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Dive Review of Nai'a in
Tonga/Ha'apai Islands

Nai'a, Sep, 2003,

by Doris & Bob Schaffer, CA, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports). Report 704.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving California; Micronesia; Solomons; PNG; Australia; Fiji; Caribbean; Red Sea; Cocos Island; Tahiti;
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 72 to 74 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales >2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 Nai'a has a separate dry room for photographic equipment immediately adjacent to the dive deck with 3 levels of shelves and large enough for 8 photographers at one time with more than adequate secure and dry electrical connections for charging.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The Nai'a which usually operates in Fijian waters goes to Tonga for six weeks each year for the Humpback Whale migration. This is the second time we have done this whale trip (third trip on Nai'a) and it is outstanding. Mostly we snorkel with the whales although sometimes it is possible to see them on scuba. Once the whales are spotted, the crew maneuvers the big boat or the skiffs toward the whales where we are able to slip into the water to observe and swim with them up close. Lots of moms and calves as well as large males. We got some great video! When there were no whale sightings, we dove on various reefs and they were good dives but seemed so "ho hum" after swimming with the whales! Night dives were offered each night and were pretty good. The crew of the Nai'a is absolutely outstanding and incredibly attentive. The rooms are large and comfortable and the food is gourmet--served meals with a choice of two entrees for breakfast and lunch and three at dinner. Host Rob Barrel is very knowledgeable and being on the Nai'a with him is a real learning experience. All in all, a remarkable trip which can best be described as "days of leisure, hours of ecstasy!"
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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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