Central Province - August 30 to Sep 6, 2016
A great weather outlook for the week and divers excited to get diving, its gonna be a great trip!
Day 1- We are starting out at Ghavutu Wharf, the once capital of the Solomon Islands. Diving the old and deteriorated wharf that remains, divers like Edith quickly found their way back into the ways of diving. Finding old batteries, radios and ammunition sparked an excitement into everyone. Ghavutu Wrecks was equally interesting with divers exploring a sunken landing barge and finding a Crocodile Fish on an old Japanese observation post. Once again divers were reminded for their need of good buoyancy as dive number three of the day had a bit more of an ‘explosive’ punch. Garbage Patch is littered with old torpedoes and explosives from WWII and four wrecks ranging from cargo to fishing vessels made for a very interesting dive. Our fourth dive, held at Maravagi, was great for the little critters in the shallows. Finding banded shrimp and giant clams, and greeted with coconuts after their dive, what a perfect dive!? Mary Frances got some good shots of Mossy and Jax in action against the COTS. The final dive for the night was Baby Cakes, where Andrew and Edith did their first ever night dives. Well done guys!
Day 2 - The day started off with a deep dive at Baby Cakes, where Edith found a white tip reef shark and Andrew met a shy octopus hiding in a rock hole. Cuttelfish Bay was up next for Simon, Andrew and Mary Frances, while Edith and John explored the more tranquil waters of Maravaghi. Edith, Mary Frances and Deborah joined the team on visiting the peaceful Olevulga Village. Experiencing the traditional dancing, singing andpanpipes guests also visited the local school and church. Handing out lollies to the kids…”now that was awesome!” Steaming only 10mins to our next site Eds Wall, divers exploring the gorgonian fan littered wall, were welcomed by the amazing sight of a massive 2m-moray eel! Last dive of the day back at Baby Cakes! John spotted a cuttlefish, a stonefish and some weird looking conspicuous sea cucumbers, making it a memorable dusk dive for everyone.
Day 3 – What a dive to start off the day! Divers like Simon and Deborah were glad they got out of bed to do the first dive of the day at Mbeasiri Point as a total of 11 devil rays and one eagle ray greeted them during the dive. Switzer was up next and divers were again reminded of how beautiful the underwater world can get here in the Solomon Islands. At Tanavula Point, Mary Frances excitingly spotted a canoe rowing over her, while other divers like Edith and Andrew were staring wide eyed at a huge 2m Bump Head Parrotfish. John led the last dive of the day at Tanabosi Rock, with divers following his lead into the calm waters along the beautiful green and lush coastline. A quick steam to Honiara, and Taka greeted four more guests coming along on a so far epic adventure. Welcome to Simon, David, Ian, and Anna!
Day 4 – White Beach an old US military dumping site with overturned trucks, forklifts and tons of ammunition for divers to explore. Next, we are on to the Funnel for dive no 2! This dive was like no other. A backwards roll into the neon blue waters, Jackie spotted a 2.5 m crocodile sitting on the sand at 10m! Next a school of eight bump head parrotfish and a blue anemone! Divers like Ian and Anna were ecstatic! Wow! What a dive! Karamulon shallow pristine reefs, made for great photo opportunities of fans and baby grey whalers. After doing an hour dive in the shallows of Mane Bay, divers were greeted by coconut and a straw, still wet in their dive gear. What could you want more!? Edith, David & Simon were the only brave venturers that headed out into the Mane Bay dusk and they had a beautiful dive in the shallows.
Day 5 – An early start for some, but it was worth it with a great dive at NE Mane Wall with 32 nudibranchs and at least 4 sets of eggs being spotted. Fabulous Mirror Pond was up next, with a cuttlefish on show just to add to the marvelous topography. Anna only wished she could stay two hours instead of one. But not to worry, to follow we had the spectacular Leru Cut, with its massive cavern and beautiful lighting display. David was snapping away with Simon as his model. Mary Frances managed to film a sleepy scorpianfish and some of the divers were lucky enough to see the jawfish in action. Up next was Bat Cave but sadly no bats. Finally dive of the day was at White Beach for a night dive with David snapping away in the shallows with his red filter.
Day 6 – The final dive of the trip was at Kau Kau where divers enjoyed a surprisingly current free experience, watching trevally cruise past. It was then onwards to Honiara with a quick pit stop in Tulagi on the way to pick up equipment. All in all a good trip!