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Tiger Sharks of Beqa Lagoon

tiger shark 1If you have been a certified diver for a while you’ve probably been on a shark dive or two. Whether you’re a fan of them or not, they are undeniebly exhilarating and exciting! There are many destinations that offer shark dive/shark feeds; however, none of them are like “The Cathedral” in Beqa Lagoon, Fiji!! The interactions here are unlike anywhere else in the world! Tiger sharks, tiger sharks, and more tiger sharks! They just might be the most beautiful fish in the ocean. The way the sunlight dances off their stripes while they slowly move through the water is simply majestic!

“The Cathedral”

“The Cathedral” (a 70′ dive) is a relatively new dive site that was developed in the past few years as Beqa Lagoon Resort’s own “shark dive” site. They previously did their shark dives just outside Pacific Harbor at “The Bistro”. The Cathedral not only offers a ton of bull sharks but also white tip, black tip, reef, grey reef, lemon, and nurse sharks! All in abundance. This is one of the fishiest dives we’ve ever encountered where you may even spot a Goliath Grouper hanging out! But the main attraction here are the tiger sharks. Aaron, Beqa Lagoon’s dive shop manager, says they have had up to 13 tigers on one dive (which ended up being a very short dive!)! Our experience brought us three tigers ranging from 10′-15′ in length which was plenty for tiger 2everyone. These tigers come face to face with everyone to say hi and have their photo taken. If you’re a fan of sharks and shark dives, this is a MUST DO!

  • What? – Tiger shark diving
  • Who can go?- Any certified diver
  • Where? – Beqa Lagoon, Fiji
  • Why should I do this? – Because it’s AMAZING!!
  • When is the best time to go? – Year round but April – November has the most tigers.

 

Black Water Diving

blanket octopus

Blanket octopus – by John Mackiewicz

Are you looking for a new kind of diving? Something unique?  Or maybe you’re a photographer who wants to photograph a new subject?  If so, black water diving may be for you!

Imagine yourself drifting through the open ocean at night while watching the upward migration of plankton and the unusual critters that feed on them: Paper Nautilus, Blanket Octopus, Pelagic Seahorse’s, 10-foot Salp Chains, jellyfish, Flying fish, Moon Jellies, and much more.  This is Black Water diving!

Aquaventure’s Ben Moore and John Mackiewicz ventured to Analao, Philippines to try this unique dive experience. They absolutely loved it!  These unusual dives took them to depths of 20′-125′ while drifting through the water near a downline marked with a glow stick every 15 feet.  The dives required a light to attract the subjects, good buoyancy to maintain their depth, and a bit of luck and patience!   The results are stunning and give voice to the great variety of rarely seen creatures in our magnificent oceans!

nautilus

Nautilus – by John Mackiewicz

What camera gear to use?

Any underwater camera system that is set up for macro photography with a spotting light will work just fine. The little Olympus TG-5 is perfect for this!

Ben was shooting a Canon 70D with a Canon 60mm macro lens in a Nauticam housing with INON Z-240 strobes. John was shooting a Nikon D850 with a 60mm macro lens in a a Nauticam housing and INON Z-240 strobes. You can see more of John’s work @johnmackiewicz on Instagram.

squid

Squid – by Ben Moore

Some of the best known black water diving destinations:

  • Anilao, Philippines
  • Singer Island, Florida
  • Palau, Micronesia
  • Kona, Hawaii
  • Lembeh Straits, Indonesia
  • Routan, Honduras