Diving For Life: 116 divers take over Beqa Lagoon for a week

Last week Diveplanit helped organise one of the biggest scuba diving fund raisers in the world: the 2022 Diving For Life Gay & Lesbian SCUBA Jamboree.

This huge event attracted over 100 divers, largely from North America, to have fun, enjoy Fiji’s underwater world and raise funds for health charities that support the LGBTQ community. Diveplanit Travel facilitated the event, coordinating all the Fijian service providers, from ground transport to accommodation and diving. A mammoth operational task that involved:

  • 116 delegates with 96 divers in the water every day for five days.
  • 4 dive boats and 12 dive guides operating morning and afternoon dives each day.
  • 216 tanks filled each day and over half a tonne of lead dive weights
  • 96 shark dives at Beqa Lagoon’s world famous ‘The Bistro’.

Big thanks to the amazing Fijian operators involved, which included the The Pearl South Pacific Resort & Spa, with diving managed by Aquatrek Fiji and ground transport by Tourism Transport Fiji. Natalie Marletta and her team at The Pearl were outstanding, hosting flawless events each night to entertain guests, while Aquatrek’s head of diving operations, Jona Baro, pulled off an incredible feat, coordinating 96 divers every day without a hitch!

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The week-long event kicked off on Fiji Day, where delegates joined The Pearl staff in celebrations, with parades, singing and dancing on the resort grounds. Each night the Pearl hosted guests for themed dinners including a South Seas dinner, Bollywood Night, and a Fijian Meke and Lovo Feast.

On the final night, A Gala Dinner was held: the ‘Time Travellers’ Reunion’, so themed to highlight the fact that many of these divers hadn’t seen each other in over two years due to Covid-19 border closures. The most important events, a silent and live auction, raised USD 110,000 for medical research that supports the LGBTQ community.

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The event is four years in the planning and was originally scheduled for October 2020. Organisers Matt Kaine and Tracy Taggart are delighted the event was the success it turned out to be. At the end of a busy week, Matt Kaine had this to say to delegates:

“Today we say goodbye to Fiji and the Pearl which has been home to our group all week. And what a week!! Thank you to the staff of the Pearl and Aqua Trek for showing us the wonders of this part of Fiji. We also had a very successful year raising funds for health charities that support the LGBTQ community. It was a week of new friends, old friends, and amazing memories.”

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