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Dive Review of Nai'a in
Fiji and Tuvalu

Nai'a, Apr, 2003,

by Harlan Cohen, NY, usa . Report 834.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Solomons, GBR, Belize, Turks & Caicos, Bonare, Palau, Truk, Pohnpei, PNG, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 83 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions, other than a 45 minute time limit on night dives.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 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 The set up for photographers is excellent. A separate room on deck with plenty of space for cases, and plenty of room for cameras and othe gear. The Nai'a has the best set-up for photographers I have come across.

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 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Nai'a is a great boat. The crew is friendly and extremely competent. Everyone on board clearly loves what they are doing.

The Fijian reefs (at least the ones Nai'a visits) are in amazingly good shape. There was little or no evidence of bleaching at the vast majority of sites we stopped at. The soft coral is exceptional. While the reefs do not have the sheer number of fish you can see at some dropoffs in Palau, Fiji compares favorably to anywhere else I've been.

The soft corals and abundant fish life are a paradise for photographers, and the dive guides know where all the interesting little creatures live. We saw quite a few sharks, including several hammerhead sightings (I saw one at 110 feet). There were also occasional manta and other ray encounters. There were not as many turtles as in the past, but I'd say I saw at least one a day.

The captain was responsive to requests from the guests to remain at particular dive sites for additional dives.

Nitrox is available, and I'd guess about half the divers were using it.

The set up for photographers is excellent. A separate room on deck with plenty of space for cases, and plenty of room for cameras and othe gear. The Nai'a has the best set-up for photographers I have come across.

On a more prosaic note, the rooms are attractive, and the food is excellent. There is an opportunity to visit a local village during the trip. I did not go along, but those who went said it was fun.

I honestly can not think of a negative thing to say about the diving or the boat. I've taken several trips on the Nai'a over a period of seven or eight years, and my experience has been consistently excellent. Mr. Barrel runs a classy operation with excellent diving. I highly recommend the Nia'a.
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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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