Central & Western - December 5 to 15, 2015
It's officially summer in the Solomon Islands! With the water temperatures averaging 30C those 5mm wetsuits are starting to collect dust, and I have to say we have been hearing no complaints on the subject. With the warmer water temperatures we are seeing a shift in the critters, less nudibranchs and more cuttlefish for example. During our dive at Maravagi there were 9 cuttlefish in the sandpatch at 22m, with only 5 guests everyone had their own personal cuttlefish to watch! These amazing creatures played with us as long as our computers would allow for, putting on the most incredible colour changing displays, zipping about this way and that. As we swallowed up during that same dive, a small female octopus allowed us to watch as she built her home, carefully selecting the perfect pieces of coral and arranging it just so.
Nothing beats starting out the day with mantas and sharks. As the strong currents swirled this way and that, we worked our way down to the ledge, got out the reef hooks and got comfy. Huge schools of snapper and rainbow runners provided the backdrop as grey and blacktip reef sharks zipped about in the current. Suddenly 3 mantas appeared, dancing with each other and soaring through the current. Their huge, gentle eyes looked very amused to see a group of divers watching them but they obliged us and allowed us to watch them play.
Calm seas permitted some exploratory diving on the south side of Mary Island and it did not disappoint. Stunning walls, healthy corals and even a very large, curious crocodile! While this large mamma kept her distance from us underwater she was not shy about approaching the boat, making several passes investigating our presence. However, a few days later while at Mirror Pond we had a much better crocodile sighting. This young croc swam right up to one of our divers and lucky for Jeb he had his camera as he was the only one who saw this stunning creature.
It was another fantastic 10 days of diving and a big thanks to all of Jeb, Doug, Margaret, Jo and Peter for being such an enthusiastic group of divers, we hope to see you all again soon!