Nai'a, Fiji

"Hi there- Sadly, back to the world. Great trip, but not without difficulty (not arrangements). Had much trouble with the Rebreather and finally ran into a problem I didn't have a spare part for and threw in the towel. But was able to cobble together an open circuit rig from assorted parts I brought and press on. Will bring many more rebreather spares next time. But ended up carrying back that scrubber all the way to Boston again. Grrrr.

As for the amenities, I'd pick the Novatell over Raffles for day rooms. Raffles was nice, but there were so many ravenous mosquitoes IN the room I arrived at the boat scratching like a mangy chimp. No such problems at the Novatell coming back.

The diving was great and we got lucky - the trip before us lost three days due to a cyclone passing through. We just had a few showers and clouds/wind. Highlights: a swell canyon that was a Grey Reef Shark nursery. We stuffed ourselves into a Peanut Gallery as the big mom sharks paraded in front of us coming very close over and over. A couple of dozen baby sharks came by in their group and were as cute as can be. A few really ornery Titan Triggers were guarding the exit from the canyon that did their best to goose as many of us as possible when we left. Plenty of lovely mantas around on other dives. Coral was quite spectacular - the most healthy I've seen this side of Raja Ampat. Essentially no bleaching at all. Very fishy, very sharky, plenty of octopus around. Almost no macro life - strange, but one can't have everything, apparently.

The boat Nai'a had a severe burnout and refit and the accommodations were all new and lovely. I lucked out and ended up with a single room after all. Crew was great, schedule was great.

That's all I can think of, except that the TSA is getting out of control. They had no problem with my gear, however I got the double treatment both in Boston & LAX. Full scan, shirt removed (!), pockets emptied, wallet searched (!)... Thanks for all the help!"

James- November 2010