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It just keeps getting better; Namena!

September 16, 2014

We left the town of Savusavu on Sept 11 after waiting several days for weather to clear. It was a textbook close-reach sail for the 20 mile run to the atoll at Namena Island that is touted as one of the top 10 dive destinations in the world (lat 17 06.7S long 179 05.6E). We shared the anchorage with our friends Rich and Cindi aboard Legacy.

Diving at Namena can be challenging so we along with Rich and Cindi arranged our dives through the dive center that services the resort on the island. We were picked up by the dive boat early the next morning and headed out to the Grand Canyon for our first dive. It quickly became apparent that we made a good choice by going with the professionals. They knew exactly where to drop us off and each couple had their own dive master that led us to the best spots and pointed out things we would have otherwise missed. And best of all, the boat was right there when we surfaced. The crew helped us with our equipment, handed out dry towels and bottled water, and reviewed the dives with us afterward. We could get used to this!

Later that day we dived the Chimmenys which was our favorite. The dive site consists of two large vertical pinnacles separated by two smaller pinnacles. We circled the first pinnacle several times while descending to the base at 80 feet. We ascended the last pinnacle in a similar fashion and made a decompression stop at the top. The fish and soft corals were amazing; even better than Rainbow Reef.

We were so jazzed that we made arrangements with the dive boat to dive the Fish Patch and Neptune Haunt the following day. And that was followed by a third day of diving at Kansas and the Tetons.

We were very fortunate that the resort was not busy and we had the dive boat to ourselves for three days and six dives. Our dive master was Cio and Rich and Cindi had Dennis. Both are very experienced and intimately familiar with the dive sites. The very exclusive Cousteau Resort on Vanua Levu makes daily trips to Namena and we caught them following us to the very rare blue ribbon eel that many divers are unable to find.

I hope that this post doesn’t burn out our readers with too many underwater pictures, but we had to cull these down from many hundreds. Just be glad we don’t have the bandwidth to post the HD videos!

We are currently anchored off the island of Wakaya (lat 17 35.7S long 178 59.3E). The resort here caters to the rich and famous and they have a cell tower which enables us to post this blog. We will likely stay here and dive a couple of days before heading back to visit our friends on the island of Gau. Then we hope to visit the island of Mbengga and dive with the sharks before heading back to New Zealand for cyclone season.

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Lion Fish

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Yellow tail barracuda stalking a school of big eye

Yellow tail barracuda stalking a school of big eye

Box fish

Box fish

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GOPR1272-010

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Almost invisible leaf fish

Almost invisible leaf fish

Descent at Grand Canyon

Descent at Grand Canyon

Big Grouper

Big Grouper

Descent at Neptune Haunt

Descent at Neptune Haunt

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Decompression stop

Decompression stop

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Sea trout (aka speckled hind)

Sea trout (aka speckled hind)

Descending the pinnacle at Chimmenys

Descending the pinnacle at Chimmenys

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Unicorn fish

Unicorn fish

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Namena dive boat

Namena dive boat

Namena dive sites

Namena dive sites

Giant clam

Giant clam

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GOPR1530

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Nudibranch

Nudibranch

Very rare blue ribbon eel

Very rare blue ribbon eel

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Titan trigger fish

Titan trigger fish

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Coral arch at the Grand Canyon

Coral arch at the Grand Canyon

Dennis reviews the dive

Dennis reviews the dive

From → Travel

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