NAI'A's main salon is perhaps her most eye-catching feature. Carefully crafted out of local timbers, the 625 square foot room serves as lounge, theater, classroom, and dining room. The four tables in the salon are showpiece items, built as a gift to NAI'A by the Fijian carpenters who refinished the ship. Made of alternating planks of the four native timbers used elsewhere throughout the ship, the tables are polished to a high sheen.
When you come back from the dive you can review your videos immediately using the entertainment system located in the salon. Two multisystem DVD players are wired to the Sony High Definition television and there are extra jacks with which to plug in your own camera.
The salon is also a comfortable place to just sit and relax, read a book or take a nap. We have an extensive library of interesting books, magazines, games and puzzles available for your use while onboard.
The Accommodation Deck
NAI'A has accommodation for 18 passengers in 9 air-conditioned staterooms with private ensuite heads. All the staterooms were entirely rebuilt in 2010. Three of our staterooms have king-size beds that can be configured as individual singles; two of our staterooms have both a king and a single bunk above at the foot; two staterooms have only a king bed; and two staterooms have twin bunk beds. All the staterooms are larger than those on most dive vessels, with plenty of stowage for gear, and they are bright, airy, and comfortable. While camera and strobe charging is best done in the camera room, each room has both 110 and 220 volt power to run whatever electrical goodies you have.
Stateroom with beds joined
Stateroom with beds split
Stateroom with additional single bunk
Twin king singles
THE DIVE DECK
Divedeck with gear stowed for passage-making
Just between the salon and the camera room is our spacious dive deck. The divedeck on NAI'A is unconventional in several respects. First, it is huge, bridging the entire 30ft beam of the ship, and it is located amidships away from the clutter of the working deck aft. During the charter, the crew take care of filling the tanks and loading gear into the skiffs from the aft dive platform, while divers have the uncluttered divedeck forward in which to suit up and listen to the very thorough dive briefings.
Only masks, fins, and camera gear are stored forward, while the heavy and unwieldy tanks and BCs remain aft. Divers returning to the dive deck are treated to hot deck showers and clean dry towels at the end of every dive. NAI'A has a small laundry aboard where towels and tablecloths are washed daily.
Once the scuba tanks have been moved aft at the start of the charter, the dive deck cushions come out and the place becomes a lounging area sheltered from the midday sun.
THE STERN DIVE PLATFORM
When its time to dive you'll find your skiff waiting at the back dive deck. The crew takes care of moving your gear and making sure your tanks are full so you don't have to. After the dive you simply step out of the skiff onto the back deck and the crew will do the rest!
NAI'A went into the shipyard for a major refit in 2000, which included making a bigger and better dive platform. NAI'A is now 3 feet longer and 2 feet wider. The extra space allows divers greater manoeuvering room as they enter and exit the dive skiffs. As an added advantage, the large dive platform also allows NAI'A to achieve greater speeds on ocean crossings -- making voyage time quick and comfortable.
NAI'A uses two 22ft rigid inflatables. These are robust boats and their low freeboard makes them easy to exit and enter. Because NAI'A uses two skiffs, divers who surface early are whisked back to the ship where they can have a shower and a brownie while they wait for the hard-core macro photographers to complete their dive.
THE CAMERA ROOM
After each dive you can rinse your camera gear in our two large fresh water dip tanks. Compressed air is at your fingertips in the camera room for cleaning and drying parts.
The camera room is located immediately adjacent to the dive deck and has storage and work space for more than a dozen photographers, their gear and storage of cases. Both 110 and 220 volt charging strips are available. There are more than enough for everyone!
NAI'A features the latest provisions for professional and amateur photographers in this digital age: a computer charging and storage console in the salon and a giant flat-screen High Definition TV.
THE SUNDECK AND WHEELHOUSE
The top deck is where you'll find the wheelhouse, captain and crew accommodations, and the huge sundeck.
For those who do want to be outside in the sun, the whole roof area over the dive deck and the camera room is a sundeck open to undiluted rays. This is a great place to enjoy a relaxing lunch while working on your tan. For the enthusiastic, this area turns into a great workout space.
If you are more interested in simple relaxation, there are plenty of comfortable lounge chairs.
The crow's nest on the mast, fifty feet above the water, is the ideal spot from which to guide the ship through the narrow passages common to Fiji's outlying islands and from which to yell the traditional "thar she blows" when sighting a whale. During long passages the sundeck is used to carry NAI'A's two rigid inflatable skiffs.
The pulpit over the bow is another great place to lounge. It's roomy enough for six to sit or a dozen excited people can stand watching bow-riding dolphins or breaching whales.
When cool ocean breezes are blowing, this is the place to be! Protected from the wind and exposed to the sun, this is a great place to get away from it all and enjoy some time alone.
Did someone yell, "dolphins"?
That word can wake you up from an afternoon nap in a split second. And this is where you'll want to be ready with your camera in hand when it happens.