For 200 Fijian dollars (roughly 150-170 USD), you can join a day trip to one of the islands just off the coast of Nadi, Fiji. I figured that I probably wouldn't be in Fiji much during my life, so I splurged. As a result, the day was one of the best days of my year (at least). After leaving the port at Denerau, we traveled about 15 minutes until we reached South Sea Island, which is a tiny beach island with a small resort on it. The island is surrounded by coral reef, and the company who owned the island had a semi-submersible boat with glass windows on the bottom walls. While I tried to take pictures, I don't think that I did the reef justice. It was really incredible.
The next part of the day I spent learning how to scuba dive (included in the price) with a beginner diver from New Zealand and our instructor. Since the reef surrounds the island, we were able to swim right to it from shore. We were both beginner divers, so the three of us stuck close to each other for the entire time, and we only dove to about 5-10 meters, although I was too afraid to look upwards towards the surface, so I can't really verify that. Once again, I'll just say that the experience was incredible, and I have learned that the only way to really see a reef is to be diving through it!
After lunch, I had plenty of time to kayak around the island and lay in the boat and relax. The best part about the kayaking was going through the waves (small as they were) out towards the ocean than laying in the boat as it got pushed slowly back to the shore of the island. I quickly decided that this was one of the best days ever - even before the snorkeling out above the reef and the sailing on a catamaran around the island. I thought the waves were fun in the kayak, but they were way better in the catamaran!
My only regret about the entire day is that despite being so diligent about putting sunblock on my shoulders and face, I forgot about my legs entirely. I have never burned my legs before. Don't worry mom, it's not a mistake I'll make again (hopefully).