Liveaboard Diving in Somosomo Strait
WHAT TO EXPECT ON A SOMOSOMO STRAIT LIVEABOARD
Somosomo Strait liveaboards will usually visit this narrow stretch of water between the island of Taveuni and Vanua Levu, as part of a Fijian dive itinerary. Strong currents push the water back and forth through this passage bringing along nutrients for the soft corals and sea fans that cover the whole reef often referred to as Rainbow Reef. The vertical walls you find here make it a spectacular dive area and drift diving here can give you a real adrenaline rush.
SOMOSOMO STRAIT UNDERWATER
Liveaboards to Somosomo Strait are known to provide an enormous variety of coloured soft corals on the dives, with the nutrient-rich currents bringing the reef to life. Large bushes of white, brown, pink and orange come out when the current is running so they can feed on all the passing nutrients. This makes a beautifully colourful sighting. However, if there would be no current the soft corals would retract into barely visible balls. Because the water here is so nutrient, there is a lot of food for smaller organisms and thus for the big fish as well like pelagics, manta rays, white tips, kingfish, barracudas and by times even leopard sharks.
DIVE SITES OF SOMOSOMO STRAIT
As the name reveals, Purple Wall is a wall totally covered with a dense layer of purple soft coral trees, whip corals and sea fans swaying back and forth in the currents. In between the many overhangs and arches, you can find many soldierfish and squirrelfish.
At the entrance of Somosomo Strait you'll find one of Fiji's most significant dive sites: Great White Wall. This is an amazing wall and drift-dive with a spectacular concentration of white soft corals what looks like a pile of snow. When the current is running, the soft corals appear out of the wall to feed and this sight looks like a glow on the wall.
Jerry's Jelly is a drift dive during which you will mostly feel and see nature's force while two bodies of water try to push through a narrow channel. After the drop-down to 18 meters, you'll go with the current while finning only gently for steering purposes only. On your way, you'll see many garden eels rising up, Spanish mackerel, dogtooth tuna, white tips and also nudibranchs. During the crossover of the reef to the side of the reef in the lee of the current, you might experience an adrenaline high when you look down at the speed of the current beneath you.
Another amazing colourful dive site is the Rainbow Passage. Here you'll find all the colours of the rainbow, all soft corals. This is a large submerged reef with abundant marine life and an amazing feature of soft corals. There is a number of pinnacles sticking out of the reef, all covered in different bright colours. Here you'll find different species of fish and invertebrates including nudibranchs, clownfish housing each in their own anemone and Christmas tree worms.
Further down Somosomo Strait is a dive site called Annie's Bommies. This is the one dive site you will notice a notable difference in depending on whether there is a strong current or no current. When there is no current it is a pretty dive site and there is enough going on to catch your eye. However, if the current is going it's an explosion of floral beauty, soft corals featuring big boulders all covered with different colours of corals and surrounded by colourful basslets. This is not a wall dive so you can take your time staring at all this beauty and don't forget to keep an eye out for leopard sharks resting on the bottom, maybe together with some blue-spotted stingrays and some moray eels sticking out of their holes.
TOP TIPS FOR DIVERS
This dive area is best suited to more experienced divers due to the strong currents.
Be sure to take adequate thermal protection since currents can make feel the water colder.
Make sure you have your buoyancy in order and diving on steep deep walls you might want to set a depth alarm on your computer.
GETTING TO SOMOSOMO STRAIT
Getting to the dive sites of Somosomo Strait means first heading to Taveuni Island. Somosomo Strait lies in between Taveuni Island and Vanua Levu. Some of our Fijian liveaboard vessels will cruise or sail to Taveuni Island.