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Beqa Island trip

Beqa Island trip

This morning we have to leave early to get the boat to Beqa island, to visit the diving volunteers who stay there. We catch the 8am bus which takes us to Pacific Harbour, seek where a small fibreglass boat is waiting for us. Our bags are piled in and covered with tarpaulin, and we sit on the boat’s floor. As we make our way out onto the open ocean the sea becomes rougher and rougher, and soon we are all soaked through. When we hit a really tall waves the Fijian sailing the boat has to stop the engine altogether and wait until it has passed.

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Soon however, the waves begin to calm and the sun comes out, drying off our wet clothes. When we arrive on the shores of Beqa we have to clamber out of the boat into the shallow water, where the sand is like mud and sucks you in. The rough pathway up to the camp where the Beqa volunteers live has been made slippery by rain, and soon my feet and my flip flops have a thick coating of mud.

The camp is little more than a corrugated iron shack with a tiny kitchen and mattresses and mosquito nets everywhere. We have only been there for 30 seconds when we have to run back to the boat to go to the sand bar, a small sandy island which emerges at low tide. We get completely soaked again on the boat but it’s all worth it when we arrive and see the golden sand emerging from the crystal clear water. The boys attempt to start a bonfire while we grab drinks and sit in the beautifully warm ocean. I can’t believe the colour of the sea – around the island it is bright turquoise, which gives way to a deep blue as the water deepens. It’s a stunning place to spend the afternoon and as the tide starts to come in we are all sad to have to leave.

Sleeping on Beqa isn’t one of the best nights I’ve ever had. The mattresses aren’t too comfortable and because of the limited electricity the lights are turned off around 8pm and everyone goes to bed. The constant insect noises make me itch despite the mosquito net and I’m quite glad when morning arrives.

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