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Member Since 14 Aug 2008
Offline Last Active Mar 06 2014 03:16 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Fiji Liveabaord advice

28 November 2009 - 05:37 PM

wow Rob, Thanks for that info. I know your operation gets fabulous reviews. I will seriously think about it before I lay down my deposit to PH.

sorry for the poor use of the word "bribe". I just didn't know what else to call it and certainly didn't mean it in a bad way -- actually, i thought of it as a plus in your favor. IMO local people have every right to make some extra money off rich western tourists.

re humpbacks. yes i know it's the luck of the draw, but i always wanted to go to Tonga since i was a kid -- can't explain why. something in that name. I can't get that close and NOT go.
And I'm sure the diving is decent enough that I won't get bored, with or without whales!
Any suggestions on where to go? Was set on Sandy Beach Resort in Ha'apai, but just found out a big group has the whale boat chartered same days.

Bula Cheryl:

You definitely should go to Tonga, even if you are a bit early for the best of the humpbacks. It's a lovely and very interesting country, particularly as they prepare to retire the monarchy and move to democracy. During whale season we operate only in Ha'apai, the middle group in the country (where Sandy Beach Resort is located), so I don't know about Vava'u first hand. But I know there are several good operators up there and some gorgeous little island resorts. As Mike mentioned, Paul and Karen at Dive Vava'u are great folks and I've heard they run a first-class operation. Another we often hear good things about is Mounu Island Resort (www.mounuisland.com). Have a great time! Best fishes, Rob

In Topic: Fiji Liveabaord advice

27 November 2009 - 07:21 PM

Bula - I own NAI'A in Fiji and have no intention of hijacking this conversation with promotion of our operation. I only wish to correct some facts so readers of this forum are accurately advised as they choose the liveaboard journey that is right for them.

1. NAI'A carries a MAXIMUM of 18 diving guests in eight full size staterooms with private ensuite bathrooms, plus one smaller cabin with ensuite. The rooms that look like triples on our website are set up for two people either sleeping together or in separate beds.

2. Our mast takes up merely half a square meter of deck area. The vessel has three decks: accommodation deck, main deck and bridge deck.

3. Because we dive from two independent skiffs, rather than from the main boat, we do not put all divers on one site or limit dive times. Guests are free to make short or long dives as they please. We do encourage divers who enjoy significantly extended dive times to simply notify us of their habit. Divers who surface early don't have to wait in the skiff for the others; they are taken back to the ship.

4. Payments to traditional owners of reefs are common in some parts of the Pacific. We pay "dive rights" in some places but not in others. This a very complex local issue, perhaps worthy of a separate forum. But we certainly do not consider these payments "bribes". Dive rights are a function of many factors including the relationship between the operator and the local people, conservation management, the type of activity that takes place in an area and the frequency of visitations. Consider by way of example that what began as our "dive rights" many years ago around Namena, has now become Fiji's largest marine reserve network <http://www.namena.org/>

5. Early July is a bit early for humpback whales any place in the South Pacific, but there will be a few around, mainly juveniles. From Antarctica, humpback whales follow a variety of migratory routes along the coasts of New Zealand and Australia and into the Pacific Islands. Recent tagging research has also revealed some humpback movement east and west between island groups during the southern winter breeding and birthing season.

Vinaka vakalevu,