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The Many Faces of Geritol
Date: May 19 - June 2, 2001
Destination: Fiji's Finest & Yasawa Exploratory
Special Guest: The Irrepressible Stan Waterman

A sensational two-week trip and our seventh special Stan Waterman hosted tour - we can't get rid of him! We made the most of having very experienced and mostly returning passengers and old friends - not to mention ideal weather - to explore the Yasawa chain of islands and the western most side of Bligh Water before moving into our much-adored regular route. Aside from discovering a couple of gorgeous new reef sites, we also uncovered bizarre macro treasures amid sea grass beds in a spectacular Yasawa Island anchorage. While there, we explored a series of hidden flooded limestone caverns and grottos, visited the famous "Blue Lagoon" where Brooke Shields came of age and hiked to a superb view over the whole scene.

Stan's years of mainlining Geritol paid dividends during this expedition - especially thanks to the virtually endless variety of shrimps and crabs that Fiji's reefs shelter. These days Stan's super macro lens holds far greater allure than shark bait. And so long as small reef creatures elude his video camera, Stan, now 78, will eschew his obligations to that shuffleboard team in Sun City in favor of more hours of breathing underwater.

With the grand journey ending in Suva in time for NAI'A to be hauled out for her regular dry-dock maintenance period, we finished the adventure with a ride in Rob's big truck (with all our dogs) and a rainforest walk to our favorite waterfall and swimming hole near Pacific Harbour. Life is good here in Fiji.

Let the pictures and poetry (for want of a better word!) tell the rest of the tale.

Willie Shakespeare's the king, don'tcha know it
And Frost was an everyman's poet
But Stan Waterman's plugs
Are warm literary hugs
He's inspired me; I'll try not to blow it!

Nicer folks you'd be hard pressed to meet
But two weeks joined at sea is some feat!
Vegemite did sustain us
"Bijou" entertained us
While sunshine and calm oceans were a treat



Yasawa Island hikers.
Kandy's back underwater with a vengeance
Shooting video with the force of twin engines
Jane ditched NAI'A's books
To exchange sharks' furtive looks
Jeanie's art rendered reefs dreamy legends

Erich bitched but blitzed Nitrox between naps
Bird-brain Alf built a dive log unmatched
Except maybe by Fred
Who's plain crazy in the head

For slugs, shrimps and any sand patch
Kandy Kendall films "Thumbs".
Kandy, Fred Jane & Jeanie

Big Mike is our nomadic soul
Travel tales as wide as he's tall
But please, when you come here again
Leave your South African friends
Where the champagne and caviar's kept cold

Mexico soon will welcome Luis home
Throughout Fiji he this year did roam
Working with our crew boys
Doing wonders with photo toys
We're most glad and grateful to know him

Rob rebuilt this lovely old ship
And lured Cat, now they're joined at the hip
But they had no idea
They would make friends so dear
So wrap your lips, 'round a sip of their nip

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


Alf & Erich

Erich drinks high tide.

More kava, more sharks!
Erich Mauff traveled from New York City to join NAI'A with his father Alf (pictured also underwater) who came all the way from Johannesburg in South Africa.

Mike Neumann

A fabulous trip.
Mike Neumann of the Thailand-based live-aboard, Pelagian, found this stunning mantis shrimp at Humann's Nature.

Jeannie at Thumbs

New friends and renewed ones - what a wonderful trip! I dove and painted while Fred dove and dove. Heaven for both of us.
Jeannie Drury, Artist, Illinois

What a Horror Show! Get me off this tub! Why do I keep coming back? Once again narrowly escaped scurvy while the skiff drivers ignored me as I drifted out to sea. And, as always, I had the finest dive trip of my times.
Stan Waterman, Filmmaker & Diving Pioneer

Suli & Stan

Mantis in Halimeda