My foot massage preceded a full body massage in an open bure located right on the sand. A glass of cool spring water is next to your clothes if you are thirsty.’ I forgot I was naked under the cotton sheet. A pearl farm operates down the road from the resort. [caption id="attachment_2119" align="alignnone" width="337"] J Hunter Pearl Farm on Savu Savu Bay.[/caption] Deep water flushed with nutrients and minerals brings out a unique coppery bronze colour. [caption id="attachment_2118" align="alignnone" width="317"] Unique bronze pearl from J Hunter Pearl Farm.[/caption] On calm days, guided snorkelling tours of the pearl oysters hanging on ropes in the depths make an interesting diversion, like underwater retail therapy.
I could see and hear the water lapping at the base of the massage table. My grandmotherly masseuse whispers in my ear after treating my scalp to her heavenly touch, ‘Mr Tom. Pearl farm visits normally excite me about as much as a visit to the dentist but this was different. Hunter Pearl Farm pearls are cultivated literally outside the farm office and shop. [caption id="attachment_2120" align="alignnone" width="318"] J Hunter Pearl Farm workers.[/caption] From real pearls to pearly teeth, it’s an exhilarating experience to scuba dive with large sharks.
Innumerable atolls and submerged reefs separate the two islands.
Across Bligh Water at the western end of the Koro Sea my one hour flight first covers Viti Levu’s mountainous interior.
Like a beached walrus, I lumber as I avoid damaging fragile soft coral with a misplaced fin. A blue clown fish the size of my palm is defending its territory. [caption id="attachment_2096" align="alignnone" width="448"] Grandma Bull Shark pays a visit.[/caption] I turn slightly to check with my guide. A Java Moray eel pokes its sinuous head out of a hidey-hole, mouth agape, protuberant teeth on full view. A school of Giant Trevally do a fly-by, checking out the scene. We’re settled 35 metres deep, holding on to a rock shelf and surrounded by so much life that the ocean itself seems to pulsate. The thirty minutes of down time have flown by faster than the sharks took devouring their small lunch. The eel looks lonely as I check for bull sharks, Nemo and my fellow divers.
Part of the service here is a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres platter brought to my bure before dinner.
A full-time marine biologist works here and I’m set to explore surrounding waters with him.
We decide to dive the ‘Golden Nuggets’, three bommies approximately one kilometre offshore adorned in golden soft coral unlike any I’ve seen.
Blazing colours decorate these outcrops festooned with coral.
Unusually, multi-hued tropical fish pale in comparison. For a moment I wonder idiotically if I should have worn sunglasses. I point at something I don’t recognise and he writes its name in English and Latin on a water resistant sketch pad. [caption id="attachment_2116" align="alignnone" width="259"] JM Cousteau resort dive on nearby reef.[/caption] Cousteau runs a tight ship.