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Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Planning for the first American Legion Yacht Club (ALYC) began in August of 2022, when the Dive Chair, Wyatt Hoag, of the Legion Post contacted Sau Bay for a possible Dive Trip in April 2023. When we first heard about the request we were very intrigued by the opportunity to do something for the American Legion, and were quite surprised to learn that they local yacht club in Newport Beach has its own Dive and Snorkel Club!

American Legion Yacht Club Fiji Group standing in front of Sau Bay Resort & Spa
The American Legion Yacht Club Fiji Group in front of the Sau DIver during a Beach BBQ

ALYC had never organized a trip before, let alone to a far away place like Fiji. So the task of organizing a dive trip was not an easy one, logistically speaking. However, after several dive club meetings and presentations, a critical mass of Fiji adventurers formed. Sau Bay Resort & Spa was able to offer a 30% discount over other special fares to the ALYC.

Since Sau Bay Resort & Spa is a boutique resort comprised of only 5 bures with 6 rooms, the dive trip was split into two “back to back groups”, with some members extending their stay by an extra day or two. Led by Wyatt, the first group led the charge and provided some pointers to the second group prior to their arrival.

In all, the group was able to pack in 15 dives, including a night dive. There were only a few non-divers in the group, but they enjoyed amazing snorkeling and massages available in lieu of diving. The group trip included a beach BBQ, beach picnic, a visit to a small Fijian village, a day trip to Taveuni to see the International Dateline monument, Bouma Waterfalls and the natural Waitavala water slide, a Fijian night with traditional earthen oven cooked feast called a “Lovo” complete with a fire dancing show, and a bonfire on the beach.

American Legion Yacht Club of Newport Beach says  Good Bye at Sau Bay Resort & Spa
ALYC says Sota Tale (See You Later) after 7 Fabulous Days

ALYC having a BBQ dinner on the waterfront of Sau Bay Resort & Spa
A fun BBQ dinner on the waterfront

But there is no doubt that the diving on the Rainbow Reef, the Soft Coral Capital of the World”, was the highlight of the trip and did not disappoint the many expectations of ALYC members. Three of the members even received their certifications while on the trip, having completed their PADI online coursework. Some of the members also had not SCUBA dived in well over 10 years, but after a short refresher dive with our seasoned PADI divemasters, these guests were comfortable enough to dive the fantastic sites of the Rainbow Reef, including the Great White Wall!

The American Legion Yacht Club Group sits by the bonfire at the beach, while participating in a kava ceremony at Sau Bay Resort & Spa
The American Legion Yacht Club Group enjoys an evening by the bonfire on the waterfront, participating in a Kava Ceremony

Both ALYC groups experienced the true Fijian hospitality and serenity that Sau Bay Resor & Spa has to offer, and came back to Newport Beach speaking very highly of their experience. One of the members even created a movie about the trip, distliling over 40 hours of media into a 45 minute high definition video that was shown to the entire ALYC.

It is with great pride that Sau Bay Resort & Spa hosted the ALYC, and we are thankful for the opportunity to be a valued partner of the ALYC and the American Legion. The Burgee given to Sau Bay Resort & Spa as a token is proudly displayed in our dining room, awaiting the return of ALYC in 2024.

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