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

October, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Martha & Jeff Hubbard, NY, US
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports)
Report Number 4386
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Australia, PNG, Hawaii, Palau, Chuuk, Kosrae
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
81   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
Photography hindered by not being able to charge batteries.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
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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