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Ukala Via translates from local Marovo language as beyond your wildest imaginations.

Name Dive Site:Ukala Via
Inserted/Added by: lisa

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Our area is blessed with numerous long underwater points protruding from various parts of our 3 offshore islands. The tops of the points range from 1-8 meters- perfect for our long shallow water times. Slipping over the north side at Ukala Via (Marovo Language for "beyond your wildest imaginings"), we descend to deep ridges hosting giant fan corals feeding in the current that swiftly bears us towards the first point, awash in jacks, barracuda, surgeons, dogtooth tuna, Spanish mackerels and ocean triggers, with the ever present outriders, gray reef sharks.

We fasten our reef hooks carefully, and enjoy the feeding frenzy for as long as our computers allow. We round the corner to a breathtaking wall of brilliant golden soft corals, studded with fans, laced with ledges overhung with snow-white soft corals. With blue and yellow fusiliers streaming over the wall and bright pyramid butterflies feeding, I am drowning in colour. We find a minute pygmy seahorse, contrasting with the giant bumphead parrot fish that vie for our attention. The second point becomes a golden fairyland, with yellow damsels abounding in the gold corals; anthias of every color swarm alternately feeding and courting-the males "rounding up" the girls and alert for any opportunity to steal someone else's.

As we round the point, it is time to ascend to the shallows. The top is often storm and surge washed, and the environment and inhabitants are completely different from the world we just left. Electric blue palette surgeons glow, male Jansen's wrasses turn varying shades of blues and greens, rare zebra dart fish hide among young wrasses, yellow spotted scorpions hide tucked in their coral heads, while the giant parrots and strange looking titan triggers feed. Cleaning stations abound, affording us some close photo ops. Reluctantly we surface, carrying photos and memories and ready for more.


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