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mrbheagney
08-31-2008, 19:24
Hi everyone, any questions you have about Tonga I would be happy to help.

mrbheagney
09-04-2008, 20:20
A lucky few get to see the Humpbacks on a dive.

chinacat46
09-04-2008, 20:50
What are the water temps? How are the reefs? What is the viz like? What is your favorite colour? What is the fish life like? Is there good macro? Is there good soft coral there? I'll have more but that is a start.

mrbheagney
09-04-2008, 21:27
The water is 26 celcius in the summer and drops to 21 in the winter so it is quite warm. The reefs where I am in Ha'apai are excellent, very varied topography will abundant healthy coral cover. There are walls, pinnacles, channels, drop offs, and barrier type reefs. There is more hard coral than soft and there is great biodiversity of fish life. We do have some dive sites with more soft coral than others. It does fall short in biomass and big pelagics. No huges scools of anything except Fusiliers. Reef Sharks are common, Napoleons, Dogtooth and we do have Turtles but the locals still catch and eat them so they are incredibly shy. I think a Tongan Turtle is the fastest thing I have seen underwater so far. The macro is good but lack some of the diversity of PNG or Indo, still lots of Nudibrancs, shrimps and crabs. No frogfish or lacy scorpions.

chinacat46
09-04-2008, 22:23
I guess it's all relative but 26 C isn't quite warm to me. I dove in Kimbe Bay in PNG and it was 30 C now that is quite warm. I can live with 26 but prefer 27 or 28. The rest of it sounds very nice. I'm sorry you don't have any rhinopias :-(

mrbheagney
09-04-2008, 22:41
I guess it's all relative but 26 C isn't quite warm to me. I dove in Kimbe Bay in PNG and it was 30 C now that is quite warm. I can live with 26 but prefer 27 or 28. The rest of it sounds very nice. I'm sorry you don't have any rhinopias :-(

I was thinking about the 13 back in Ireland when I wrote that but you are correct, temperature is waht you're used to and all relative.

chinacat46
09-05-2008, 07:07
I guess it's all relative but 26 C isn't quite warm to me. I dove in Kimbe Bay in PNG and it was 30 C now that is quite warm. I can live with 26 but prefer 27 or 28. The rest of it sounds very nice. I'm sorry you don't have any rhinopias :-(

I was thinking about the 13 back in Ireland when I wrote that but you are correct, temperature is waht you're used to and all relative.

Burrr! I guess 26 would seem warm. Since you are from Ireland here is one for you. If you go on holiday to New Zealand make sure you go to Queenstown. There is an Irish pub there called Pog Mahones :smilie39:. You can also get a nice pint of Kilkenny or Guinness there too! Pog Mahones (http://www.pogmahones.com/)

I'm a big fan of Nudibranchs do you have any Spanish Dancers there? What are some of the common Nudi's you see.

mrbheagney
09-05-2008, 23:17
We do have Spanish Dancers here, although they are a bit Tongan and often too lazy to dance. I like them but they often have hitch hiking Emperor Shrimps in their gills and that is much more of an impressive find for me. Commom nudies here are Chromodoris spp, Phyllidia Spp and Flabellina Spp. Nudies have never been my favourite as some guests are totally obsessed with them and if you can't find any you suddenly become the worst guide in the world. Which is not the case of course!

mrbheagney
09-05-2008, 23:19
By the discreet positioning of that smiley I guess you know what the name of that Irish bar means in Irish.

chinacat46
09-06-2008, 07:55
I do know what the name means. I agree finding the emperor shrimp is much more of a find. I've seen emperor shrimp on sea cucumbers and smaller nudis as well.