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Dive Review of Naia in
Fiji and Tuvalu

Naia, Feb, 2004,

by Diana Dickinson, WA, USA . Report 1018.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 78 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 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 Dedicated room for photographers includes power strips. On board slide processing.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our second trip on the Naia and I'd still go back. The Naia is a well-run operation that caters to divers. With 16 divers on board, it is slightly crowded, but with two skiffs, there are never more than 8 divers in a skiff. On most dive sites, divers are in two groups, so that there are no more than 8 on the site itself. You can dive with the guides or explore on your own.

Rob and Cat are currently land-based with their new baby, and this trip was run by Josh and Liz. They are experienced boat operators and the trip ran smoothly. Josh was able to identify many fish from a simple description. His Aussie-isms sometimes left us a little confused, though. (We had trouble with the exact difference between a "rippin' current" and a "screamin' current.") The dive video Liz made was the best I've ever seen.

Most diving in Fiji is bommie diving--large underwater plateaus of coral that ascend from the bottom (at 100-200 feet) to the surface or almost to the surface. On most dives, I descended to about 100 feet, then worked my way up the side to a long safety stop at the top of the bommie. Some dives were 70-75 minutes, as a result. When you come up, the skiffs are waiting to ferry you back to the boat--no waiting for the rest of the group. (A safety sausage and dive alert are required, but I never had to use either---the skiff was always right there.)

The soft corals in Fiji are beginning to recover from the El Nino of 98 (where they were burnt out), but E-6 is still not as good as its pictures. (Improvement was apparent between this trip and our trip in the fall of 2002, however.) However, Naia's active program of Fiji exploration has added some fabulous sites to the list of colorful locations.

Anthias are plentiful--huge schools at every bommie. Clownfish and anemones abound. Every dive yielded multiple fish that I hadn't seen before. (We saw two "Irish Setter" ghost pipefish!)

Fiji is a 10-hour flight from LAX. While some people advise re-checking bags at LAX (so Air Pacific is less likely to lose them), the baggage inspection procedures at LAX seem completely chaotic to me, so I'd check my bags through, rather than deal with them twice! The Naia's office was able to arrange a round-trip fare from LAX of $1000.
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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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