Colombo Discovers Fiji

Destination: Bligh Water, Namena, Wakaya & Makogai
Trip Date: Feb 24th - Mar 2nd, 2024 - Comments
Author: Bel&Mike

Water temperature: 84-86F/29-30C

Colombo Scuba just discovered Fiji and they LOVED it! The weather was absolutely perfect with barely any wind throughout our entire journey. We had some unexpected visitors during this trip, like a pair of silvertip sharks, and many of our regulars, like the grey reef, white tip and hammerhead sharks. If only Alex had looked up… Some lucky leftovers (what was left of Lucky Lefty by the end of day 6) even saw two manta rays. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed Fiji, and Chris Colombo himself said he had a big WOW moment every single day of the trip!

This wild adventure began with a less than perfect checkout dive as the wind direction, combined with heavy rainfall on the main island, resulted in very poor visibility. Well, at least our guests could focus on getting their weights sorted out… kind of.

Photo by Mike: NAI'A and the skiffs, welcome aboard!

Photo by Mike: Mighty Righty

Photo by Mike: Lucky Lefty

The following day they enjoyed a “marginally better” day at the Sea Mounts. Just kidding. They could not believe their eyes, our healthy corals are absolutely mesmerizing. Our communities of reef fish around these pinnacles are so colorful, and sightings like hammerheads, turtles, white tip sharks, giant trevallies, barracudas and two silvertip sharks (seen by both skiffs!) made it even more special. With dead calm water around us, the crew on the bridge spotted a couple of minke whales in the distance, but they weren’t interested in us. On the night dive, another rare sight: a black tip reef shark.

After a short passage, we arrived at Vuya, and our guests discovered Fiji current. The previous night’s full moon gifted us a morning of “sporty” dives filled with gorgeous soft corals, hard corals, fluorescent anemones, funky nudibranchs, sponge crabs, a few sharks and tons of fish activity. As we thought the current was dying down, it surprised us with a bang on the last dive and we decided to call the night dive off.

We cruised overnight to Namena Marine Reserve for two days of fabulous diving. Grand Central Station and Schoolhouse were so sharky, and schooling jacks, scads, barracudas, snappers, surgeons, bannerfish, triggerfish and longface emperors surrounded us. Plus an eagle ray and an enormous blotched stingray. It was unforgettable! Kansas, Tetons and Mushrooms were milder dives with gorgeous scenery and special critters like golden mantis shrimps, squat lobsters, decorated dartfish, pipefish and ribbon eel.

Our kava party on the first night there was absolutely amazing. They are always a blast, but they are extra special when you have a group of friends who have been diving and travelling together for a long time. Now, if only Mr. Colombo could learn what noise a fruit bat ACTUALLY makes… The second night there we had a night dive and Mike found not only a huge pleurobranch, but also two bluntend seahares mating!

Photo by Mike: Mount Mutiny and a dash of phytoplankton

Photo by Mike: Out for a dive

Photo by Mike: Incredible sunrises all week!

Photo by Mike: Namena

We cruised to Wakaya and spent our morning diving the beautiful wall. We saw some leaf scorpionfish, adults and juvenile grey reef sharks, white tips, turtles and freckled seahares. The lucky leftovers saw two mantas passing by AND a hammerhead. The crossing to Makogai was insanely smooth, and the dives at Becky’s and Rick’s Rocks left our guests mesmerized as to how quickly the Fiji reefs have recovered (and are still recovering further) from cyclones. The village visit left some of our guests teary, wanting to stay and spend more time with the villagers and especially the kids!

Photo by Mike: Makogai

Photo by Mike: Makogai

Photo by Mike: Sevusevu cerimony

Photo by Mike: Our chief Chris participates in the kava cerimony

Photo by Mike: Perfect weather

We finished our journey at Vatu-i-ra with action-filled dives at Coral Corner and Mellow Yellow, followed by a scenic relaxing dive at Howard’s Diner. It was absolutely amazing and the perfect way to end the trip. The sun, the calm waters, the mild/wild currents, the reef, the energy. We saw more sharks, snappers, groupers, humphead wrasses and a poor little chromis with a chunk bitten off its back. We cruised home, watched the sunset accompanied by spinner dolphins, and said goodbye to the Colombo crowd. They’ve discovered Fiji and will carry it forever in their hearts.

Our extended group. It was hard to drag them out of Makogai!

Colombo Scuba!


“We’ve been on other liveaboards – this is by far the best. Crew, food, sites – everything fantastic!!! Amanda – thanks for saving my ears & Joshua – thanks for saving Steve! The boat layout is top notch & the rooms are great. Thanks so much for an excellent trip.”

Lisa & Steve

~ Lisa & Steve