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Dive Review of Nai'a in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Bligh Waters, Namena

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Lynn Morton, California, United States
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 5163
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
California, Alaska, BC, Belize, Hawaii, Solomon Islands, PNG, Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 40    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No diving after drinking.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The Nai'a has one of the best camera areas I've ever seen on a dive boat. 
It's a large, completely separate cabin adjacent to the dive deck.  So it's
close to where you want it, there's ample space, and plenty of charging
strips.  You set up your camera and place it by the dedicated rinse tanks
just outside the camera room before the dive.  The crew pick it up for you
and take it to the skiffs.  They are very experienced with handling cameras
and are very, very careful.  After the dive, they bring all cameras back to
the dive deck and place them into the rinse tanks for you.  All you have to
do is remove it and walk about 4 steps and you're back in the camera room.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
I've been on the Nai'a several times before and this trip was one I set up
for my dive club, Alacosta Divers.  I wanted to share my favorite dive boat
with my friends.
First, for everyone that knows the Nai'a is for sale, it needs to be said
that everything was the same as always.  I suspect it will remain that way
when it does sell because why would anyone wish to change such a winning
combination?  We found the same great boat.
We were there in May, on a 10 day cruise.  We didn't have the typical
weather for that season with a bit more rain and cloudy weather than
normal, but that's not something the boat can control.  It did affect our
vis just a bit and the colors weren't as intense without the sunlight.  But
the reefs are still healthy and full of life.  Sometimes, when I came to
the top of a bommie like Tetons or Mellow Yellow and saw the incredible
clouds of anthias and damselfish, if almost seemed as if I couldn't breathe
for all the fish in the water for fear of inhaling a few.  Guess that's a
sign of the bliss factor as well, since I'd forget about the reg in my
mouth and that I can't breathe in water...
Dives were varied with different terrains and conditions.  Fiji is famous
for strong currents and we had some great drift dives.  Other times, there
wasn't any current at all.  There are walls and bommies and sea mounts. 
Often dives finished up on the top of the reef at about 25 feet, for a
perfect ending.
Nigali Passage is one of my favorite dive for seeing lots of reef sharks. 
The dive starts at one end of the passage when the current is swooshing
back into the lagoon.  We sailed along the pass, seeing a few sharks along
the way.  At the lagoon end of the passage, we grabbed hold of some rocks
called "The Bleachers" and stopped to watch the show.  We
probably had at least 20 sharks parading back and forth.
I think the boat is one of the most comfortable live aboards around.  The
cabins are roomy and have good space for storage.  The crew keep the cabins
immaculate.  The salon is a great place to gather and eat meals. 
Everything is served restaurant style and you always have a choice of at
least 3 diferent menus for each meal.  Peni, the chef, went out of his way
to accomodate our folks that had dietary restrictions.  The rest of us just
ate too much!
We had at least 4 dives a day on all the full days and night dives were
almost always an option.  One day we visited Makogai village and had a
formal sevu sevu ceremony, a tour, and custom dancing.  The villagers
welcomed us with all the warmth that Fijians are famous for.  It's a great
chance to see how the real people in Fiji live.
Many of the crew have been on the boat for years, which is a real testimony
to the management.  They welcome you into the Nai'a family and do
everything they can to make it the best trip possible.  The new cruise
directors, Sam and Brigitte, are an excellent addition to the staff.
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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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