Hi, this is Divemaster Fred, Chief Adventure Officer of Taveuni Dive Resort. Please stand by for an important announcement!
I'm armchair management while the important people are offline dealing with this little thing called Cyclone #Winston. Have you heard of it? Apparently a lush tropical paradise like Taveuni does not like the 200MPH winds that go with a Cat 5 Cyclone like #Winston, which was the strongest, meanest, and least helpful storm to hit the southern hemisphere on record. I mean, come on Winnie! You're subjecting the happiest, friendliest people on earth to a storm that destroys homes and decimates infrastructure?! That's lame! ...I suppose if anyone can come back with a smile on their face, it will be the Fijians, right?
So why am I filling up your bandwidth/Facebook timeline/Twitter feed with this little pep talk?
Our inboxes were flooded (see what I did there?) with well wishes and notes of concern. Thank You. Here in the states, I've spent an insane amount of time tracking down the latest news and status of folks in the vicinity of the resort. It's largely good news. Unfortunately, I've been updating Facebook, and not the website.
I wanted to share some other very important information:
- We are safe, the resort is in great shape. We consider this an exceptional test of the safety and security of our construction & operations. Our guests at the resort are happy, and mostly comfy (You can't always be comfy when you hear 200MPH winds, but our guests were able to sleep!)
- We are OPEN, and still accepting reservations! We'll be contacting our travel partners in the coming days to also let them know the good news.
- The next few days will be a little hectic. While the resort is open and in great shape. Our trees have few leaves, and there is a lot of debris in the gardens. We expect that to get cleaned up in the next few days.
- To keep them safe, We pulled our beautiful fleet of boats and tied them down. In the next couple of days, we will put a couple of them in the water. Our marina was hit badly, and the jetty protecting the moorage was destroyed. We'll need to rebuild it -- soon. That said, we will be fully operational, with dive capability in the next week or so.
- Dive conditions are messy right now, but expect them to return to normal in the next month or so. Topside, leaves take a bit longer, but by your trip this spring, things will be returning to normal.
- If you are concerned, and thinking of cancelling your trip, or putting off making your reservation -- please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll address your concerns as soon as I can, in a realistic manner. The fact is, our staff want to meet you. Shameless plug --> the most important thing you, as a tourism customer, can do speed the recovery is book your trip. Kind of tacky, yes, but the fact is, the revenue your trip generates spreads through the entire economy, and is really important. Don't believe me? Ask Fiji Tourism!
A few other items:
- I've been posting a slew of current updates on Facebook. I'll continue doing that. Try heading over there for current information, so we can keep your inbox tidy.
- Communications are tough right now. Mom can call me from on top of a hill behind the house, and the connection sucks. They have no internet access, and most folks don't have phone access right now. Please be patient.
- People are tired, stressed out, and emotionally exhausted. There was tremendous loss. Honestly, I expect the casualty and death tolls to increase as communications is restored to the outer areas. All those positive emails will help them when the internet connectivity is restored.
- We really appreciate all the kind thoughts you have sent our way!
- Looking for someone? I can confirm our staff and guests are safe and sound. I've been able to confirm the safety of several other people. If you haven't heard from your loved one, check the Facebook Safety Check-in for Cyclone Winston, your Embassy, or the resort they were staying with. The Minister of Tourism has stated that all tourists have been reported safe.
That's all for now.