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Dive Review of Fiji Aggressor II in
Fiji and Tuvalu

Fiji Aggressor II, Aug, 2005,

by Chrisanda Button/Rickie Sterne, AR, USA . Report 1896.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Bay Islands, Belize, Cozumel, Tortola, Sea of Cortez, Australia(Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 75 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 45 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco diving; return to the boat with 500 psi
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 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 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The water temperature was an unremitting 75 degrees. Wearing 5/3 fullsuits and 5mm hoods, we envied fellow divers who also had vests and core warmers. So why did we, who are both complete wimps about beng cold, do all twenty-five dives the boat offered? Because Fiji offered the best diving we have done in our five years of diving. The reef structures were healthy and inhabited by a wealth of marine life. We swam trough an extravaganza of soft coral punctuated by numerous anemones, healthy hard corals, large gorgonians, and numerous crinoids. Last year, diving for a week in Australia, we were delighted to see three lionfish and a single clown triggerfish. In Fiji we saw literally dozens of common lionfish (two dozen at Manta Rock alone), about a dozen spotfin lionfish, and one rather uncommon twinspot lionfish. Clown triggers showed up on about half of our dives. We saw nudis galore, including one huge pleurobranch. Over a half dozen varieties of shrimps and crabs were sighted. We saw several free-swimming feather stars. There were clouds of anthias, butterflyfish of every persuasion, filefish, dartfish, leaf scorpionfish, a couple of Papuan scorpionfish, and much, much more. Four hawksbill turtles showed up, and there was often a black- or whitetipped reef shark in the background. We actually learned to recognize several different varieties of anemonefish. Blue ribbon eels were less skittish than expected. While the diving was excellent and the visibilty usually very good, we did work hard for our soft corals. There were currents and surge, sometimes fairly strong, on most dives. The beauty and richness of sites like Jim's Alley, Kansas, Keenan's, and the Ningali Wall were well worth the effort.
And now about the boat. We have made ten liveaboard trips on seven different boats. The Fiji Aggressor was, quite simply, the best.The cabins were clean and comfortable with more storage than we've had on other boats(and we were in a basic cabin). Each cabin has an individual thermostat. The dive deck was well arranged, and Ulai kept our tanks filled promptly to 3000 psi+. The salon and dining area were very comfortable. The Fiji Aggressor carries a full complement of safety equipment and boasts a good library of marine ID books. The food was delicious and apparently endless in quantity. We were always offered seconds. The day began with a continental breakfast before the first dive. Next came the real breakfast, cooked to order for each diver. Lunches were hot and different each day. Between the two afternoon dives, fresh baked goodies like brownies or banana bread were served. Dinner was always three courses, beginning with homemade soup and ending with fresh-baked desserts. Desserts were always accompanied by ice cream. I thought homemade cheesecake a la mode was a bit over the top, but I ate every bite. Entrees at dinner included the best rack of lamb we have ever eaten, steak, fresh fish, and curry. Chef Luke even baked fresh bread. The crew was outstanding and all were divers. Captain Ned was personable and friendly. He promised us that at the end of the week our minds would be reeling with all the creatures we had seem. He spole the truth. The boat moved to a different site for almost every dive. DM's Scott and Mosese gave thorough briefings. Both were excellent divemasters. Scott especially was very generous in pointing critters out to us. The Fiji Aggressor carries only ten divers, so dive sites were uncrowded. Most dives were done from the back of the boat. There was one dinghy out and dinghy back dive and three others on which we rode the dinghy out to the site, then swam back to the boat.
For our group, the village visit on Gau Island was a high point of the week. The Fijians were very hospitiable. The beauty of their singing moved me almost to tears. But few guys wanted to give up beer for kava.
This report is far too long, but we are, three weeks after the fact, still feeling very privileged to have been diving in Fiji.
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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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