Underwater color extravaganza!
A fabulous week of diving was had by all. Fiji's reefs are looking fantastic. The vis at the moment is great & the colors are WOW!. Vatu-i-ra was teaming with life. Our first dive at Mellow Yellow blew people away. Mark Snyder was travelling with us for a second trip & couldn't get enough of the wide angle reef shots that just pop due to the color extravaganza that is Fiji! Marty Snyderman, aboard for a trip with his dive buddy Steve, was in Fiji writing an article for Dive Training Magazine, Steve & he were not disappointed by the awesome reefs in the Bligh Waters, Namena & the Lomaiviti Group. The atmosphere onboard was very jovial & lots of fun was had by all.
But the most fun was had just outside of Makogai. Whilst getting ready for the 3rd dive of the day humpbacks were spotted & all plans changed. Kevin, Steve, Marty & I took one skiff and went off to swim with two. Brigitte & the rest went to swim with a different pod. Sara followed close by on NAI'A, getting topside views. The whales were more intrested in each other than us, although we did get a couple of good passes & everyone got to see a humpback underwater. Looking at the smiles on everyone's face whilst sitting in the skiff during a heavy shower - was priceless!.
Pygmy Seahorse in Namena - shot taken in testing conditions by Marty
A patient Steve captures a feeding Turtle
Juvenile squid on a night dive in Namena - taken by Marty
Steve gets up close with a Grey Reef in Nigalli Passage
Pink Anemone Fish poses for Steve
Clarks Anemone fish get aggressive with Steve
Isa Isa - Goodbye, farewell & safe travels from the Nai'a Crew - taken by Marty
Huge sea fan - taken by Steve
The Mo looking for critters - by Marty
Seascape taken by Steve
Lizard fish line up to pose for Marty
Yellow Nosed Gobi strikes a pose for Marty
Blenny pops out for Marty
Curious Grey Reef in Nigalli Passage taken by Marty
Blenny poses for Steve
Incoming shark captured by Marty
Randalls Gobi captured by Mary
Long Nose Hawk Fish poses for Marty
Saron Shrimp taken by Marty
Morrisons Dragonet taken by Marty
Beth had come from Colorado for her first visit to Fiji. She cruised around taking memories of the seascapes & was always smiling. Gau was action packed as ever. The shark population was teaming & the Grey Reefs were very curious(as you can see from the photo gallery).
Julia & Pascal were on there way home to Switzerland from Australia. It gave Brigitte a chance to speak her mother tongue, even though, as ever, the Swiss contingent spoke perfect English. They dived all the dives and loved the larger pelagics - spotting more sharks than everyone else! Michael cruised around the reefs shooting pics & video and he was always on hand with a witty joke - usually at my expense! His best moment of the trip was provided by a curious hammerhead. We had met Kevin & Sara before in Wakatobi. What a small world the diving community is!. Sara is also a professional photographer & cruised around effortlessly snapping away. Kevin relaxed between the dives on the upper deck, listening to his i-pod in the day & star gazing at night. Great trip!!!!!!!!!!
“NAI’A made a believer out of me! Fiji has been grossly underrated by both divers and scientists. Incredible fishes here and definitely worthy of protection.”
~ Dr. Gerry Allen, Ichthyologist & Author, Conservation International