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Dive Review of Fiji Island Dancer in
Fiji and Tuvalu

May, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Kathryn S Roberts, FL, US (2 reports)
Report Number 6120
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Florida and all over the Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
Island Dancer II  Fiji, May 28-June 4, 2011

Eight members of the Orlando Reef Divers dive club, seven from Florida and
one from Ohio, made the long trek to Fiji for a week of diving on the
Island Dancer II liveaboard. We chose late May since Fijis rainy season
typically ends in April.  We arrived in Fiji on Thursday, May 26, and were
greeted by heavy rain that day and the next. We learned that it had been
raining non-stop for 2 weeks, so wondered if climate change was going to
impact our trip. Fortunately the sun came out on Saturday morning as we
left the Lami Bay Marina where the Dancer is docked, and the sun stayed
with us pretty much throughout the week. 

We dove off of the east side of the main island, Viti Levu, and went as far
north as the Bligh Waters. We also dove off of Gau, Makogai, and Wakaya.
The diving was good, with reefs, walls, the ever popular E-6, and a
fabulous shark feeding dive. Some of the sites had a pretty stiff current,
but others had no or very little current. The soft corals were beautiful.
The reefs for the most part were alive with lots and lots of small fish,
but we didnt see many larger fish (the locals are just beginning to act on
their understanding that they need to better manage their fishing grounds).
We saw only a few grouper and a couple of sharks (other than on the shark
feeding dive where there were several dozen reef sharks and three very well
fed grouper). A couple of turtles were also spotted during the week. We
also visited a Fijian village on the island of Makogai on Wednesday night,
and were welcomed by the villagers and their Chief with a Kava ceremony
followed by singing and dancing. The villagers are involved in a pilot
effort to restore the giant clam population around their island, and have
many troughs with clams at different stages of maturity. Once the clams
reach a certain size, the villagers transfer them to the lagoons and bays
around the island. 
The boat itself was quite comfortable, the cabins roomy, and the food
delicious. (A few hooks in the en-suite bathrooms would be a nice addition,
for hanging swimsuits in the shower. A few more hangers in the closets
would also be helpful  we only had 4 in ours.) Tanks and fins stayed on
the dive deck at the stern of the boat, right at the water line. Masks,
wetsuits, and cameras stayed up on the main deck, where the dive briefings
were given. While it was a bit crowded when everyone was on the dive deck,
the seas were fairly calm so it was easy to get into your gear with the
help of the crew, turn around, and fall backwards into the water  or a
giant stride also worked very well. (The boat is considering moving the
tank holders up to the main deck, which would provide more room and be out
of any inclement weather. We endorsed that idea.) We also did a few dives
off of the chase boat, usually drift dives that took us back to the Dancer.
The camera table accommodated 7 cameras without being crowded, and charging
stations were set up with 110 VAC power strips. The cabins and salon were
220 VAC with Australian plugs.

The crew was tremendous. Capt. Joji has been a liveaboard captain in Fiji
for many years, and knows the waters well. Ditto for divemaster Mosese,
with 16+ years as a divemaster in Fiji, most of them on this boat when it
was part of the Aggressor fleet. He knows the dive sites like the back of
his hand, and was great at spotting tiny nudibranchs, shrimps, and reef
critters. Two of our group were doing REEF fish surveys, and Mosese was a
great help in identifying fish that were not easily found in the fish ID
books. Peni was our cook, or chef to be more accurate, and we were very
well fed.  Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, salads every day, fresh fish
 fresh as in caught by Peni the night before. Cold breakfast, hot
breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner every day.  Engineer Clinton kept the
engines humming and filled the tanks between dives, and steward Adam kept
the food coming, kept the cabins tidy, and helped out on the dive deck.
Yes, 5 crew for 8 guests. Pretty nice. 

The crew was also very accommodating. When we wanted to dive a different
site than what was on the agenda, there was no problem. And, we were
rewarded by diving a couple of sites that the crew said the Dancer had not
been to before, and were not named on any of the charts. So, there is now a
dive site called Orlando Reef, and another called Robs Reef. One of our
group logged 22 dives, most of the rest of us got 19 or 20.  Not too shabby
for 5½ days of diving.

We had a very good week, and highly recommend the Island Dancer II if you
are planning a dive trip to Fiji. We all spent a few extra days on the
island, taking in kayaking, white water river rafting, hiking, more diving,
and golfing. Fiji is a beautiful country, very lush and green. It reminded
several of us of Dominica. The Fijian people are very friendly, always
quick to say Bula and Vanaka (hello and thank you).   
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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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