gang after visiting Somosomo
village. Photo by John
Sixteen guests accompanied NAI'A
for the most perfect 10 days of
diving imaginable. Glassy calm
seas, excellent (and still improving)
visibility, combined with fluorescent
dive suits, snorkeling with manta
rays, and some amazing critter
spotting -- it all added up to
an unforgettable trip. Sandra
Rudnick wore out a couple of tank
bangers throughout the trip, while
husband David officiated the hermit
crab races on Vatu-I-Ra Island.
Craig Rudnick (a.k.a the Vegemite
Kid) and med school buddy Scott
Friedman (a.k.a. the PB &
J Bandit) tortured each other
-- and the crew -- with their
escalating practical jokes. Kurt
and Lynn Spaugh lightened the
load for our dive guides by spotting
a robust ghost pipefish for all
to shoot at Thumbs. Not to be
outdone, NAI'A's own Richard out-spotted
everyone with two undescribed
pygmy sea horses on a drift dive,
at night! Larry Essenpreis had
no trouble keeping track of wife
Sarasue who, not surprisingly,
has never lost a piece of dive
gear. Mary Beth Bright celebrated
her 60th birthday, while husband
Bill became another NAI'A convert
to the wonderful world or rubble.
Dave Bernstein (another birthday
celebrator) and Susan Williams
took a break from teaching weekend
Open Water courses in Boston's
mirky, alien-filled ponds, and
(understandably) barely missed
a dive. Lori Wyatt completed a
Nitrox course on her first live-aboard
experience, while Doug Richardson
was finally successful in the
long-time quest for his holy grail:
the ever-illusive freckle-faced
blenny. Javier Colado, all the
way from Madrid, searched out
the strongest currents, climbed
mountains (a small rock actually)
and survived aerial bombardment
to capture some close-ups of a
booby chick. And, John Ronciak
did the first leg of his round-the-world
diving "Radical Sabbatical"
in style -- aboard NAI'A, of course.
Vatu-I-Ra hermit crab
Friedman, Javier Colado,
Sandra & David Rudnick,
FROM THE GUEST BOOK
What a great trip! The crew
is fantastic, the food is great, and
the diving is out of this world. Clown
triggers, ribbon eels, pygmy sea horses,
ghost pipefish, bobtail squid -- just
to name a few of the great creatures
we saw below. Now we're going to have
to find a time to come back for a
cruise to Tonga aboard NAI'A to see
the whales. NAI'A is terrific.
Dave Bernstein & Susan Williams,
The NAI'A family set a new liveaboard
standard for competence and congeniality.
They tolerated every foible with a
smile, and took away every last shred
of urban stress. Meanwhile, the onboard
ambiance was matched only by the endless
wonder and beauty beneath the sea.
Fiji rocks, and the NAI'A rules!
Sandra & David Rudnick,
Despite the Vegemite in my
mouthpiece, I had a wonderful trip.
NAI'A certainly has the best liveaboard
crew in the world!
Craig Rudnick, Tuscon AZ
The people of the NAI'A are
what made this trip special. The entire
crew is helpful, easy going, and fun
to be with. Great food, too! Oh, yeah,
and the diving isn't too shabby either.
I would love to join you all again
at another NAI'A destination in the
Scott Friedman, Tarzana CA
It seems like every piece of
potential travel info we've ever received
talks about how warm and friendly
the local people are. Finally, the
Fiji travel info was right! Your beautiful
islands, songs and faces will forever
be carried in our hearts. We hope
that the little children we visited
at Somosomo grow up to be just like
you. The diving was pretty good, too!
The boat, the crew, and our wonderful
host and hostess were the greatest.
We have been on a number of dive boats,
but NAI'A is the best.
Larry & Sarasue Essenpreis, Toluca
It's been a wonderful trip
in every single aspect. Superb diving,
excellent organization, good food,
and especially a fantastic crew. Un
consejo adiconal: si lees esto a tiempo,
contrólate con el kava!
Javier Colado, Madrid, Spain
We can't say enough about how
wonderful this trip has been. The
diving was great -- we knew it would
be -- but what made this trip so fantastic
was the crew. Every crew member did
their very best to ensure that we
had a perfect trip. The crew who tended
the skiffs were so attentive, we never
had to wait to be picked up when we
surfaced. The divemasters found critters
and fish that we would never have
seen without their help. To add to
our pleasure, the meals were fabulous
and our rooms were made up before
we returned from our first morning
dive. We have been on many enjoyable
liveaboards, but NAI'A is A+++++.
We intend to return.
Mary Beth & Bill Bright, Cary
The diving was great! This
was a great way to start my "Radical
Sabbatical". Thanks to the crew
for making this trip unforgettable.
John Ronciak, Portland OR
& Mary Beth Bright.
Bernstein & Susan
& Sarasue Essenpreis.
Wyatt & Doug Richardson.
& Lynn Spaugh.