Central & Western Province - Oct 25 to Nov 4, 2016
Hallo! Hallo! Hallo! Wir wilkomen euch alle zu die Solomon Inseln! Hello! Hello! Hello! We welcome you to the Solomon Islands! Greeting to our new 19 guests from Germany, Austria and Switzerland ….
Our first morning started in the sunny Florida Islands with our checkout dive at historic Ghavutu Wharf. Elmar and Beate saw lots of small shrimp in amongst the anemone and Petra had a great time photographing WWII relics. Next we were off to the Mavis Seaplane which was a great fun dive for wreck divers Christian and Peter. Dive 3, we headed for the picturesque setting of Tanavula Point. Lilian and Jurgen were carried towards the point by the current, surrounded by hundreds of red toothed trigger fish. The trio of Andreas, Markus and Roland really enjoyed exploring the wall with dive guide James. Final dive of the afternoon was at Baby Cakes, a staff favourite. Divers jumped in to a slight current and saw heaps of fish life on the bommie. A scorpianfish was spotted by Petra, Peter and Kathy saw a moray eel too. Onward we steam to the Russells!
Day 2 began in the calm of White Beach where our team was delighted to see plenty of rust underwater. Wolfgang and Frank loved checking out the forklifts and jeeps left over from WWII. Next we were off to the Funnel where John, Anke and Monika found a crocodile fish and Ella and Martin loved the blue anemone. Third dive for our day was at colourful Karamulon Reef. Manfredand Jurgen went for a snorkel and were amazed by the quality of the reef. We backed up with another dive at Karamulon; this time at the point. Jax, Mike and Wolfgang were all bitten on the fins by some feisty yellow-margin triggers, much to the delight of those around with cameras. Petra and Elmar got some great shots and footage and Beate was delighted with a baby grey whaler. Final dive for the day was White Beach where Roland, Jurgen, Markus and Andreas found an octopus and hundreds of different shrimp. Bring on Saturday!
Day 3 started with a dive at Rainbow Reef. Martin and Ella were delighted to see the huge schools of unicornfish and big eye barracuda. Anke saw a host of creatures including two morays, 5 lionfish, a great barracuda at a cleaning station and a hawksbill turtle. Next up was a visit to Chief Raymond and the kids at Karamulon. The dance groups put on a wonderful show and the local bamboo drummers were practicing; a special treat. Ella especially enjoyed handing out lollies to the kids, and Lilian made a lovely ambassador handing over school materials to the Chief. Next up was Stencil Point with a nice zipping current. Jurgen enjoyed floating over the pristine coral and Petra got some great shots of about 300 chevron barracuda right underneath the drop zone. Next dive was NE Mane Wall, with its vertical walls and coral shallows filled with nemos. Ella was so happy just crusing along checking it all out. Finally we did a night dive at Mane Bay where two octopus, a crocodile flathead, a moray eel and about a million shrimp kept divers like Roland and Frank company. To Mary we go…
Welcome to Mary Island all! Dan has the boat secured in place and our divers are all ready to jump in at Mary’s Bommies. Three playful octopus spotted by James along the coral wall, made for an amazing first dive of the day. Nextup, Trevally Point. A short tender ride and a backwards roll later and divers found themselves surrounded by beautiful fish life. Blue green chromis, Angelfish and hundreds of Damsels danced their way around the reef. The Austrian boys Markus, Roland and Andreas spotted some larger sharks cruising off in the blue. It was the third dive at Baracudda Point however that took the prize. About 400-500 Trevally in a big school, joined by another 200 big eye Barracuda surrounded divers – eyes wide with awe at the amazing sight. One last dive on Mary's Bommies where Anke was fascinated by lots of different nudis and small critters, and then it was time for Taka to steam for Marovo Lagoon. Wow…what a great day at Mary!
Welcome to Marovo Lagoon. Here we began our dives at Kicha with a dive at Kavachi Corner. Markus loved hearing the rumbling of old Kavachi volcano underwater and Lilian and Jurgen were pleased to see many barracuda and milkfish along the wall to the point. Second dive we retreated to the calmer waters of Mbulo island for a dive at Tohanna, where Petra and Manfred found dozens of nudibranchs. Third was Coral Garden which was a hit with all the lovers of macro. Martin found a cool crocodile fish hiding under a staghorn. Next we headed to Mbili Passage where the hunt for Mantas turned up empty, but Roland did see an octopus hiding amongst the coral. Final dive of the day was at Green Trees which was enjoyed by Elmar and Christian for the giant green corals feeding in the calm night waters.
Today we began our dives at Little Karanjou where divers like Wolfgang and Frank were treated to nudis galore and some even saw a mixture of white and black tip sharks. Second up was a new site for us to explore; Njapuana South. Lilian and Jurgen came back all smiles at the beauty of the site. Such colourful corals, not to mention a passing eagle ray. Dive 3 was Njapuana’s Nose, a site the weather rarely lets us visit, but on this occasion our divers were blessed and some in Mike’s group even saw a tiny ghost pipefish. Roland, Andy and Markus found some sharks to check out for the fans of bigger stuff. For the afternoon we headed off for a tender drop at Big Karanjou where James found ‘staka’ nudis and a crocodile fish to show everyone. Finally it was time for a night dive at Shark Bay where Peter and Kathy snapped away at those black tips and an octopus with their cameras. Phew – another action packed day.
We headed to Male Male for two morning dives; the first of which was the Lagoon. There were a couple of sharks cruising past our guests and John showed Beate and Elmar some cool nudibranchs hidden among the gigantic fans. Next up was Ukala Via which was super fishy. Schools and schools of unicornfish, batfish and barracuda swam all around divers like Petra and Manfred, Martin and Ella. Third stop of the day was a little different; we were off to the carving market at Peava for the second of our two village visits. This time Marcus was our ambassador and he was pleased to hand over some gifts, even the shirt off his back to school principal Wilbur. Lilian and Jurgen got some bargains at the market and then it was off to Mbulo again. The spectacular Cathedrals was a favourite for Beate, and the the rest of the group, so much so they opted to do it twice. Wow
Welcome back to the Russells. First up was Bat Cave where Mike found a pygmy seahorse for Anke and Roland spotted a white tip cruising alongside the vertical wall. We then headed for the famous Leru Cut. Divers like Wolfgang and Frank were amazed at the sight of the trees cascading down the sheer rock walls at the surface of the cut. Peter L and his buddy Christian saw a hammerhead too. Next up was Mirror Pond, no crocs today but evidence of what one had for breakfast with the crunched up remains of a turtle being found by John. Fourth dive for the day was at Blue Wall, where Martin and Ella were so happy cruising along the shallows looking at the thousand of rainbow runners and fusiliers surrounding them. Finally John took six of the bravest explorers for a night dive at Mane.
We began the day at Samsaeon Island where Anke was wide eyed as a huge grey reef shark cruised right on past her. Elmar and Beate checked out a silky shark with instructor John and Martin and Ella cruised along slowly next to a school of large chevron barracuda. Dive 2 was Kau Kau where a bit of current brought out the rainbow runners by the hundred. Petra and Manfred enjoyed the shallows, Petra taking plenty of photographs along the wall top. Third up was another exploratory dive; Fonagho South and once again they came up all smiles. Roland saw two sharks and Beate came up so happy with the huge amount and variety of fish life. Finishing off our stint in the Russells was Fish Market. And it never disappoints. Elmar was super happy with the wide variety of fish on display, cruising over the plateauing reef. Onward we steam for Honiara!
It’s farewell we say to Wolfgang, Ella and Martin – thanks for joining us guys – and hello to guest instructor Troy from Tulagi dive as we head out along Guadalcanal for the Japanese wrecks at Mboneghi. We had two great dives exploring the twisted metal and finding all kinds of critters. Elmar filmed two huge lionfish, Jax found a rockmover wrasse and Anke was enthralled by the blue spotted stingrays. The trip ended with lunch on the beach, plates handmade from palm leaves by James and Dinah. Ah island life!