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Dive Review of Ra Divers/Wananavu in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Nananu I Ra

Ra Divers/Wananavu, Apr, 2003,

by Peter J Maerz, FL, USA . Report 578.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Bonaire, Dominica, Guadaloupe, Guanaja, Little Cayman, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, plus over 100 dives in SE Florida where I live.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 0 to 0 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments No rinse tanks on boats. As a digital photographer, I can't speak for film processing facilities, if they exist.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was the second stop in a 3-week Fiji trip. The resort is very beautiful, with every inch of ground covered with flowering plants, palms and shrubs. The oceanview "Burre" or cabin I had looked like something out of Architectural Digest, with high ceilings, spot-lit white shelving, beautiful hard wood walls and louvered windows and a bathroom that took up a third of the floor plan with a 15-foot-long vanity and a shower with plate glass window facing an enclosed garden. An adequate AC unit over the bed and ceiling fan ameliorated the suffocating heat and humidity. The views are great from the oceanview burres and the dining terrace, looking out onto the channel which separates the mainland from the island of Nananu I Ra and its smaller neighbors.
The food here was much better than at the Garden Island Resort on Taveuni and the pool very unique, with large stones embedded in it and a rock wall and lush vegetation surrounding it.
I had wanted to sign up with the Crystal Divers op after reading raves in Undercurrent, but, beacasue I was told by Reef and Rainforest that Crystal told them they were fully booked with "German Tourists", I was "forced" to dive with Ra Divers. This was disputed by Crystal's owner/operator when I met him at the resort. Since then, the truth of who claimed what to whom for what gain has still not clearly come out, but, of course, this didn't change my situraion at the time. Sadly, I took to calling Ra Divers the "Loser Op". Real nice, hard-working guys, but the equipment is not in great shape and the operation is much more loosely run than AqueTrek's. Every day a problem prevented us from leaving anywhere near on time, though they maintained that divers must be at the dock at 8:30. A dead battery, a shorted wire to the motor that lifts the outboard up, a fouled fuel filter, a late-signing passenger and other calamaties within or beyond Ra's control interfered to lesser or greater degrees with the diving experience. Also, my gear was handled so roughly that it sustained some pretty serious damage (I watched from shore one morning when the tank with my gear attached fell over at the hands of the lead DM. That one took care of a zipper pull on my BC and, as I discovered after returning home, broke the housing on my second stage---no WONDER I was sucking so much water on my last dives!).
There were not one but two tropical depressions that made their way over our resort during the week so conditions were obviously pretty funky. With that in mind, though, the diving was not nearly as good as in Somosomo Strait. Nowhere near the amount of fish life, very few sharks (which was a main attraction for me to this site). But almost every surface blanketed with finger corals, octo corals and all manner of stuff, a fair amount of soft corals and some fun swim thru's and overhangs. The diving is all among large pinnaces or "bommies", stacked one up against the next, so the views are pretty dramatic (or would be if the vis were greater than the 30 or 40 feet I experienced). Admitedly, we did not dive the farther-out Bligh Water sites that the liveaboards and, apparently Crystal Divers do, but it still was not the same experience as in Taveuni.

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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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