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UPCOMING TRIPS

NEAq & MBAq Joint Expedition Fiji 2010

Destination: Bligh Waters, Lomoviti Group & Namena Marine Reserve
Trip Date: Oct 2nd - Oct 12th, 2010 - Comments
Author: Sam Campbell
Welcome Back: Dr W. Keith E. Mark R. Bailey, Heidi M. Les K. Bruce T. Tracy G Wila H.& John S.
Congratulations: to the Wildlife Conservation Society for recognising the importance of the Bligh Waters!!!!!

These trips are always great fun & a learning experience, welcoming back old friends who know the reefs, crew & critters better than I. Dr. Steve W.  from the Monterey Bay Aquarium & Dr. Steve Bailey, curator of fishes at the New England Aquarium, have made many joint expeditions to Fiji in the years that NAI’A has been operating. Stacy Jupiter of the Wildlife Conservation Society was also aboard & is currently working towards setting up a large MPA here in Fiji. The Vatu-i-ra Seascape project is primarily concerned with protecting the rich & diverse reefs in the Bligh Waters – NAI'A’s premier diving destination. This is something that has been a dream for Rob & Cat – they have been very vocal over the years on the need to protect this hot spot of bio diversity in central Fiji.

Great shot considering Mark had a macro lens on!!!!!

Great shot considering Mark had a macro lens on!!!!!

Flying the flag - taken by Sam

Flying the flag - taken by Sam

Moray at the dentist - taken by Bruce

Moray at the dentist - taken by Bruce

All aboard - taken by Keith

All aboard - taken by Keith

John Lennon fever hits Fijian village - taken by Dr W.

John Lennon fever hits Fijian village - taken by Dr W.

Turtle at Mount Mutiny - taken by Bruce

Turtle at Mount Mutiny - taken by Bruce

Great perspective shot - taken by Bruce

Great perspective shot - taken by Bruce

Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish hiding in the Whip Coral - taken by Bruce

Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish hiding in the Whip Coral - taken by Bruce

Octopus in Namena - taken by Bruce

Octopus in Namena - taken by Bruce

Clarks line up for Bruce

Clarks line up for Bruce

Clean up on Vatu-i-ra - taken by Keith

Clean up on Vatu-i-ra - taken by Keith

Keith nails the colorful Fijian reef shot!

Keith nails the colorful Fijian reef shot!

Grouper looking for scraps from the Octopus's meal - taken by Wila

Grouper looking for scraps from the Octopus's meal - taken by Wila

Stacy from WCS & Tui Kubulau during the village visit - taken by Keith

Stacy from WCS & Tui Kubulau during the village visit - taken by Keith

Bruce dancing in Nigali Passage - taken by Keith

Bruce dancing in Nigali Passage - taken by Keith

Dragonet at dusk, looking for a mate - taken by Mark

Dragonet at dusk, looking for a mate - taken by Mark

Booby on Vatu-i-ra - taken by Stacy

Booby on Vatu-i-ra - taken by Stacy

Close up of a Clam or abstract art? - taken by Bruce

Close up of a Clam or abstract art? - taken by Bruce

Hawk Fish feeding off an Anthias - taken by Mark

Hawk Fish feeding off an Anthias - taken by Mark

Richard, Dr W. & Mo all dressed up - taken by Keith

Richard, Dr W. & Mo all dressed up - taken by Keith

Yellow Nose Gobi - taken by Mark

Yellow Nose Gobi - taken by Mark

Strike a pose - taken by Bruce

Strike a pose - taken by Bruce

Crocodile fish on a night dive in Namena -taken by Stacy

Crocodile fish on a night dive in Namena -taken by Stacy

Great view from the hill on Vatu-i-ra -taken by Stacy

Great view from the hill on Vatu-i-ra -taken by Stacy

Octopus feeding - captured by Mark

Octopus feeding - captured by Mark

Grey Reef in Namena - taken by Stacy

Grey Reef in Namena - taken by Stacy

Blue Ribbon Eel at Wakaya - taken by Mark

Blue Ribbon Eel at Wakaya - taken by Mark

Leopard Blenny hiding out - taken by Mark

Leopard Blenny hiding out - taken by Mark

Stacy hunts out the Leaf Fish.

Stacy hunts out the Leaf Fish.

The Arch at NSAT taken by Stacy

The Arch at NSAT taken by Stacy

Thor Shrimp in a bubble coral -taken by Stacy

Thor Shrimp in a bubble coral -taken by Stacy

Wire Coral - taken by Wila

Wire Coral - taken by Wila

Huge Bumphead Parrot Fish in Namena - taken By Stacy

Huge Bumphead Parrot Fish in Namena - taken By Stacy

This crab should find a more desirable abode - taken by Dr W.

This crab should find a more desirable abode - taken by Dr W.

Crinoid close up - taken by Dr W.

Crinoid close up - taken by Dr W.

Lion Fish hunting - taken by Wila

Lion Fish hunting - taken by Wila

Schooling Grey Reefs in Nigali Passage - taken by Wila

Schooling Grey Reefs in Nigali Passage - taken by Wila

Manta cruising in Wakaya - taken by Wila

Manta cruising in Wakaya - taken by Wila

The group is made up of friends, scientists & aquarium volunteers who all share a passion for the underwater environment. Their repeated trips to Fiji also enable them to study the health of the reefs. Transects, video & photos of specific areas are all tools used to monitor the reefs condition. Fiji’s reefs are looking very healthy & abundant, but check out their detailed blog at: http://fb.me/zh1ebvx2

Underwater trip highlights were the feeding mantas in Gau. The video posted on youtube shows their graceful ballet & was also captured with my macro lens. I think they can sense that I am set up for macro, so I’ll take one for the team & keep the tradition of filming Mantas with a macro lens on alive!. From Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish to Mantas, this trip had it all!!!!!!!

Our Guests...

Butch
Butch
Keith
Keith
John
John
Denise
Denise
Bailey
Bailey
Simone
Simone
Nicole
Nicole
Stacy
Stacy
Les
Les
Bruce
Bruce
Mark
Mark
Dr W.
Dr W.
Heidi
Heidi
Virginia
Virginia
Gary
Gary
Wila
Wila
Tracy
Tracy

Comments

“We’ve been on other liveaboards – this is by far the best. Crew, food, sites – everything fantastic!!! Amanda – thanks for saving my ears & Joshua – thanks for saving Steve! The boat layout is top notch & the rooms are great. Thanks so much for an excellent trip.”

Lisa & Steve

~ Lisa & Steve