NEW YACHT FOR THE SIREN FLEET
S/Y FIJI SIREN LAUNCHES OCTOBER 2013
Our ever growing fleet of luxury liveaboards will expand again in 2013 as we add the S/Y Fiji Siren to the list of Phinisi Schooners. Frank, who has also built our other Siren Fleet yachts, has confirmed that the building is ahead of schedule and that the boat will be ready by April 2013. This will allow plenty of time for the S/Y Fiji Siren to stretch her sea legs and make the journey to Fiji from Indonesia ready to begin cruises in October.
Like her sister yachts the S/Y Fiji Siren will be a 40m Phinisi with 8 double or twin bed cabins. She will retain the same great features such as the spacious dive deck, comfortable lounge and the camera charging station along with minor adjustments to increase your comfort.
Of course you can expect the regular Siren Fleet inclusions:-
Free Aqua Lung rental gear
Free soft drinks & beer
And the Poseidon MKVI recreational rebreathers will also be available on board for courses and rental.
The Phinisi Tradition
The S/Y Fiji Siren will be the 5th Phinisi Schooner built in Sulawesi by Frank and his master builder team, however not only consideration of our guests and diving facilities go into the building the yachts, but a whole heap of history and tradition too.
Our Phinisi boats come from a long tradition of boat building that goes back hundreds of years and many of the techniques used to build the Siren Fleet have changed very little since then. Most of the construction is still done by hand with very little modern equipment. The Phinisi is traditionally a two masted sailing ship that has been sailed widely by the Buginese and Makassarese people for trade, transportation and agricultural purposes. The Buginese people have a rich sailing tradition and used the phinisi to sail from modern day Indonesia to New Guinea, the Philippines, the Malayan peninsula, northern Australia, India and even as far as the Persian gulf.
The wood used to make our Siren Fleet is primarily Indonesian kayu jati, or Ironwood, in the hull. Teak and other softer woods are used to make various other parts of the construction including the deck. Indonesian ironwood is an amazing material. It is extremely heavy to pick up, in fact it sinks if you put a piece of it in water. It is so hard that you cannot scratch it with you fingernail and it is impossible to drive a nail into it. All the construction is done by drilling holes into the wood and planks are joined using screws.
The style of construction and the materials used are not the only thing that is special about the construction of our fleet; there is great culture and ritual surrounding it as well.
For instance, construction of every Phinisi begins the same way: with the laying of the keel. Once this enormous piece of ironwood is placed on the beach it is cut to the appropriate length as measured and directed by the boat builder. This occasion is accompanied by strong tradition and ritual that combines both Muslim and pagan religious beliefs. Fascinatingly, once the cutting begins it CAN NOT BE STOPPED for any reason whatsoever—the saw must keep moving until the cut is made all the way through this huge, incredibly hard piece of wood.
For the launching of every Phinisi, a goat is slaughtered and its blood is spread throughout the construction in key places so that its strength and energy are imparted to the boat. The goat’s hind legs are also of great power and significance. They are cut off and hung with a rope from the back of each boat, just above the waterline to help kick the Phinisi forward through the waves. The legs remain on a new boat until nature forces them to fall into the sea. You should see them if you swim around to the back of a new Phinisi.
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DIVING IN FIJI
Diving in Fiji is renowned for it's stunning soft corals that provide a breath-taking array of colors along each of the reef walls. Divers can see a variety of sharks and rays including manta, grey reef, hammerheads and silver tips along with schools of fish. Drift dives, often with strong current, over steep walls and pinnacles are to be expected throughout the island's many varied and exhilarating dive sites.
Fiji Siren Liveaboard Itinerary
The S/Y Fiji Siren will offer 7-night & 10-night diving safaris to Fiji departing from the Darling Family's Volivoli Beach Resort, situated just 2.5 hours from the Nadi Airport on Viti Levu.
Our first stop will be the Namena Reserve followed by 2 days in Savusavu Bay where we can expect to see hammerhead sharks, before we cruise eastwards to the Somosomo strait, Rainbow Reef and Taveuni Island. Here the soft corals come out in force!
The Lomaiviti Island Group is the next stop on our itinerary with some superb drift dives at the Nigali Passage and relaxed dives in the coral gardens of Wakaya & Koro islands, where manta rays and reef sharks are commonly sighted.
Our final day is spent watching spinner dolphins at Moon Reef, before we cruise back to northern Viti Levu to disembark at the Volivoli Beach Resort.
The Darling Family & Volivoli Beach Resort
Nick Darling and his family, originally from New Zealand, settled in Fiji in 1993. Managing Ra Divers, they have developed a wealth of knowledge of diving in Fiji and have since taken over ownership of the Volivoli Beach Resort, investing in renovations but continuing to provide “laid back luxury”. The resort & dive centre are renowned for their friendly and helpful staff and with Siren Fleet’s liveaboard know-how and exceptional service we feel we have a winning combination.
Dive and stay packages, with preferential rates have been put together to offer to Siren Fleet guests, enabling you to combine your liveaboard safari with a resort stay and dive Bligh Waters & the Vatu-I Ra Passage from the resort.
Day trips to Beqa lagoon are also available along with many land-based excursions to immerse yourself in the the Fijian culture and sample the delights of the Kava Ceremony.
On any dive in Fiji you can expect to see healthy soft corals in a variety of types, though one of the most commonly seen species if the Carnation Coral.
Scientific Name:- Dendronephthya sp
Food source:- Zooplankton & Phytoplankton received through night-feeding and filter-feeding
Colour:- sporting a wide variety of vivid colours from white & pale yellow to striking pink and deep purples.
Reproduction:- Budding and Fission, some species will release eggs and sperm year round
Soft corals such as the Carnation Coral absorb nutrients from the water and look the most resplendent after tidal movement.
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SIREN FLEET JUNE SPECIALS
As a special introduction to our newest diving destination we are offering all our newsletter subscribers a 10% discount on any Siren Fleet 7-night or 10-night safari to the Lomaiviti and Taveuni Islands, Fiji, sailing between October 2013 and April 2014.
Trip prices start from 2350Euro per person and you can see full rates and schedule on our website. Contact our reservations team today for the full itinerary and to reserve your place!
Bookings must be confirmed by 30th June 2012 to receive this special offer.
Best wishes from the Siren Fleet team back to top
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