Aloha, Howziiiiitt?!

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Date: June 9 - 19, 2007
Destination: Bligh Water, Gau, Makogai, Namena Marine Reserve, Vatu-I-Ra, Fiji
Congratulations: George Brown on making an Evolution Rebreather experience dive.

Kindness, smiles, jokes, singing, Crew food eating and hula dancing were plentiful on this Hawaiian charter. When are you all coming back???? We definitely hope, it will be soon!! Hawaiian joy of life flowed continuously… we will miss it and all of you terribly!!


Soft Coral Splendour.


David Pence checked out all the walls diving on the "yellow boxfish" Evolution Rebreather. Athline Clark's infectious laughter kept us all giggling with her every day, and there was definitely no shortage of funny stories …Happy birthday, dear Athline!!


Dave & Athline High Up.
Dave Close Up & Personal.


A big school of Chevron barracuda circled us on the Nasi Yalodina wreck for quite a while, really nice!!

George Brown played the ukulele beautifully with the boys, mixing Hawaiian and Fijian tunes, and his wife Donna conquered everyone with her gentle ways.


Banded Coral Shrimp.
Blue Ribbon Eel.


(Paul) Humann Nature did an excellent job casting its magic spell on everyone and living up to its name, as not only all its soft corals and fans showed themselves in their best light, but it also offered an amazing display of fish action in the shallows, with huge dense schools of fusiliers and one really big school of Long-jawed or Indian mackerel, their jaws all open, being chased around in huge waves by three sizeable Spanish mackerels and one Giant trevally, truly amazing. We stayed on top of the reef for ages watching the awesome performance!! Even Mo's big and pregnant hairy ghost pipefish was still there.


Bigeye Trevallies.


Chris Caillarec and his wife Irene Brown did not do a dive without each other. Congratulations Irene, for your very artistic slide how, thank you for sharing!!

The monster soft coral crab was still at home on the Undenai'able Cuts, still hiding under the same huge soft coral branch.


Trapeze Crab.
Gordon With An Old Friend.


Our "Oceanic blenny", Gordon Tribble, displayed great magic skills in being everywhere on the dive sites at the same time. Hey Gordon, careful about staying too close behind giant barracudas in the current, the sanitary alarms might go off again…. His wife Jane Schoonmaker and his daughter Carrie managed admiringly well to keep up with his energetic diving practices. How Carrie found the time to read 7 books as well as doing most of the dives remains a mystery.


Splendid Garden Eels.


Grant was very lucky in being able to observe a grey reef shark actually biting a surgeonfish in half and eating it all up. He also found himself circled by four silvertip sharks at E6, and even had video footage to prove it. That is when a closed rebreather comes in handy…

Canadian Cheri Recchia fitted in beautifully with the bunch of crazy Hawaiians, and they almost, but only almost, succeeded in converting her into being a real and proper Hawaiian. By the way, that greenish, blue striped, sort of snappery looking fish with the big lips was a …


Randall's Shrimpgoby.
Fijian Sunset.
Orange-Finned Anemonefish.


Nigali Passage's gentle giant Malabar groupers are still their normal friendly selves, staring into our faces up close and personal, and sitting on our fins. The enormous slashing mantis shrimp is still there, an impressive sight. The grey reef sharks circled us in great numbers, and quite some of the females showed new bite marks, due to the rather rough mating practices. Does not always pay off to be a shark lady.

Terri Rust & Sharon Ringsven slept on the sun deck, enjoying the dark and very starry Fijian skies, and Jane Culp, with energies of ten teenagers put together, started diving even before diving was invented…


Girls In A Basket.
Grey Reef Shark and Snappers.


As our wild Hawaiians, including Cheri of course, loved walls and currents we did not hesitate to dive some of our more challenging sites, like Fantasea, Coral Corner and Gomo, hard work, but definitely the most awesome soft coral growth and fish action ever.

Our dusk dive at Alacrity was an awe inspiring experience. Before it turned completely dark, we had big schools of fusiliers streaming over the reef, swimming very fast, for no obvious reason, as there was nothing chasing them … frenzied mating practice or simply evening rush hour? After dark most of us switched off our dive lights and enjoyed the incredible density of bio-luminescence on the reef, lighting the whole wall up like a sky covered densely with stars, and occasionally interrupted by the presence of the astounding flashlight fish "Batman" eyes, truly breathtaking!


Blackspotted Puffer.
Common Lionfish.
Scaly Thorny Oyster.


Frank Parrish enjoyed diving in Fiji's "toad-free" waters immensely. He joined his wife Debbie Goebert and Gordon in showing off great choreographic skills as "bio-luminescent human bullets and dancers" on the dusk dives, great fun!!!

Marie Thoma taught everyone how to dance the Hawaiian hula. She always had a kind word and a warm smile for everyone, vinaka vaka levu!! Ann Coopersmith, 'Frannie da bomb' to us, and Marie had the most sparkling eyes under water and above, even the fish noticed…

Makogai village impressed everyone jet again with their clam and turtle breeding projects, and their beautiful and ever so professional "meke" (custom dance and singing). Vinaka vaka levu Makogai!


Boys' Meke at Makogai.
Girl at Makogai.
Warriors at Makogai.
Sefa Working On The Lovo.
Yummy Lovo.


Guest Comments

Vinaka! Vinaka!
"UndeNAI'Ably" the best dive trip ever! And of course everyone on the NAI'A Crew. I looked forward to each day for laughs and adventures under water. You all made my trip a fond memory! A hui hou malama pono! "Until we meet – take care"
Marie Thoma, Makawao, HI, USA

This dive trip has been the best ever! Fantastic dive sites, gourmet food, music, wonderful friends, both old and new, and much more. Thank you Dave and Athline for bringing us to Fiji. Many thanks to Sonia, Grant and all of the NAI'A Crew.
Janie Culp, Honolulu, HI, USA

Anytime a 16-year old spends 10 days in close company of her parents and 14 other adults without a cross word, something special has happened. It might have been the spectacular diving, it might have been the wonderful attitude ("OK, I guess you can use that strange gear if it really suits you"), or it might have been the genuine warmth of all aboard, and the food was great.
The Tribbles (Gordon, Jane and Carrie), Honolulu, HI, USA

NAI'A Crew:
Mahalo nui loa,
Vinaka vaka levu,
And aloha pumohana to you all!
It has been a fabulous trip, so many, many laughs, good food, great times, awesome dives! We now feel like a part of your family and welcome you to ours as well!
Howzitt!! Mahalo for making my birthday so special!
A hui hou – (until we meet again)!
Aloha and welcome to our Ohana (family)!
Athline Clark, Kaneohe, HI, USA

NAI'A Crew –
What a fantastic experience!! The NAI'A Crew is da best – can't say enough good things about you! Many good memories and pics to remind me of what a special place this is.
Vinaka and mahalo nui loa!
Terri Rust, Honolulu, HI, USA

Capt. John, Grant, Sonia and All the Crew of NAI'A,
It was almost two years ago that I sat down with Rob at DEMA and said, "For Athline's 50 th birthday I want the whole boat!" I'm not sure I knew what I was asking for, but I know now that the reality has far exceeded my hopes. You all have not just been professional and exceptional at providing us an unequalled trip, but have invited us into the NAI'A family, and in turn have become part of ours. Thank you for all the blessings – fair winds, following seas and limitless visibility always.
Dave Pence, E Ala E, Kaneohe, HI, USA


Athline's Birthday Cake.


From the 1st heart warming "Bula"! and continuous greeting after every fantabulous dive, the Crew has been ever friendly and knowledgeable. Good dives, good food, and now even more good friends!
Debbie Goebert, Kaneohe, HI, USA

Vinaka vaka levu,
F antastic, fun trip and fabulous food
I ncredible dive sites
J ohnathan, Joe, Jioji and all the rest of the gracious, helpful Crew
I nformative and inspirational Cruise Directors
Frannie 'da bomb'
Ann Coopersmith, Paia, HI, USA

NAI'A Crew –
Vinaka vaka levu!
This was unde NAI'A bly the best diving I have done with some of the best Crew! My diving expectations have been spoiled by the beautiful Fijian reefs – and of course the Crew music! Sota tale ! A hui hou!
Mahalo nui loa,
Sharon Ringsven, Kula, HI, USA

Simply the Best ! in every respect. Crew, Boat, Dives, Food, Music. Fiji at its very finest.
Mahalo and much aloha.
George Brown, Maui, HI, USA

This has been the best diving, best vacation – everything from the food to the best Crew anywhere !
Vinaka! Mahalo nui loa. We can't wait to come back.
Donna Brown, Maui, HI, USA

Unforgettable experience!!
Chris Caillarec, Kula, HI, USA

Best service, best dive guides of any boat or shop anywhere, and awesome diving, too!
Vinaka vaka levu, muchas gracias, Danke, Good on ya!
Cheri Recchia, New York, USA

Words cannot describe this most wonderful NAI'A adventure! Only photos will do it justice – Mahalo to Dave for organizing, the Gang for being so fun, and especially Sonia, Grant and the Crew!!
Mahalo nui nui loa – a hui hou!
Again…Wow food - Wow Crew – Wow diving – Wow FIJI
Thanks heaps to Sonia, Grant and ALL of NAI'A Crew
Irene Brown, Kula, HI, USA


Irene Brown

Decorated Dartfish.
Dave Pence.
Athline Clark.
Happy Birthday Athline.
Cheri Recchia.
Chris Caillarec.
Irene Brown.
Debbie Goebert.
Frank Parrish.
Donna Brown.
George Brown.
Hermit Crab.
Jane Schoonmaker.
Gordon Tribble.
Carrie Tribble.
Magenta Dottyback.
Ann Coopersmith
Janie Culp.
Marie Thoma.
Bicolor Blenny.
Sharon Ringsven.
Terri Rust.
Regal Angelfish.