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Dive Review of Moody's Namena in
Fiji and Tuvalu/North

Moody's Namena, Oct, 2007,

by Martha & Jeff Hubbard, NY, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 4386.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Australia, PNG, Hawaii, Palau, Chuuk, Kosrae
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 81 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 100 to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Photography hindered by not being able to charge batteries.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Moody's Namena is a magical place, which is why it's listed in, "1,000 Places to See Before You Die." The resort is on the ridge of a private island well above sea-level the view is super. The "stair-master" of 110 steps leads up from the dock to the resort (or the owner may give you a ride in his quad.) The place is a labor of love by the founder-owners, Joan and Tom, who began Namena twenty-odd years ago. The island and reefs are a park so there is supposed to be no fishing (and we didn't see any) within the reef.
"Quirky" comes to mind . . . no electricity in bures except for reading lights and little fans (there are gas lights.) One may give battery packs to Joan to take to the office for charging, but they don't get (fully) charged. No screens (but mosquito nets on beds) and mosquito coils discourage many kinds of flying insects. We only got bitten a little - Fiji has no malaria. One dive in the morning, one after lunch. The boat does no night dives, but if you have a light, for US$85 you can rent a tank to dive off the dock. We did two of these and it's a good dive, but to have the very close and accessible magnificent reef and bommies and not be able to night dive them is inexplicable.

Divemaster, guide and all-round good chap Nigel runs the diving. He would be at home leading any topline dive operation: articulate, charming, knowledgeable and skillful. Many of the other dive personnel have weak to no English and knee-jerk responses to many situations, which is difficult with experienced divers. What is supposed to be safety-consciousness comes through as bossy, ill-considered signals under water. But there is no doubt, the diving is magnificent. Pristine corals, many good-size fish, free-standing 70 ft bommies on which you could dive all day (I mean if they would let you) and not see it all. A colony of giant clams lives off the dock at snorkel depth.

Hospitality and meals under the command of Joan and incomparable maitre d' John are good. Beer and wine by the bottle are for sale, but most taste like they came across a lot of ocean in the sun and they did. (You can buy spirits or wine in airport @ Nadi.) The island has the resort with 6 bures, a small staff village, and 110 acres which you can roam, from cleared woods with paths through dense jungle to beaches and rocky shore with excellent snorkeling.

Our party of six chartered a seaplane from Pacific Island Air. One hour from the tarmac at Nadi (int'l airport) to the dock at Namena beautiful ride, absolutely the way to go, but US$4200 round trip (=two round trips for the plane) is steep. The other way is sched flight from Nadi to Savusavu (1 hr) then a 1.5-2 hr boat ride through the northern Koro Sea, which would be a hassle (but cheaper!)

Some minor changes would make Namena vastly more diver friendly (available 120 v power a few hours a day, night dives . . . ) but Joan and Tom have passed the biblical lifespan with a successful business, and are disinclined to change. We hope to go back!
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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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