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Bega Lagoon and Nai'a Fiji trip


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#1 Aquapaul

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 08:40 PM

Just got back from Fiji a couple weeks ago. I took my new Aquatica AD7000 and Nikon D7000, my first DSLR under the waves.

We stayed at Bega Lagoon the first 5 days. Bega Lagoon was a great place with wonderful staff. Meals were good, the beds were very good, the rooms were cleaned daily. The dive staff was good, the boat we had was great, but not real great for cameras, no dedicated place for them. None of our group had any problems with our cameras but we were very watchful. The diving at Bega was not as great as I had hoped. A lot of dead coral, vis not the best and we dove some of the dive sites more then once. I went to see the Soft Coral Capital of the world and hoped this really wasn't it. As with any place I have been there are always good things you run across, healthy spots and an occasional white tip shark. We did do the famed shark dive, no Tiger sharks but lots of Bull sharks. Not the best environment for taking photos but I knew that going in, I did get a couple I liked.
Our next 7 days were on the liveaboard Nai'a. Truly an awesome experience. The boat was great, the staff was even better. The food and staterooms were great. The Dive staff went above and beyond any expectations. And the diving was out of this world, truly this was what was meant by Fiji being the soft capital of the world. The colors were amazing, the fish life big and small were amazing lots of sharks, some of our group saw Hammer Heads. We rarely saw another boat while we were out. Over all I would recommend this charter to most anyone.

Attached photos below are from this trip. Critics welcome.

PC1_6373.jpg From the Nai'a with 60mm with 4" dome

PC1_5929.jpg Bull Shark at Bega Lagoon, 10-17 with 4" dome

PC1_5866.jpg Anemone at Bega Lagoon, with 10-17 and 4" dome

PC1_5591.jpg From the Nai'a 10-17 with 4" dome

Attached Images

  • PC1_6755.jpg
  • PC1_7148.jpg
  • PC1_7271.jpg

Edited by Aquapaul, 15 November 2011 - 08:44 PM.

Paul Chase

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#2 Steve Williams

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:16 AM

Our next 7 days were on the liveaboard Nai'a. Truly an awesome experience. The boat was great, the staff was even better. The food and staterooms were great. The Dive staff went above and beyond any expectations. And the diving was out of this world, truly this was what was meant by Fiji being the soft capital of the world. The colors were amazing, the fish life big and small were amazing lots of sharks, some of our group saw Hammer Heads. We rarely saw another boat while we were out. Over all I would recommend this charter to most anyone.


That sounds like a fantastic trip! How easy was the switch to the DSLR for you? From the look of the images it went very well.

Congrats!
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#3 drako

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:28 AM

I had a very good time on the land portion of Beqa. However I found the boat to be slow and although the staff was helpful I felt the management was more concerned with a nice resort than nice diving.

Did you dive Bligh waters/pass? That was some of the best diving I have ever done.

Jose

#4 Aquapaul

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 07:11 AM

Steve,
I am no stranger to DSLRs so that helped a lot, I had been shooting a G10 for the last several years underwater. The biggest adjustment was going from 6 pounds or so of rig to 19 whopping pounds. I bought several Stix floats and have 7 of them on my Ultralite arms to make my rig about 1 pound or less negative. I stumbled across one of Martin Edge's books on Vacation last year and liked it a lot, soon as I got home I bought the latest and have been studying it all summer. That helped a lot. Also have been studying lots of articles on this forum. Thanks to everyone for that. It was a fantastic trip, especially the Nai'a portion.

Jose,
Ya Bega could have been better, I would give them a positive review but would not fly half way around the world just to dive there. One of the gals on our trip had her luggage show up a couple days late, it was good to not have been out on the Nai'a when it showed up. It seamed to me that if they practiced the " stitch in time saves nine " philosophy they wouldn't have so much trouble.
Yes we dove the Bligh Water pass, and yes it was awesome. My favorite was Mt Mutiny, a pinnacle on our 5th day. I would like to dive the Nai'a again someday but pair it with a different land resort.


Paul
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#5 Hollywoodivers Imaging

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 11:45 PM

Great photos. I was just there at Beqa in Fiji, excellent resort with a great crew. When you mention a lot of dead coral, were you referring to the reef right out in front of the resort, or the dive spots you visited?
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#6 Aquapaul

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 01:25 PM

Great photos. I was just there at Beqa in Fiji, excellent resort with a great crew. When you mention a lot of dead coral, were you referring to the reef right out in front of the resort, or the dive spots you visited?



Both, I was a little disappointed. Possibly it's just where they took us. There may be better diving.
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#7 johnjvv

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 04:43 AM

PC1_6373.jpg From the Nai'a with 60mm with 4" dome


Hi Paul,

Nice pic of the Sharks...he looks nice and friendly :)

What spacer did you have to use for the 60mm lens and the 4" dome? Do you perhaps have a few more pics with the same setup (60mm and 4" dome) as I am quite keen to see!!

Cheers,
John

Edited by johnjvv, 19 November 2011 - 04:47 AM.


#8 Aquapaul

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:18 AM

Hi Paul,

Nice pic of the Sharks...he looks nice and friendly :)

What spacer did you have to use for the 60mm lens and the 4" dome? Do you perhaps have a few more pics with the same setup (60mm and 4" dome) as I am quite keen to see!!

Cheers,
John



PC1_6314.jpg

This was our second dive of this site where sharks frequent, on the first dive I took my 10-17 and couldn't get close enough so I thought I would try my 60mm. I have two spacers, one for the 10-17 and one for my 105. Pretty sure I used the 10-17 spacer but not sure. I suffer from CRS ( can't remember Shit). I used a magic filter for all these shots. Probably a little too deep, the light was the wrong way and the sharks were still to far away but it was an experiment. This is the only dive I did with this set up.
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#9 Aquapaul

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:26 AM

Hi Paul,

Nice pic of the Sharks...he looks nice and friendly :)

What spacer did you have to use for the 60mm lens and the 4" dome? Do you perhaps have a few more pics with the same setup (60mm and 4" dome) as I am quite keen to see!!

Cheers,
John


A few more from the dive,

PC1_6353.jpg 30 meters deep

PC1_6392.jpg 10 meters deep

PC1_6411.jpg 10 meters deep

All ambient with Magic Filters, pretty late in the day, I think a little too dark for the magic filter.
Paul Chase

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#10 johnjvv

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 10:24 PM

Paul,

Thanks I like the pics, I will definitely try it out when I get the right extension ring. To assist with your DRS, you must have used the same 105 extension as I tried fitting it with the 10-17 extension which is too small and therefore would only seal if I were to use a lot of electrical tape!! :)

Cheers,
John

#11 Aquapaul

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 06:02 AM

Paul,

Thanks I like the pics, I will definitely try it out when I get the right extension ring. To assist with your DRS, you must have used the same 105 extension as I tried fitting it with the 10-17 extension which is too small and therefore would only seal if I were to use a lot of electrical tape!! :)

Cheers,
John



That's funny, I bet you are right. I think if you need an extension for something else and you can get the 60mm in there it will work. I don't think it would be as critical as a fisheye would be because you are only using a very small angle of view.
Paul Chase

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