Lovely Pajama Cardinalfish!

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Date: June 30 – July 10, 2007
Destination: Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, Wakaya, Makogai, Vatu-I-Ra, Fiji
Welcome back: Ann Beisser and Linda Hanley

Welcome back Ann Beisser. She has been a part of the NAI'A family for so many years now. Always so lovely to have your smiley self back on the NAI'A! Still as perfectionist a photographer as ever… thank you ever so very much for all the photos!!


Tubastraea Feeding.
Hingebeak Shrimp.
Chironephthya Soft Corals.


Covuli reef had plenty ever so handsome Pajama cardinalfish in store for us on our check dive, always a lovely sight.

We had not visited Wakaya Island's wall for a while and were very glad to be back. We caught it on a very sunny day, with excellent visibility and incoming current, and were welcomed by clouds of Anthias of many species (Hawk, Scalefin, Purple queen, Squarespot, Magenta slender), plenty fusiliers streaming over the reef, and schooling rainbow runners, surgeonfish and snappers, with some Dogtooth tuna and Spanish mackerel cruising by, too. The soft corals and fans along the wall and at Lion's Den looked very lush, beautifully puffed up in the current. Doing justice to the site's name, about seven lionfish were hovering above their Den, watching over their little yellow Leaf fish friend. The adhesive anemone with its fat popcorn inhabitant was also still at the same spot. We also discovered that the deeper pinnacle south of Lion's Den is a cleaning station for sharks, as we observed a Grey reef shark hovering above it with its mouth open, getting some dental hygiene done.


Yawning Leaf Fish.


Linda Hanley, welcome back to the NAI'A for the 5 th time. It was great to share your enthusiasm for Fiji under water and above, yet again. The boys will miss you during their kava drinking and singing evenings!


Linda Hanley.


The mantas of Vatu Vai at Wakaya Island did not show up this time, but the Great hammerhead who lives there did, quite an impressive sight!

Ron's Delight at Makogai was a true delight yet again with its stunning density and color variety of Dendronephthya soft corals, and the packed clouds of fusiliers, Magenta slender anthias and Scalefin anthias, streaming about it all. This reef is simply breath-taking! The two resident yellow Leaf fish with brown and white patches were at home, and this time even lined up for a face shot and seated, most adequately, on a purple soft coral, what more could one ask for….


Skiffs With Rainbow.


Alan Leung, so nice to see you again after meeting you in the Solomons. It was great to be able to share all the Fijian wonders with you, as well. I greatly enjoyed our triumphant fencing practices with the pointing sticks to celebrate the Flame hawkfish, nudibranchs, ghost pipefish and triple stonefish finds.


Sonia & Alan on a little fencing pratice.
Mimic Blenny.
Sonia on a fencing practice break.
Alan & Sonia fencing again.
I woooooon says Alan Leung.


At the Nasi Yalodina wreck a Hawksbill turtle was munching away at the soft corals for what seemed like ages, and did not even flinch as Linda got quite close with her camera.

The Hairy ghost pipefish at Humann Nature, Undenai'able Cuts and Howard's Diner are still there, awesome as ever, floating about and doing perfect red algae impressions.


Hairy Ghost Pipefish.
Juvenile Lionfish.
Juvenile Tomato Anemonefish.
Harvey Schecter.


Harvey Schecter was never far when we pointed out critters, and flooded his mask many times when laughing at our under water fencing practices. Thank you very much for all the medical advice, very much appreciated!

Gomo at Vatu-I-Ra was at its best yet again, with amazing soft coral display and dense fish action. Into the current on the NW point we had plenty schooling Pinjalo snapper, Masked surgeonfish, barracuda, fusiliers, a Dogtooth tuna, several Spanish mackerel, and two Grey reef sharks circling about. We staid at the corner for most of the dive, enjoying the view, and drifting over the spectacular staghorn coral covered in anthias and damselfish for the safety stop, it really can't get much better than this!


Blue Ribbon Eel.
Gorgonian Fans.


Uncovering The Lovo.
Lovo Uncovered... YUMMY.


We went back to Makogai to prepare a delicious lovo (Fijian meal cooked on hot stones in the earth floor), and for a village walk-about and inspection of the clam farm, always a favourite.


Makogai Clam Farm.
Clam Raising Pools At Makogai.
Harvey Hitching A Ride On Big Mo.


Alacrity passage at Vatu-I-Ra, tempted us again with a night dive. We could not resist going back, dive lights switched off, to watch Flashlight fish darting about in the crevices, and to enjoy the awesome bioluminescence lighting up the fans and black coral bushes like Christmas trees. We equally could not resist making our human light bullet impressions again… back on the surface there was no moon and ever so many stars, looking so much like the bioluminescence display we had just seen. An almost mystical experience every time.


Makogai Soft Coral Splendor.


Kava Ceremony.
Mo's Famous Kava Face.
Kava Party.
Isa Lei Song.
Fijian Sunset.


Guest Comments

Dearest NAI'A;
My family away from home, once again you bathed me in your warmth and kindness, you made my diving successful. Thank you Crew and especially, Sonia, I appreciate your selflessness and your extraordinary caring for all of us. You went way beyond the call of duty.
Love to you all,
See you soon,
Ann Beisser, Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Thank you for an exceptional experience. Sonia, more than anyone, made this trip a success. The Crew was exceptional.
Hope to see you again,
Harvey Schecter, Lawrenceville, GA, USA

NAI'A Sailing Into The Sunset.


Thank you all for another wonderful trip! The diving is great as always, but it is the Crew that makes it such a special experience. My love to all of you, old friends and new.
Thank you for the music I love so much, and the friendship I feel each time I return!!
Love to all,
Linda Hanley, Oak Grove, MO, USA

Great diving
Comfortable cabin
Delicious food
Attentive staff
Diving in Fiji with NAI'A ranks at the top of all my diving trips.
Hope to be back in the future.
Alan Leung, Hong Kong, China & Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Ann Beisser


Palette Surgeonfish.


Ann Beisser.
Tomato Anemonefish.