In April of ’98, we went back to Fiji, and back to the Nai’a. It was a great trip. Betty and I did a one-week trip, and she went home to get ready for a conference, and I stayed for another week (it’s a dirty job, but…). The boat is still in great shape, and it’s just about the most comfortable dive boat I’ve been on. Jay Auburn, the former divemaster/cruise director/pastry chef, has gone back to Monterey to open another bakery, but Rob Barrel is still on the boat, and it’s nice to see more of him now that Jay’s gone. The new divemaster/photo instructor is Rob’s friend Cat, and she’s wonderful.
It’s unusual for the owner of a dive boat to be on board, but Rob’s almost always on the Nai’a. It makes a difference. Things are done right on this boat.