Return to NAI'A

Stan Waterman and the Whale
Date: November 1-11, 2003
Destination: Bligh Water, Fiji
Returning Passengers: Stan Waterman, Nancy McGee, Gary Fabiano, Dick & Anita Fahy

Stan Waterman.

Stan Waterman joined a full charter as Guest Host for this 10-day trip, making this his 11th trip aboard NAI'A. Stan is one of scuba diving's original great adventurers and filmmakers, and we are always honored to have him aboard. He kept everyone amused with his storytelling and sharp wit, and the each day was rounded off with a screening of one of his numerous expedition videos. Towards the end of the charter, NAI'A hosted the "World Premiere" of his latest production, Return to Milne Bay. Every effort was made to turn this impromptu event into a gala affair: the guests dressed up to the nines, with jewellery and even a bow-tie (made of twine!), and dive lights served as sweeping spotlights as the man of the hour made his entrance. The after-party was in true Fijian style, with the NAI'A crew providing the music, singing and kava. Stan returns to NAI'A in May 2004 when he will host the Gates Digital Video Shootout.

Stan leads the conga line at the after-party of his World Premiere.

In the skiff heading for Lovu Village.

Returning guests Anita and Dick Fahy.

Another major event unfolded during the trip, as Fiji's WWF contacted NAI'A with news that a whale had allegedly been trapped in a lagoon off Koro Island for several months, and could we investigate. We made our way to the island to find a minke whale, although villagers were of mixed opinion as to how long it had been there. The WWF and NAI'A are now evaluating how (or even, if) it's going to be possible to rescue the whale. Koro villagers took NAI'A guests by surprise with their overwhelming hospitality, and we were all taken captive for several hours of music, kava, and the puzzling custom of being doused with talcum powder!

The minke whale at Koro Island.

Other events this trip: a warm welcome back to return guests Dick and Anita Fahy, and Gary Fabiano; a surprise appearance from a manta -- a first even for some of our veteran divers; a birthday celebration for Billy Kurimay; new Nitrox certifications for Billy and wife Nancy, and Mimi Heffernan; the better-late-than-never arrival of Bob Rosenthal, whose business commitments forced him to miss the first 7 days of the charter; and minor surgery on Gerry Madden's toe -- lucky there were four doctors aboard!

Mimi Heffernan and Pat Fox at Koro Island.


From the start the NAI'A has been the model of a fine, well run, well crewed live-aboard. The Best.
Stan Waterman

Being around Stan was such a special treat. The man is definitely a living legend! Thanks to every member of the crew for all your attention and friendliness.
Mimi Heffernan

This wasn't just a dive trip -- it was the experience of a lifetime. Stan's presence was wonderful. All the crew were great.
Joan & Larry Eggert

This trip has been in many ways the best -- diversified and spectacular sights, entertainment that has no equal and a crew that, to an individual, has been the best I have experienced in 30 years diving.
Dick Fahy

Our second trip & the best -- minke a highlight, beautiful people on board to cater to every need.
Anita Fahy

The esprit of the crew and the diver / passenger friendly touches are NAI'A's greatest assests.
Nancy McGee

I'm impelled to rate this trip as my BEST liveaboard trip ever! The quality and care of the crew is superb! Each crew member individually and personally added to my comfort throughout the cruise.
Roger Roth

Your crew is outstanding and the greatest asset -- many thanks.
Pat Fox

This will always be top on our trips.
Gary Fabiano & Geri Lancia

NAI'A's crew is simply the best! I never requested anything more than once, often my mind was read without requesting. Crew members always smiling, always helpful, with a great esprit de corps. It was a special pleasure to get to know Stan Waterman. He and Rob have taught me much about dreaming, and living the dream.
Steve Genkins

Steve Genkins and Gary Fabiano at Lovu Village.

Stan with his business manager Nancy McGee, and NAI'A owner Rob Barrel.

One of the meke at Lovu Village.