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Dive Review of Fiji Aggressor III in
Fiji and Tuvalu

April, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Chrisanda Button/Rickie Sterne, Arkansas, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 7 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4297
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamaas, Bay Islands, Belize, Caymans, Cozumel, Turks&Caicos, Sea of
Cortez, Australia, Fiji, Truk, Yap, Palau, Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, dry  
Water Temp
80   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
no deco diving; return to boat with 500 psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The boat had a small carpeted camera table in the salon.  Many
nonnphotographic objects gravitated to that surface.  With only four
cameras onboard and only two in use on every dive, the space was just
adequate.  None of the camera was large. The battery charging station was
always full, but we always found space for our chargers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
     Our booking a second dive holiday aboard the Sere ne Wai, now the Fiji
Aggressor III, attested to how much we had enjoyed both the boat and the
diving on our first trip to Fiji.  Unfortunately, we encountered three
problems and disappointments on this trip that we had not experienced
before.  None of these problems arose from the boat itself, but the trio
did affect how much we enjoyed this trip.
     The first two problems were generated by the Aggressor home office in
Louisiana.  About five days before our scheduled departure, the Aggressor
office notified us by e-mail that the release forms they had sent us and
which we had returned at least six weeks before were the wrong forms.  They
demanded that we fill out new release forms and fax them to Louisiana
before our departure.  Of course, we had nothing else to do four days
before we were scheduled to fly one-quarter way round the world.  No jobs,
no packing, no driving to Little Rock to board the plane.  We did, in fact,
fax the forms to Louisiana a few hours before takeoff.  When we boarded the
Fiji Aggressor, the captain said they had not received our release forms. 
We simply filled them out on the boat.  So why all the hassle from the home
office?  Last year, when we dove from one of the Caribbean Aggressors, we
were given two weeks' notice that the Aggressor office had sent us the
wrong release forms and similar demands were made.  At that time, the
excuse offered was that a new owner had just taken over the company.  Ten
months later that always weak excuse just won't wash.
     By placing a second boat in the same waters in Fiji, the Aggressor
people have also detracted from the diving experience itself.  Small
pinnacles seem crowded with two boatsful of divers.  If one group dove a
site first, there was less sea life for the second group to see.
     The third problem was entirely of our own making.  We booked our trip
for the last week in April, only to discover that spring is not a good
season for diving in Fiji.  The 80-100 foot visibility we had enjoyed while
diving the same sites in August was reduced by half.  The currents were so
slack that Fiji's signature soft corals were not expanded, and the
pinnacles seemed much less magical.
     Those problems aside, the Fiji Aggressor III remains a comfortable
boat that provides a good platform for diving.  We were pleased to
encounter familiar faces among the crew.  Captain Ned runs a tight ship and
leads a good night dive.  Chef Luke continues to serve delicious meals
thrice daily and to make the best omelets and French toast we have ever
eaten. Luke did marvelous things with the fresh mahi-mahi the engineer and
divemaster caught over the blue.  Divemaster Mosese did an heroic job.  He
had one very dependent diver whom he had to care for completely while also
watching nine other divers, including one relative newbie. He had to swim
his "buddy" back to the boat and then return to the pinnacle
where the other divers were still exploring. Despite his unusually arduous
workload, Mosese still found neat critters for all the divers and
cheerfully led night dives when we were the only two interested in the
reefs rather than the free wine.  The crew is safety conscious; they sent
an extra crew member on the shark feeding dive just to help the newbie(who,
as it turned out, did just fine and had a blast).  The cabins are the usual
Aggressor configuration, double berth below and single berth above, but
they are slightly larger than those on the Caribbean boats and have full
size bathrooms with abundant hot water and good water pressure.  The
comfortable salon included a good marine ID library. The whole boat is
spotlessly clean, despite the fact that we never saw anyone cleaning it.
     While the visibility was disappointing, we did see a good number of
fish and critters. Several very obliging blue ribbon eels posed patiently
while we fired off our cameras.  Four species of anemone fish swam around
the numerous anemones.  We found eight varieties of opistobranchs and half
dozen of flatworms.  Clouds of anthias and dartfish surrounded every
pinnacle.  During an afternoon dive in the Nigali Pass we encountered a
school of barracuda worthy of Palau's Blue Corner.  Mosese showed us a
pygmy seahorse that made the Indonesian Hippocampus barbaganti look huge.
On a night dive in the same area, we saw flasher wrasse, a cocooned
parrotfish, and a small pack of hunting whitetips.  Palette surgeonfsih
darted about in elkhorn coral.  A dozen varieties of butterfly fish swam
around the reefs, while titan and clown triggerfish nibbled on corals.  We
saw a fair number of small groupers.  Even with the soft coral collapsed,
the pinnacles were colorful and healthy.  Three varieties of hawkfish
populated large seafans.  A half dozen varieties of shrimp, including one
Saron shrimp and one golden mantis shrimp, hid in crevices.  Careful
scrutiny showed us tiny soft coral crabs and crinoid shrimp.  Had we not
known from previous experience how much more beautiful these pinnacles can
be, we would probably have thought the diving was quite good.
     The meke at Makogai village was a high point of the week. Fijian music
and dancing are special! 
     Traveling to Fiji is made more pleasant by the national airline, Air
Pacific. Air Pacific treats its economy class passengers kindly, and their
flight schedule promotes sleeping in the air.   
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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