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Dive Review of Kai Viti Divers/Wananavu Beach Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/North Coast/Bligh Water

Kai Viti Divers/Wananavu Beach Resort, Jun, 2006,

by Sherwood & Judith Smith, WA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports). Report 2537.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments In our 30 years of diving, Kai Viti Divers may be the best run land-based operation we have ever encountered. Mike and Julie have put together a first class show. Our dive gear was picked up from the door of our bure, and when we next saw it on the dive deck of the Adi Nunu, it was set up on a tank, rigged and ready to go. Tanks are compact alu 80’s. We didn’t see a fill less than 3150 psi all week. All we had to do was add weights, and jump. Each morning, our gear was spread out on the boat, having been washed in fresh water and hung out to dry. At the end of the trip the gear was washed and dried by the crew, and after we gathered it at the dive shop, it was transported back to our bures for us.

The Adi Nunu is a well found aluminum craft, immaculately maintained, with O2, a shower, and full nav. instruments, including a mapping GPS, powered by an inboard turbo diesel with jet drive, which allowed us to get to “liveaboard country” in the Bligh Water in about an hour’s travel. Even the upwind ride was comfortable, with passengers kept dry and out of the wind by spray curtains. Entry was by giant stride from the stern, and exit via Christmas tree ladders. One could climb directly from the water onto the dive deck without even removing fins, if desired. Dive sites were easily located via the mapping GPS. The anchor was never used. At each site a divemaster free dived from the bow, passing the mooring line either through a tire shackled to the reef, or tying it off around a coral head. A buoyed drift line and a weighted down line were deployed on each dive. In current, a traverse line was rigged from the mooring line to the down line at the stern at a 15’ depth, to facilitate our return to the boat from our deco stop.

The Fijian crew of four rotated easily among all positions. Two divemasters led our group of 10. On many days we had the boat to ourselves, and on one rainy day, when only five of us dived, the full crew went out, a regular dive day, despite the adverse weather. Divemasters were eager to show us critters large and small, though as the week progressed, they hung back more, leaving us to do our own thing. Guidelines for depth and time were given at briefings, but each of us dived to his own computer, no problem. Most dives were in the 55-65 minute range. Deepest was 100ft. Average was 70ft.
In the more distant Bligh Water, viz. was an honest 100+ ft. Nearby reefs had viz. more in the 60 ft. range, with occasional sudden drops as the tide turned. We saw the full spectrum of reef life, including sharks, turtles, eagle rays, titan and clown triggerfish, jacks and mackerel, and all manner of nudibranchs and crustacea. At Black Magic Mountain , a Harlequin Ghost Pipefish hung out in the Gorgonia at 80 ft. At most sites there were several tunnels or swim-throughs, filled with all manner of gorgeously colored soft corals, in size and number such as we have not seen since before the late 90’s El Niño. The profusion of fish life on the reef tops almost defied photography. The hard corals were superb, especially at the more distant sites, with no signs of bleaching. This was our third trip to Viti Levu, and there is no question but that the best diving on the island is on this North Coast.

Wawanavu Beach Resort, a 2-3 hour drive north from Nadi Airport, occupies a beautiful hillside setting, overlooking the Bligh Water, with both sunrise and sunset views. For the most part, we did not have time to partake of all of the activities offered, as we spent most afternoons reading, or sleeping off our nitrogen load. The fresh water pool is immaculately landscaped and maintained. Four of us shared a two-bedroom, two bathroom villa, with a washer and small laundry tub, very convenient for soaking gear and cameras. The late afternoon spa/massage service was welcomed by our wives, and was inexpensive. Staff was friendly and eager to please. The breakfast buffet, including custom omelets, was more than adequate to stoke up for a day of diving. However there is an unresolved problem in the kitchen and dining room. Despite the extensive menus at lunch and dinner, it was often difficult to find palatable food, as the fish, pork, and chicken was usually overcooked and dry, unless specifically ordered rare. Steaks were better attended to. Management did not seem to appreciate that our plates were often returned to the kitchen at the end of the meal, virtually untouched. To detract further from the dining room ambience, the service was inordinately slow, despite the resort being less than 50% occupied.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Indo Pacific and Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 82-82°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75-100 Ft/ 23-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Profiles were suggested by divemasters, which we modified with our own computers
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments camera shelf and soak tank on boat was roomy enough for the three cameras among our group.
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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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