Scuba Network - The Divers Who Never Sleep

Destination: Bligh Water, Namena, Wakaya, Makogai
Trip Date: Jun 15th - Jun 22nd, 2024 - Comments
Author: Bel&Mike
Welcome Back: Ryan, after 21 years!
Congratulations: Nicolle and Glenn, on their 100th dive.

Water Temp: 79F/26C and slowly dropping

Fiji winter has arrived, but our last trip was anything but wintery. We had mild winds and currents for most of the trip, and incredible sightings to go along with them. Hammerheads, manta rays, thousands of scads and hundreds of barracudas. Scuba Network had a phenomenal time with us, and they didn’t miss much. These hard core divers hardly ever missed a dive, but also partied with the crew. These were the divers who never slept.

Our journey started in Vuya where Ryan, the intrepid group leader, complained he couldn’t see the incredible reef because there were too many fish. That’s always a problem we’re glad to have. Mild currents for the entire day ensured we saw lots of small critters, but also a few tunas, a grey reef shark, a turtle and an unreasonable amount of fusiliers. It’s ever so special to find yourself completely surrounded by them. We heard dolphins on the last dive, so we cut it a little short and went on their pursue, but could not find them. On the night dive, we saw many shrimps, cute nudis and a massive pufferfish.

Photo by Francesca Trotman (Archive): Humann Nature

Photos by Ryan: Kenny and soft corals. Hard corals

Photo by Ryan: Sea fan

We had a smooth journey to Namena and the wind dropped even further after our arrival. Despite the full moon creeping around the corner, we had incredibly mild currents and yet many of the typical great sightings from the marine reserve. On the bommies we saw orangutan crab, ribbon eel, decorated dartfish, squarespot anthias, a sea krait, an octopus, sponge crabs, golden mantis shrimp, whitecap shrimpgobies, bluespotted stingray, a few barracudas, sweetlips and sharks. The kava party was a blast, and many guests stayed up with the crew well after the end of the “formal” party. They do not sleep!

The north end of Namena was pumping with life. Schoolhouse got voted the favorite site with its endless supply of tornadoing trevallies, triggerfish, pinjalos, snappers, surgeonfish and, for Lucky Lefty only, a school of hundreds of barracudas. Grey reefs, dogtooth tunas and Spanish mackerels were on Schoolhouse, Kansas and Grand Central Station. Kansas got visited by the thousands of schooling trevallies with Lefty, then later showed up at The Arch for righty, on what Ryan called one of the best 5 dives of his life. We even saw a sneaky hammerhead. On the night dive, Glenn found three octopuses,  both skiffs saw the huge blunt-ended seahare and the feathermouth sea cucumber. Namena delivered once again.

Photo by Ryan: Kansas from below

Photo by Ryan: Pink anemonefish

Photo by Francesca Trotman (Archive): Shark and redtooth triggerfish at Grand Central Station

Photo by Mike: Lucky Lefty and Tetons I

Another smooth crossing brought us to Wakaya, where we started the day with manta rays and hammerheads. Not bad at all! Five different mantas graced us with their elegant presence and Lefty swears they saw 8 hammerheads (not bad for Glenn and Nicolle’s 100th dive). Since no proof was provided, Righty remains sceptical. We also saw barracudas, milkfish, leaf scorpionfish and a turtle. The divers got more dental care by shrimps and are sure to arrive back in NY with sparkling teeth. We crossed over to Makogai and had a nice dive with a few grey reefs and a massive sea krait (thanks, Nicolle!) before going on our village visit. We had full attendance for this visit, which is so wonderful! After an extended tour of the old lepper colony, the sevusevu ceremony and dances by the kids were the only appropriate way to end this magical day. Although the kids didn’t really want to let Henry leave.

Photo by Ryan: Juanita says Hi!

Photo by Mike: Makogai island

Photo by Mike: Sunset

The next day at the sea mounts we floated alongside perfect reefs painted in all the colors possible (although some unimaginable). E6 was a nice and easy morning, extremely scenic. So, Mount Mutiny had to do a lot to impress and impress it did. We saw a gazillion fusiliers, schooling trevallies, snappers and pinjalos. Big mackerels, tunas and giant trevallies swam by. Oh, yeah… and then there was that huge hammerhead that came and went more than 7 times… and the dolphin! Yes, a lonesome dolphin seen by Nicolle and heard by Tommy. On the night dive, gigantic shrimps and flatworms were the highlights.

For the last day we dived Vatu-i-ra, and the current showed up in style. It was leg day, except for when we were flying down Whole Shebang. Splendid corals and a diversity and abundance of fish made sure our guests are going home with the best memories. We cruised back to Lautoka as these friends planned future dive adventures, and argued about pizza. There may be more New Yorkers on board, but this writer is Brazilian, so Brazil wins!

Photo by Mike: E6

Photo by Francesca Trotman (Archive): Fiji action

Photo by Ryan: Hard corals

Photo by Ryan: Reflexions

Photo by Francesca Trotman (Archive): Anemonefish

Photo by Francesca Trotman (Archive): Fiji current action

Scuba Network!


“After 60 years of diving all over the world, Fiji still surprises and intrigues me. Fiji is a destination uniquely safe and easy to reach yet it is the colour of our dreams.”

Stan Waterman, pioneering diver and filmmaker

~ Stan Waterman, pioneering diver and filmmaker