30-Dec-2005 -- During the planning stages of a trip to Fiji, my wife Randall came across The Degree Confluence Project. She had got the family going with Geocaching, another GPS related activity. This seemed like another version of the same game, finding a location based on Lat/Lon coordinates. We were headed to the Yasawa Islands, north and west of the Fijian "mainland" of Viti Levu. There was one confluence about 10 miles off shore. After one unsuccessful attempt to charter a boat to the location I was ready to give up. Three days before we were due to leave for home I approached Ross, the manager at the Octopus Resort on Waya with a chart, the GPS and the plan to visit the confluence. After a chat with his boat captain, Sikuri we decided that a 5:30 am departure would get us to the point some 20 miles from the resort in about an hour. The early departure would hopefully find the ocean somewhat more placid than later in the day.
My son, Max and I climbed aboard Bubblemaker, the resort's 24' dive boat at 5:30 am with Sikuri at the helm. We had the confluence point in the GPS and a line plotted to the location. We sped out of Lukiluki Bay into open water. As we rounded the corner into open water the flat water of the Bay turned into swells and chop. It was going to be a long ride. Sikuri did an expert job at getting us to and from the point. There was only one reef on our plotted course that had to be avoided. The Yasawas were running north and east of us on the way out and we could see Viwa Island to the south and west.
After an hour and fifteen minutes we approached the confluence point. The sun was rising steadily, the wind was blowing 10 to 15 knots and the sea was running 2 to 4 foot swell with chop mixed in. Needless to say it was not the most steady platform on the now seemingly small boat in a very large ocean. We got the compass out and took our cardinal point photos, GPS and visitor photos. I also took photos NE and SE. The NE photo shows Yageta and Matacawalevu. The SE photo shows Waya, where we came from.
The trip back went somewhat quicker in that the sea was somewhat to our stern. We stopped at the reef that was in our path for a moment for Sikuri to look at. It was a nice knob. This reef and most of the others in this area are only visited by guests of the Octopus Resort. There are few dive operations in the area. Shortly thereafter we ran in to a pod of dolphins. We slowed to observe them for a short time as well.
We were back on dry (is)land by 8:00 am in time for a lovely breakfast at the Octopus. Many thanks to Sikuri, Ross, Paulie, Fredrina and the wonderful staff at the Octopus for taking excellent care of our family and friends during our time at the Octopus. The accommodations were nice, food outstanding, fun activities, excellent dive operation (both of our children at age 11 learned to dive with Fredrina) and a great beach and reef. We have also enjoyed bodyboarding there during Dec, Jan and Feb. A very special place in paradise.