Dive Wananavu Crew


Pictured left to right:  Las, Mere, Simeli, Jez, Masi, Josh, James, Mindy

 

 

 

 

James Begeman & Mindy Huston – Dive Managers/Instructors

James and Mindy rang in the new year of 2016 with Dive Wananavu. Originally from the United States, they have traveled many parts of the world completing thousands of dives between the two of them. James, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and USCG 100 Ton Captain, has a passion for underwater photography and will rarely be seen underwater without his camera. Mindy, PADI Open Water Instructor and USCG OUPV Captain, loves watching students experience the beauty of the underwater world for the first time. Most recently they worked on the Kona Aggressor II liveaboard out of Kona, Hawaii. They are thrilled to join the Dive Wananavu team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh Papu – Divemaster, Instructor, Boat Captain

 

Josh’s family is from a long line of Polynesian Fijians from Kioa Island near the ‘Garden Isle’ of Fiji’s Taveuni.  His diving career started when he was just 13 years old and when he took his first breath underwater he was hooked.  In fact one of his most favorite accomplishments was becoming a true scuba professional Divemaster in early 2012.  Most recently, Josh completed the PADI instructor development course and we’re proud to have him on staff as a PADI Open Water Instructor.  He has a passion (and raw talent) in underwater photography and is excited to work on developing (no pun intended) his photo skills.  He hopes to one day travel to California and dive some truly cold waters to see the famous kelp forests, hopefully with a camera in tow.  When you meet Josh ask him how he likes to prepare his favorite food kokoda, Fijian sushimi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las Vota – Master Boat Captain (Class 6)

 

Las grew up in the Wananavu area in the small village of Navuavua just outside Rakiraki.  Beginning in 2004 he began his climb to becoming a certified boat captain when he took his first job with Kaiviti divers as a “boatman.”  Over the next few years Las worked for various dive companies in the area as he accumulated the credit, hours and experience to complete his captain exams. When not working Las is often watching old 80′s action movies with Sly Stalone or Arnold like Predator and Rambo.  One of these days he hopes to travel to New Zealand, London England, and the USA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jese Ramasima (“Jez”) – Divemaster, Boat Captain

Jez Joined the team in September of 2014. When he’s not engaging divers with his bright smile and dance moves he likes spending time with family & friends.  Here’s what Jez has to say about his role at Dive Wananavu:

“Bula! Let’s go Diving – oh, sounds like fun!  First, I have to say that I’m very grateful to be given the opportunity to be part of the Dive Wananavu Team – Lovely!  How nice to hear the dive boat engine early in the morning and to help load the boat with gear, tanks & divers.  Everything on board? Good!  Ready to hit the green light and out we go! Beautiful & exciting!  Diving & entertaining people is what I love to do, so diving excites me because it helps me understand God’s creation through the world of fish and reefs.  It makes me happy to entertain people through diving where I can really “make it count”!  I’m happy to take divers to some of the best dive sites in the Bligh Water & I believe our guests will find it just as enjoyable and breathtaking as I do!  Vinaka!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mere Mataitoga – Rescue Diver and Dive Shop Mother

 

Mother Mere.  What can we say about her, only that she is the most asked about staff member we have by past, current, future and returning guests.  She is the one who helps keep the boys in line and who also helps with any bad days.  Mere recently completed her training to become a spa professional and now splits her time at Wananavu between the Spa and the dive shop. She is brilliant at everything she does whether its giving massages at the spa, helping around the dive shop, crewing the boats or guiding dives. Just be careful not to overstay your welcome on “HER” boat.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

masi

 

Masi Mataitoga – Divemaster, Boat Captain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wise Matai – Divemaster

Wise started diving in 1994 at the young age of 18. He spent most of his dive career diving Rainbow Reef by Taveuni until making the move to Viti Levu in 2012. His love of singing and playing in guitar is what brought him to Wananavu where he originated as one of the members of the house band. After learning he was a divemaster, we convinced him to join the dive team at Dive Wananvu and now he doesn’t want to leave! Wise loves hunting for small creatures such as nudibranchs and small crabs and shrimp. If you want to see little stuff, he’s your guy! When Wise isn’t diving he still loves to sing and play guitar and has been lucky enough to make 4 recordings of his music. His favorite movie is Finding Nemo and is very excited to see Finding Dory soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mango – Dive Shop Dog

Mango first moved to Wananavu from Suva in July 2015. He loves going for long walks on the beach and watching the sunset over the water. He is a little shy at first, but if you sneak him a french fry, he’ll be your friend for the remainder of your holiday!