Snorkelmania Part 2

Destination: Bligh Water, Wakaya, Makogai, Taveuni, Rabi, Namena
Trip Date: May 21st - May 29th, 2024 - Comments
Author: Bel&Mike
Welcome Back: Beth, Wendy&Robert!

What an incredible trip we’ve had, again! Wendy and her fabulous group of snorkelers chartered NAI’A for 8 days of the best snorkeling Fiji has to offer. We drifted, we mucked, we swam with pilot whales and manta rays. They were incredibly lucky with the weather (well, until almost the end of the trip) and the sightings. These guys are serious about their swimming, they wore us out! It was an absolutely wonderful journey filled with laughter, mad cows, exploding chickens and a lot of friendship.

Photo by Mike: Rabi Island

The first stop of our trip was UndeNAI’Able Reef, which was such a great hit with our previous snorkelers. It was a double hit this time, with red anemones, white tip sharks, giant clams, a turtle, some big snappers and all the fusiliers and anthias anyone can ask for. In the afternoon, we moved to Vatu-i-ra island for more amazing coral gardens, a shy octopus, a flatworm, small slugs, a scorpionfish and more reef sharks. Not a bad start.

We moved early in the morning to E6 for yet more coral overdose, this time with the vibrant neons we only see in a few areas. Rockmover wrasses, a turtle, more reef sharks, an amazing school of barracudas and well as dancing fusiliers were some of our highlights. For the afternoon, we moved to Mount Mutiny and our guests could barely believe the coral there was even healthier than at E6. Fiji will soon be known as the hard coral capital of the world! We also saw more turtle, sharks and red anemones. We crossed during dinner to our next destination, Wakaya, and it could not have been a smoother passage.

We woke up early to meet the mantas at the cleaning station, and although we saw them on the early session, there were even more of them later on! We saw at least 6 different mantas and confirmed sightings of Shirley, Tasha, Flapuccino, (3 of our favorite mantas!) as well as Tuks, Johnny and M465 – who gave us a barrelling show! Sue and Scott saw a hammerhead, and the group that ventured to the channel saw a HUGE blotched stingray, white tip and grey reef sharks. In the bay, we saw a squid squad, a pteropod, sea krait and nudis. Exhausted after such great adventures before lunch, we crashed hard… until Bel woke everyone up because we saw pilot whales on our way to Makogai. They were a bit shy, but one skiff got an amazing intimate encounter with two of them. We closed the phenomenal day with our village visit, where Robert represented us as chief. A perfect ending for a perfect day.

Photo by Wendy: Barracuda central

Photo by Tim: Corals

Photo by Ruth: Fishy reef

Photo by Ruth: Longnose filefish

Photo by Wendy: Manta ray

Photo by Mike: One of the pilot whales, watching the drone

Photo by Mike: Makogai sunset

It was a loooooong crossing to Rabi, but the weather was so gentle we barely even noticed the boat was moving. We went there looking for more manta action, but mother nature left us hanging. Not affected, the group drifted above the amazing coral garden and found a great snorkel spot before the current. Wendy saw four Tahitian stingrays together (and lost her marbles trying to video them), Bel found another squid squad, Steve found a sea krait (that Wendy almost wore as a scarf), a big green turtle swam by. In the afternoon, a quick manta rose our expectations, but only fleetingly. And that night we had our kava party, another big highlight of every trip.

The following day we mucked at Viani Bay by Yanuyanuwiri’s mangrove and saw so much coooooool stuff. A peacock mantis shrimp, several different nudibranchs and slugs, seastar shrimps, pajama cardinalfish, shrimpgobies, lobsters, upsidedown jellies and a very friendly octopus. All while being watched by hundreds of fruit bats, flying overhead. In the afternoon we moved to Sau Bay and explored another beautiful area covered in coral and surrounded by rubble. More squid squads, some huge crown jellies and a juvenile rockmover wrasse we the top picks of the afternoon.

Photo by Wendy: Squid squad

Photo by Wendy: Banded sea krait

Photo by Tim: Mangrove

Photo by Steve: Sapsucking slug

Photo by Steve: Glossodoris

The next day we explored the Rainbow Reef. Nuku in the morning, and saw another octopus, schooling longjaw mackerels, a huge Spanish mackerel, humpback and black snappers, oriental sweetlips, iridescent blue giant clams, white tip sharks and another flatworm. For the afternoon we chose Cabbage Patch and it was once again a fabulous choice! We saw a very cooperative juvenile rockmover wrasse, another octopus, yellow slingjaw wrasses, several exquisite flashers and a tiger flatworm. Four brave souls went on the night snorkel in the mangrove and saw another two octopuses, a bluespotted ribbontail ray and cardinalfish out and about (not hiding in the mangrove).

Our crossing from Taveuni to Namena was a little rocky, and the wind finally caught up with us. So, our morning session was bumpy, but sooooo very fishy! Grey reef sharks, big groupers and snappers, a tornado of bigeye trevallies. Millions of fusiliers, dozens of pyramid butterflyfish. Juvenile humphead wrasses. In the very end we swam across to the bommie with all the palette surgeonfish. Happy but exhausted, we charged our batteries for one more session in Namena Bay and saw the last squid squad of the trip, 2 blacktip sharks and the biggest humphead wrasse of the trip. Namena delivered it again, even under rough conditions! We had a blast with our snorkeling friends and wish them a wonderful time for the remainder of their trip. May you continue wearing out dive staff for many more years to come!

Photo by Judy: Oriental sweetlips

Photo by Tim: Snorkel time!

Photo by Tim: Iridescent blue clam

Photo by Wendy: Longjaw mackerels feeding

Photo by Mike: Viani Bay

Photo by Tim: Night snorkel octopus

Our crazy snorkelers!


“Central Fiji has all the elements of the ultimate ocean wilderness: diverse creatures and habitat, nutrient-rich water, spectacular scenery and owners who respect it.”

Dr. Greg Stone, Executive Vice President of Conservation International

~ Dr. Greg Stone, Executive Vice President of Conservation International