The Nai'a Journals

William Warmus



Still images are from video by Rob Barrel 2002


Underwater off Namena Island Fiji

This moody image captures something of the thrill that engages the diver immediately after plunging into the ocean and looking down toward the coral reef as it emerges from the deep. For a sense of scale, notice the diver at bottom center of the image, who is at a depth of about 80-90 feet. Some of the shapes that glint silver are bubbles; others are fish.            


Namena is a small island about 12 miles off the southeastern coast of the large Fijian Island of Vanua Levu. The Namena barrier reef stretches approximately between these two islands.

Many dive guides describe the North Save-a-Tack Passage dive area as "world class." Currents can be strong and the diving is as deep as 125 feet or greater.

Rob Barrel is an excellent filmmaker. I asked him to make this video clip for me as I wanted to write about the scale and other aspects of the underwater world that are less frequently the focus of underwater photographers and naturalists. What I wanted and what Rob provided are not gorgeous colorful images (he has made many) but a set of images that obliquely indicate the tremendous scale of the site and the physical thrill of diving in a world where the horizon is severely, but luminously, restricted. At such scale, colors evaporate or are severely muted by the density of the water.

Prominent in the two images just below is the blue half disk or wedge of ocean (top center): the surface of the sea, as seen at depth.



Composite wide vista panorama of stills from video showing arch at North Save-a-tack, near Namena Island, Fiji.


The arch at North Save-a-Tack passage near Namena Island, Fiji. Image levels adjusted to reveal colors.



The Nai'a Journals


1997: Fiji and Cayuga Lake

1998: Fiji, Myrtle Beach and Austin

1999: Hawaii

2000: Hawaii

2001: Nai'a, Manzanita and Austin

2002: Nai'a and Florida Keys

2003: Palm Beach and Cornell




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December 31, 2001 at 4PM

View from aboard the Nai'a, off the coast of Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, South Pacific

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Site established on the internet in March, 1996

Contents Copyright William Warmus 1996-2003