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UPCOMING TRIPS

Special Treats

Destination: Fiji's Bligh Waters
Trip Date: May 11th - May 21st, 2019 - Comments
Author: Vanessa & Chad
Welcome Back: Colin, John & Winona
Congratulations: To Bill & Chris on celebrating their 50th anniversary, to Howard & Jean on their 25th anniversary and to Celia & Al celebrating birthdays with us!

What an incredible trip: all the daily dazzlers Fiji has to offer but also 25 hammerheads hunting among us for half an hour and then four mantas barrel-rolling for 40 minutes, plus two enormous frog fish and an adorable orangutan crab!

by Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net)

by Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net)

by Jeff

by Jeff

by Michael

by Michael

by Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net)

by Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net)

by Michael

by Michael

by Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net)

by Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net)

We suspected it was going to be a good charter when we had a pod of dolphins join us for the cruise back from our checkout dive: a truly auspicious start! There were at least ten of them, including a little baby and they were SO playful, jumping really high out of the water by the bow of NAI’A.

Photo credits (Clockwise from top left): Michael, Jeff, Michael, Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net) 

We spent our first two days in the Bligh Waters, diving around Vuya and Vatu-i-ra. Our regular Caribbean divers were blown away and found it all so impressive: we agree, the endless colorful and abundance in Fiji is often overwhelming! Maytag was absolutely thick with blue and yellow fusiliers, almost obscuring the little eagle ray that came to check us out. Coral Corner had sharks and barracuda a-plenty as well as a super friendly giant puffer fish. And Mellow Yellow was an absolute winner, with our guests declaring they could happily dive it every day for the rest of their lives! We did offer a night dive but everyone was so satisfied with what they’d seen by day that they opted for a glass of wine with dinner instead.

Photo credits (Clockwise from top left):  Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net), Colin, Michael, Jeff 

After a great couple of days, we moved east to the Namena marine reserve where our dives only got better! We found some really cool macro life on our pinnacles, including a little orangutan crab which is a super rare treat in these waters.  And we were very happy to discover our regular blue-ribbon eels on Tetons 3 – who had been missing for a couple of trips - were back this trip: guess they’d just been on vacation. Grand Central Station, however, absolutely stole the show! We dived it on the first day and the action was so good our divers requested a repeat the following day. Only too happy to oblige! And, boy, was it a good choice as our divers got to see scalloped HAMMERHEADS! We had 25 of the beauties with us for over 30 minutes, hunting on the deep sandy plateau at the edge of the wall! We hung on to the edge of The Arch and couldn’t believe the show below us: mini-schools would break off and go hunting up the channel, then they’d all come back together and sweep over the reef, then circle above the sand…. Truly breathtaking! We celebrated our success with a raucous kava party, including a long conga line dancing around the dive deck!

Photo credits (Top, bottom left, right):  Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net), Jeff, Chris 

Our luck continued with our move south to the island of Gau. Nigali Passage and Jungle Jig were both spectacular with the most stunning viz (although, to be fair, we saw the other end of the spectrum at Anthias Avenue and Jim’s Alley!). We had a couple of really special sightings in the Passage. First up, another hammerhead, right down the middle of the passage! But this time we’re pretty sure it was a great hammerhead: this thing was HUGE! Secondly, a pair of frog fish! They are unusual in Fiji so this was hugely exciting and left our guides happy dancing underwater. We ended a fabulous couple of days in Gau with a lovely visit to the village of Somosomo: we were a small group but that didn’t stop us having a LOT of fun with some very energetic dancing!

Photo credits (Clockwise from top left):  Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net), Michael, Colin, Michael 

From Gau, we moved north to Wakaya where our winning streak continued. On the first dive we had the perfect diving trifecta: three of our favorites – a shark, a turtle and a manta – in the space of three minutes! Though this was only a hint of what was to come that day. We continued to see mantas on every dive, culminating in a 40-minute barrel-rolling show from 4 graceful individuals! It was an absolutely fabulous experience and most of our divers decided to call it quits for the day there. We did have a single diver venture out for a dusk dive, however, and he was rewarded with an octopus!

Photo credits (Left, Right top, bottom):  Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net), Michael, Jeff 

The final couple of days were very blustery but we managed to find sufficient shelter and enjoyed some great dives at Vatu-i-ra and Nananu-i-ra. Our divers enjoyed great dives at E6 and Mount Mutiny and then were very happy to get a second shot at Mellow Yellow, with its perfect top reef and Coral Corner with its technicolor wall. Though we had some strong currents to contend with, Pinnacles and Golden Sunset were both looking heavenly and were the perfect finish for our divers.

Thank you to all who joined us for this charter, we’ll forever remember those mantas and hammerheads!

"What a wonderful 25th anniversary trip. We enjoyed the NAI'A, the crew and the fellow divers!" Howard & Jean

"Thank you NAI'A crew! We had a great time diving with you. You truly operate one of, if not the BEST, liveaboard!" Michael & Kayleen

"Couldn't have had a better introduction to FIji than on the NAI'A. Thanks for the memories!" Jeff

by Chris

by Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net) 

by Jeff

by Michael

by Colin (www.UnderwaterDisplay.net) 

by Jeff

by Michael

by Jeff

Comments

“Lomaiviti is nationally significant for its important role in reseeding Fiji’s reefs and providing fish refuges.”

Dr. David Obura, Cordio and WWF Marine Biologist

~ Dr. David Obura, Cordio and WWF Marine Biologist