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Next stop… Castaway Island!

:: Saturday, February 16th, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

After breakfast all the guests were instructed to bring their luggage to the dive deck so that the crew could off-load it to the shuttle bus when it finally arrived. Well, the shuttle bus was almost an hour late which was going to put Julie and myself in a bind because we had pre-paid tickets for the ‘Tiger IV Shuttle’ to take us from Nadi to Castaway Island. The ‘Tiger IV’ is a high-speed catamaran that serves as a shuttle service to all the out-lying islands in the Mamanuca Group. Our boarding tickets were for the 12:15 pm shuttle to Castaway Island and if we missed it we would have to wait until 3:30 pm for the next one. Remember now, the bus ride from Suva to Nadi takes three and a half hours with no traffic… are you doing the math yet!!

The shuttle bus, which was supposed to pick us up at 7am, showed up just before 8 and after packing it to the rim with fifteen divers and all the luggage and extra crap that goes along with us we finally disembarked at about 8:05 am. The ride back to Nadi was a bit cramped, but at least it was a peaceful and scenic trip. The three and a half hour trek gave me some much needed downtime to listen to my iPod and to absorb some of the events of the past week. As I think back on it now, I remember that I was making mental notes to myself for use in my online journal, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they were. I just keep remembering the song that was playing and wondering how the week had gone by so fast! There is no better way for a diver to do Fiji than on the Aggressor!

We made it back to the Nadi Airport at about quarter to twelve and then spent the next ten minutes digging our luggage out of the bus and trying to find a taxi to take us to the Denarau Marina on the other side of Nadi (a twenty plus minute ride). Guess what! We made it to the dock and boarded the boat just as they were throwing off the lines and lifting the gangway! I’ll tell you what… if that taxi driver had slowed down the sneeze we would have missed it!

Anyway, everything worked out and we arrived on Castaway Island an hour and a half later. We were greeted on the beach by several of the Castaway staff and then lead to the Sundowner Bar for a cool drink as we filled out our registration paperwork. Then, after a short tour of the resort and a quick brief of the ‘where’s & when’s’, we were shown to our Fijian style bure (bungalow) where we found our luggage waiting for us.

Later that afternoon we spent some time at the pool and then got cleaned up for dinner, a couple of frozen drinks and then back to our bure for a rest filled evening and a comfortable bed!

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