highly poisonous snakes hanging out in a crook of the exposed island rock. I guess that's why they call it "Snake Island" and not "Island of Snakes." ;-) We went diving with the Irish dive master and we saw several large schools of barracuda, purple nudibranchs, a tiger fish, and lots of white tip reef sharks. We didn't get any shots of the sharks as they'd have to swim up to within a ... read more
Giant clam
Blue & orange fish on pretty coral
Go Lakers!

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai November 15th 2007

Another lovely weekend on Caqalai Island! This time I snorkelled out to Snake Island - the snorkelling here is the best I have done in Fiji so far.... read more
Caqalai Island
Chilling out on Caqalai
Caqalai Island

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai September 9th 2007

This past weekend I went to Caqalai (Thang-ga-lie) Island for the weekend. It was a great weekend away out of Suva with great snorkelling, lying around in hammocks and not doing much at all. I'll let the photos do the talking!... read more
Welcome to Caqalai
My bure
My bure

Oceania » Fiji » Caqalai May 21st 2007

After many hours of traveling, we finally arrived in Fiji. It was 5:00 a.m. local time, so, unfortunately, we weren’t able to see any of the islands as we flew in. However, the 5 hour bus ride from Nadi (home of the airport - no other reason to go there!) to Suva (the capital) afforded us some spectacular views. It was definitely a unique experience. Loud music was blaring, the bus rattled like it was about to fall apart, people were packed in on top of each other… But we loved every minute of it! Especially the stop at the market in Sigatoka, where we bought bananas (very tiny and bruised looking, but delicious) and kumquats. We didn’t realize that kumquats are really sour -- don’t try to eat them on their own! The woman ... read more
Our Bure
Palm Trees!
Sigatoka Market

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