Sunday 21 November 2010

Dive the World Capital of Soft Coral with Tui Tai

Situated on the Somosomo straight off Taveuni, the 32 km Rainbow Reef is home to countless varieties of fish and invertebrate but what makes it so unique for divers is the amazing soft coral.

Soft Corals are soft-bodied polyps that lack limestone skeletons of their hard coral relatives. They retract into the reef so they appear invisible but when tides and water movement is running correctly, they inflate with water, extending their polyps into the current to feed. Their swaying bodies move like jelly in the current, and when they are in full bloom rich array of colors are truly spectacular.

When the current increases so does the amount of plantivores such as antheas and other beautiful schools of reef fish. When you dive the Somosomo straight at the right time and the coral and fish life are at their best is easy to understand why Jacques Cousteau coined it the Soft Coral Capital of the World.

On the Tui Tai we dive a variety of site all dependent on the tides, current and conditions. One of our many favorites is the Great White Wall. This is a wall dive with lots of colorful soft corals, marine life and swim throughs but when the conditions work with us we descend down the wall and at about 20m/60 ft a beautiful white iridescent coral comes out and covers the wall. It is difficult to describe this breathtaking display so I have a few photographs to give you a better idea.

The Rainbow reef is only one of our many dive/snorkeling highlights as we sail around remote islands in Fiji’s North. The different islands provide a large amount of diversity both above and below the water. Underwater we have greatly varying topography, marine and coral life every place we visit.

Come join us on the Tui Tai to experience firsthand the amazing natural phenomenon Jack Cousteau coined as "The Soft Coral Capital of the World".

photos & words

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