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UPCOMING TRIPS

Ten Divers and A Lucky Leprechaun!

Destination: Fiji's Bligh Waters
Trip Date: Apr 27th - May 7th, 2019 - Comments
Author: Vanessa & Chad
Welcome Back: Irene & Dan, Yeng, Rob & Allison
Congratulations: Ross & Gillian on celebrating your 15th anniversary with us and to Irene & Avi celebrating birthdays

Good people, sunny days (well, to begin with at least!), awesome sea life – eagle rays, a nurse shark, multiple sea snakes - and a wish-granting lucky leprechaun onboard…. What more could we ask for?!

by Clinton (metridium.com)

by Clinton (metridium.com)

by Rob

by Rob

by Clinton (metridium.com)

by Clinton (metridium.com)

by Rob

by Rob

by Rob

by Rob

by Clinton (metridium.com)

by Clinton (metridium.com)

by Rob

by Rob

We spent a fabulous ten days at sea with a great group of guests: a wide range of ages, backgrounds and professions made for some interesting conversations. We love the variety of people we get to meet onboard NAI’A! We heard some really funny stories, none more so than from our Irishman and diving veteran, Dan. We’re not entirely sure how it came to pass, but early on in the trip our guests decided they’d test the luck of the Irish and gave Dan’s head a ‘lucky rub’ on the way out to their dive. Well, what do you know, it worked… Our divers came back having seen three eagle rays! The second time they tried it resulted in a blue spotted sting ray. So, of course, for the rest of the trip there was no choice but to ritualize the rubbing of Dan’s head pre-dive….

Photo credits (all photos): Rob Lee 

We spent the first couple of days in the Bligh Waters, between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, diving the areas of Vuya and Vatu-i-ra. We had some truly beautiful dives, with calm and easy conditions: a nice way to ease into the trip! Coral Corner seemed to be a hands down favorite with its mesmerizing wall of golden soft corals, though Mellow Yellow came in a close second. With next to no waves we were able to really enjoy our shallow top reefs, leisurely cruising around in the shallows for the last 15-20 minutes of the dive. It’s a place of absolute peace and tranquility: heaven on earth. We also sent out our first night dive here. It was a little frustrating due to an irritating number of tiny shrimps attracted to our lights but we still saw some cool critters, including a sting ray and a slipper lobster.

Photo credits (Left, top right, bottom right): Clinton Bauder (metridium,com), Rob Lee, Clinton Bauder 

From here, we began our move south, stopping in for a great day of diving at Wakaya. We enjoyed three day dives and a dusk dive here, taking in all that the impressive wall has to offer. We love hanging over its edge, staring down into the blue and wondering what crazy creatures live down there. Whilst day-dreaming, we spotted a whole lot of cool macro life: leaf scorpion fish, decorated dartfish, some interesting nudis and a few cute juveniles.

Next up: Gau! We spent two relaxed days here diving a great variety of passage, sloping reef and pinnacle dives. Something for everyone! Of course – as always – our guests LOVED Nigali Passage with its impressive concentration of barracuda and grey reef sharks. But they also really enjoyed the pretty reefs on offer at Jungle Jig, Jim’s Alley and Anthias Avenue. Our first evening at anchor, we enjoyed our weekly kava party with the crew: it was lovely to relax together out on the dive deck and enjoy a good ol’ fashioned sing along. And then, on the second afternoon, we took a little time out of the water for our village visit at Somosomo. The friendliness of the villagers and the joyous singing and dancing was as wonderful as always, but there was an extra special added bonus this week: eight tiny little puppies, surely no more than a week or two old. Cuddles for everyone!

Photo credits (Left, top right, bottom right): Rob Lee, Clinton Bauder (metridium,com), Kevin Phillips

From Gau, we journeyed north to Namena. By this stage of the trip, the weather had turned less in our favor and the crossing was a rough one: there were a few sleepy faces the next morning. Everyone cracked on, however, and the turnout for the dives was impressive! Boy, was it worth it. We had two days of sensational diving in Namena with everyone enjoying the impressive walls and stunning pinnacles. We had great conditions – good viz and moderate currents – and the perfect balance of cool macro life, impressive ‘big stuff’ and pretty-pretty soft corals. Two Thumbs Up lived up to its name and proved a favorite, with photographers torn between an adorable pygmy seahorse and perfect wide-angle top reefs. We only had one taker for our night dive here but he had a great time, coming back having seen some vey stylish decorator crabs, a teeny little sole and a hyperactive clam!

Photo credits (Left, top right, bottom right): Rob Lee, Clinton Bauder (metridium,com), Clinton Bauder 

Leaving Namena, we began to move back west, returning to Vatu-i-ra to relive its glory once more! Maytag was incredible with a baby eagle ray hanging around and a seemingly endless school of fusiliers pouring over the reef. And repeat dives at Coral Corner and Mellow Yellow were even better than the first time round: we find it’s always nice to go back once you’ve got a feel for the site.

Photo credits (all photos): Kevin Phillips 

We headed to Nananu-i-ra for our last day of the trip and three great dives at Pinnacles, Labyrinth and Golden Sunset. We had some incredible golden soft corals on show but it was the shallow hard coral gardens that really impressed: it's so great to see such healthy reef systems. After getting all the gear washed up and hung out to dry, we enjoyed a lazy afternoon cruising back towards Lautoka where we would end our trip the next morning. We'd like to say a big VINAKA to all of our guests for such an easy, enjoyable time together. And an extra special thanks to Dan for being such a good luck charm.....

 

“Another memorable trip – another birthday celebrated on board the NAI’A. The dives were just what I remembered them to be, STUNNING & BEAUTIFUL!” Irene & Dan

 

“Our first trip to Fiji and NAI’A. We loved our time here and will never forget the friends we met.” Mandy & Kevin

by Clinton Bauder (metridium,com)

by Kevin Phillips

by Rob Lee

by Clinton Bauder (metridium,com)

by Kevin Phillips

by Rob Lee

by Clinton Bauder (metridium,com)

Comments

“This trip was better than I expected. And I expected it to be pretty frickin’ great. Thanks to all the crew who made our first liveaboard so memorable.”

Craig

~ Craig