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Record Kava Intake!
Date: April 21 - 28, 2001
Destination: Lomaiviti, Fiji
Dangers: Plankton-sucking mackerel, Toe-sucking doctors

A real mixed bag of keen and kind divers on this trip from all over the US as well as Canada, Australia and Kenya! We tumbled with feeding manta rays and focused our lenses on flatworms. Namena's currents were as breathtaking as her reef color. While Nigali's sharks came close and curious.

Paul and Joan Bridges stayed onboard for their second consecutive NAI'A journey while we welcomed back previous passengers Paul Lebourgeois (with his relentless calls for "High Tide" kava servings) and videographer Bruce Thayer. Also back "home' were our favorite romantics, marine biologists, David Obura (CORDIO) and Sangeeta Mangubhai (WWF). David and Sangeeta met during our fateful Phoenix Rising 2000 expedition last June and have been ever since pursuing a life partnership surrounding their mutual marine research and conservation work. Clearly a perfect match! And while we lose Sangeeta from WWF South Pacific, we wish her great love and laughter as she moves to Kenya to begin an exciting new chapter with David. On this trip the duo surveyed our Lomaiviti reef sites as part of the grand WWF plan to encourage more Marine Protected Areas throughout Fiji. They delivered for us two insightful presentations of coral reef ecology and protection.

Rob was unable to join us due to important family commitments. But, in honor of his and Alexx's wonderful old Dad who is gravely ill - and who earned a formidable reputation wherever he traveled (including aboard NAI'A) for his clever doggerel - I wrote this silly ditty about our trip. Apologies to Willy Shakes...

'Twas a motley crew of mad divers
Could have won television's "Survivors"
Just imagine my luck
When in a storm we were stuck
Naught for it but to grind up more kava!

One performed on my toe strange maneuvers
Some sucked Nitrox like industrial Hoovers
So I called up dear Rob
And said, "I resign from this job!"
But I couldn't escape until Suva

So we flew with the tide at Namena
And tumbled with mackerel and manta
It became a great lark
Just to count all those sharks
If we could only see past those barracuda!

Between cigars, dirty jokes and tequilas
Docs prescribed hard drugs like street dealers
Laurie never looked glum
Cleaner shrimp tickled our gums!
And our biologists worked like blue heelers

Though they came from all over the world
Like sand in an oyster, they pearled
We've made new NAI'A friends
So it's hard now to end
Come on back when our sails are unfurled

Vinaka & Best "fishes"
Cat Holloway, Cruise Director - NAI'A

Marine biologist, Dr. David Obura is engulfed by hundreds of striped mackerel feeding at Wakaya.


First trip to Fiji - hopefully not the last. NAI'A is fabulous.
Eric & Joann Turnquist, Utah

Seldom in my life have my special needs been so quickly recognized and so fully satisfied.
Jesse Freeman, Texas

Trip number 5 - I gotta keep coming back 'till I get it right.
Bruce Thayer, Iowa

Fantastic dive trip - all I was looking for and more!
Ron Ziman and Kathy Artsis, California

Everybody was so kind and warm and really made us feel comfortable.
David & Laurie Shoshan, California

Lovestruck biologists, Sangeeta Mangubhai and David Obura are so cute together with their slimy bags of algae.

Manta scoop-feeding at Wakaya.

NAI'A Divemaster, Richard, with Bruce, Joan, Joann and Eric.