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

Nai'a, May, 2009,

by Lynn Morton, California, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 5163.

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

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 100 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No diving after drinking.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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