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Dive Review of Nai'a Fiji in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Fiji

Nai'a Fiji, Jul, 2010,

by Jeremy Cohen , PA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 5611.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving PNG, Indonesia, Galapagos, Northern and Central Calif.and California Channel Islands, Washington, Belize, Bahamas, Cozumel, Hawaii, Honduras, Florida, BVI, Brit.Columbia.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 70 minute max.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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 camera room includes plenty of outlets for both 110 and 220, compressed air, and storage for gear and camera cases. Crew handled cameras with care moving them from the camera room, to the dive skiffs, and back to the dedicated rinse tanks. When seas got rough in the middle of the night, the crew secured everyone's camera gear. A first class set up and a first class crew.

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

Accommodations N/A Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude N/A 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 Our June 26 departure is the first Nai'a cruise post-explosion refitting. The new cabin interiors are clean, comfortable and inviting. The mattresses are great. The AC, WC, shower, lamps, etc. are first class and in perfect working order. This20 year old boat feels new and shows the obvious affection the captain and crew have for her.
We were less fortunate with the compressor. Despite heroic efforts by the crew - they stayed up until 2:30 a.m. more than once to service the compressor and empty, clean, and refill every tank - the Nitrox was never above 29 percent and several times the air smelled and tasted foul. The crew and directors Brigitte and Sam were dismayed and helped everyone to cope with their good humor. No one experienced any ill-effects and I would sail with Nai'a again in an instant. The boat never felt crowded. The crew was always ready to help. Several were rarely without a guitar or singing harmony and we always felt welcome to sit and listen, or to join in. No exaggeration, Sam and Brigitte are two of the best cruise directors Catherine and I have sailed with. Sam's post-second breakfast videos were beautifully shot and helped us to recognize the creature habitats and behaviors each day. Dive guide Mo was unobtrusive, but always ready to point out the little creatures -- Pygmy seahorse, anyone?
The diving was spectacular. Healthy soft and hard corals. Healthy small and large fish population. Plenty of small critters. Octopus. Eels. A photographer's delight -- the only question is whether to dive with your macro or your wide angle lens. And oh, did I mention the ultimate wide angle shot,the whale shark that just showed up one morning? The first Nai'a had seen in Bligh Waters in about 15 years. There was so much life that it was the only dive for which a macro was an unfortunate choice -- otherwise, either lens always produced memorable images.
Five dives a day are often available, but most guests did four settling in after the dusk dive for dinner and complimentary wine.
We visited a small, isolated village that was once a leper colony. A very different experience from villages in Indonesia and PNG and just as welcoming as the each morning's first dive on a new reef.
It is a testament to the crew that despite the compressor and Nitrox issues, no one -- not a soul -- complained or turned sour. Nai'a deserves her reputation as a boat that treats guests like friends and that respects the mosaic of diving skills, down time interests, and personalities of those who sail and dive with her.
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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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