Fiji - September 2012

T-1 - last-minute preparations

Saturday 29th September

Sandy and I continue to make preparations for the holiday. For the most part, we sort of get on with doing things we each need to and without distractions from the other. Sandy, for example, has been packing the kids’ suitcases and buying kids clothes. With the kids off school this week, it can’t be easy for her.

For my part, I spent much of the afternoon shopping for a very particular camera with underwater housing - alas, without success. We already have the Canon Powershot D10, which is already an underwater camera but only rated to 10 meters. Although I’ve already attached this to my external strobe, it’s going to be somewhat of a crap-shoot as to whether it survives the rigours of SCUBA diving to depths of more than 10 meters. The very real risk is that the camera will not survive one of the dives. Unfortunately, this particular camera does not have an underwater housing for it, which would have allowed me to safely take it down to 40 meters. Well, I discovered only today that there is a Canon Powershot D20 camera that was recently released and that this camera DOES have an underwater housing available for it. I decided this afternoon to try to see if I could source one here in Melbourne - a tough ask given that we fly out in only 2 days. I called the manufacture, all the dive outlets and pretty much every last retailer that sells cameras and underwater housings - not just here in Victoria but in most other states too. Nobody, but nobody, had the underwater housing here in Melbourne and nobody was willing to commit to being able to get it sent to Melbourne before we depart for Fiji. It seems that the gods are against me on this one so we’ll just have to live with the hope that the D10 will survive. The dive operator in Fiji did tell me that there are some shallower dive sites there so hopefully it’ll all work out.

Yesterday, I gave a lot of consideration to whether we should have some sort of SCUBA review. I decided in the end that this was probably a good idea and have spent $55 on an online PADI dive refresher course. It’s a course that’s intended for experienced divers that haven’t dived in a while and so suits us perfectly. I’ve already completed most of the training and I can honestly say that I’m glad that I did and that it was $55 very well spent. Sandy has yet to do so but, again, it will be difficult with the kids whizzing around. Hopefully, I can take the kids for a bit at some point over the next couple of days to allow her the time to sit at the computer for a couple of hours.

A couple of weeks ago, shortly after I booked the trip, I fell ill with a nasty bout of influenza. It really hit me hard and, quite uncharacteristically for me, I spent several days off work and tucked up in bed. I kept telling myself how fortunate it was that this didn’t coincide with the holiday. Well, as bad luck would have it, I’ve been suffering from more sniffles over the past couple of days and I’m only tonight starting to feel like I’m coming out of it. I haven’t been so bad this time as to lose time off work but I’ve been coughing and sneezing and blowing my stuffy nose nearly constantly for 2 days now. I have just a couple of days to shake whatever this is but I remain optimistic.

I’ve booked a spot for our car into a parking facility just outside of Tullamarine airport. Since we’re departing very early in the morning and arriving late in the evening, it worked out to 8 days at a total of just under $100. It’s the same facility that we used when we went to Florida a year ago. They’ll take the keys and park the car inside for us and whisk us off to the departure terminal in one of their shuttles. Since we have to check-in around 06:00 in the morning, this means that we’ll have to leave the house here at around 04:00. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that but at least we gain a few hours by the time we get to Fiji due to the timezone difference.

No doubt we’ll be very tired by the time we get to our resort in Fiji. I do hope the Plantation Bure that we’ve booked is as nice as it looks on the various web-sites and Youtube videos. We are all sleeping in the same room with either a King-sized bed for us and a couple of convertible sofas for the kids or 2 double beds - one for us and one for the kids. We won’t know that until we get there.

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