Monday, November 27, 2006

Bula, bula bula! We've left the Nai'a this morning but here's a quick recap of the week! Pictures are still not able to be uploaded, but I'll keep trying at the next stop!

Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic as was all the food all week long. Eat, sleep, dive are truisms on the Nai'a as well!

We had the best weather the crew has had for the past two months....sunny skies, calm waters & fantastic visibility! Dive sites were varied with walls, blue water dives and bommies with fantastic hard & soft corals EVERYWHERE! The corals were incredible....the soft corals were hot pink, pale pink, yellow, purple, red, & white! The dives here are amongst the "fishiest" in the world! The tops of all the reefs are covered in thousands of fish, so many varieties and so many colors!

We added 2 new fish to our "life list"....a gorgeous bright red Flame hawkfish who has a black circle around his eyes...very small, very skittish but absolutely gorgeous. I managed to catch a shot of his small face so I'm very happy! I also found a "Leopard blenny" which was so darn cute! Much bigger than the usual blennies and a beautiful spotted green face with the back end of his body a beautiful red! Very, very unique....but very, very fast! Couldn't manage to catch a darn shot!

Sharks were seen on most dives....we did Nangali Pass and had 30-35 black tip reef sharks circling us! Some of the group managed to see a hammerhead so they were excited!

The crew, the crew, the crew! Smiling Fijian faces everywhere....every dive back at the boat we were greeted with "BULA, BULA, BULA!" On Satufday night they hosted a kava party and every dressed in their sulus and sat on woven mats on the dive deck and they all played guitars and sang beautiful Fijian songs. Of course the kava flowed the whole time but we had such a wonderful evening.

Isa Lei means "sorry to see you go" and they sang to us at the kava party as well as at the picture party last night. You come aboard the Nai'a as guests and leave as part of the Fijian family....what a wonderful experience!

It was a fantastic week with fabulous diving, lots of wonderful new friends and wonderful memories......Pictures to come as soon as I can find some way to upload them!

Off to Honiara & the Solomon Islands...hopefully they'll have boat e-mail access & I can get some pictures to show you!

Moce (good-bye in Fijian)....Our thanks to Grant, Sonia & the whole Nai'a Family!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

NI SA BULA (Greetings) from Fiji and Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm not able to upload photos from the Nai'a, and will have to do that next week when we get off the boat, but here's what's happening so far!

After a slight delay for Bob, Tom & I, with an unexpected overnight in Los Angeles, everyone arrived in Fiji in time to board the Nai'a on Tuesday afternoon. Shortly thereafter, it was time for the "check-out" dive just outside of Lautoka Harbour. We checked out our gear and made sure all was functioning properly and had a great dive in the meantime! Water was warm, vis was good and those brand-new to South Pacific diving learned about the wonderful varieties of life and saw lots of critters and fish they'd never seen before!

We dove off Lautoka, Viti Levu again on Wednesday and then moved down to Gau early this morning. Capt John greeted me this morning with "It's a MANTA morning!" Right in front of the bow of the boat lots of manta were feeding! White wing tips were frequently seen breaking the surface and we had an "almost total" breech of one of them! Breaktaking, to say the least! After an early "pre-breakfast" snack, everyone was anxious to hit the water and hope the manta were still there! We were greeted by a couple of fast moving sharks but no manta. Obviously, THEIR breakfast was over also! But the dive was beautiful with absolutely gorgeous soft corals in reds, yellows, pinks, purples & white with big sea fans, red whip corals and lots and lots of beautiful fish. Jeff and Grant did manage to spot one manta right at the end of the dive, just before they boarded their tender so they were happy guys! And Grant is diving a rebreather (that means NO bubbles, gang) so he
got pretty close to it and filmed it for the trip video.

After that, we moved around the island of Gau a little and did the Ningali Passage where 30-35 black tip reef sharks hang out! We were dropped just outside the barrier reef and drifted in on the slight current, traveling through schools of snapper and barracuda and then held on to the rocks at the top of the ridge while the reef sharks swam in front of us and all around us! It was a great, exciting dive!

This afternoon after the third dive, we did a visit to the village of Lova where we were greeted by the chief, toured the village, sampled kava, met the kids and gave them kites, beach balls, balloons, pencils, Frisbees and stickers! The village then treated us to a meke, a traditional Fijian song & dance demonstration and it was lovely.

Thanksgiving dinner is, of course, traditional turkey, so everyone is looking forward to that. That's it from the Nai'a and Gau Island in from the trip will come in a few days when I have a good internet connection but we wish you were with us!

Isa lei (sorry to see you go) and vinaka vaka levu (thank you very much!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Welcome to the Dive Travel Services Adventure blog! On November 21, 2006 we will start the first of four AWESOME Adventures, boarding the Nai'a in Lautoka, Fiji for a week of cruising and diving the Bligh Triangle and Fiji's fabulous waters. Fiji is considered the "Soft Coral Capitol" of the world and we're planning on bringing updates and images from our week of diving there. We will also be visiting at least one local village and will share memories of that also.

Keep checking back occasionally for updates from Fiji, the next "leg" of the Adventure which is onboard the Bilikiki in the Solomon Islands and then onward to Papua New Guinea and the Paradise Sport and Golden Dawn. This complex adventure will end on December 29 and we have folks from all over the United States, the UK, France, and the Caribbean joining us for the various segments.....we wish YOU were here with us too....