Helen spent a wonderful (although bit bumpy) 5 days on NAI’A, not as cruise director, but as coral scientist in with Wildlife Conservation Society in September 2020.

What do you get when you combine a dream team of reef scientists, the NAI’A and a list of coordinates? An epic 6 days of diving, surveying Fiji reefs.

The monitoring expedition was led by The Wildlife Conservation Society to complete reef surveys around Namena Marine Reserve and Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park.

The aim was to determine reef health and, in particular, recovery in these areas after Cyclone Winston 4 years ago.

The monitoring crew consisted of Team Bottom Dwellers (Sangeeta, Ana, Wise, Helen and Amanda),Team Ninja Penguins (Yash, Stacy, Luke, Katy and Wise) plus Team Floater (Tom and his camera).

Overall a super successful trip managing to make it to every single survey site planned (come rain, or shine, or wind or bumpy rides) (damn you Nasonisoni Passage!).

The only casualty was the arm of Amanda’s wetsuit and Luke’s shame at being called out for those two beers (sorry Luke – Danke Tom for coming to the rescue and also tallying two!)

It was really great to see the reefs are looking healthy with incredible recovery of corals after TC Winston damage.

We were happy to see many young colonies, around four years old, which show how well the reefs here can rebound – we are so lucky to still have happy, healthy reefs in our beloved Fiji waters.

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