December 18-January 1, 2018/19
This was the last trip of the season before Bilikiki goes off for her annual two months of maintenance! Joining us for Christmas and New Year there was a lot of repeat guests but also a few new ones that are now part of the big Bilikiki family.
The diving was at its brilliant best starting with delightful dives into the coral gardens and scenery of the Russell Islands. We continued with Mary Island and its big schools of barracudas and jacks, sharks and of course all the little stuff too: longnose filefish, zebra dartfish, two tone dartfish, decorated dartfish, porcelain crabs, peacock-tail shrimps and of of course our favourite anemone fish, Megatron! Who wished you all happy new year BTW!
We spent Christmas in the Marovo Lagoon area, diving both WW2 plane and ship wrecks, amazing reefs, passages and some really looooong Christmas day dives at the amazing Kicha and Mbulo! There was pelagic marine life all over the place... with sharks (grey reefs, white tips, nurse sharks, black tips and silver tips), jacks, barracudas, midnight snappers, turtles, spadefish, cuttlefish, thousands of pyramid butterflyfish and palette surgeon fish.
And to finish our festive trip we spent a few more days around the Russells and the Floridas where apart from the big fish we could also enjoy the magic of the great macro life: short nose pipefishes, peacock flounders, demon stingers, electric clams, ribbon eels, robust ghost pipefish, soft coral crabs, soft coral cowries, bob tail squids, spearing and peacock mantis shrimps along with many others wonderful things!
In between all this diving we found extra time to visit some villages and our guests were impressed with the artistic work of the amazing carvers! We even squeezed in some traditional dancing and a panpipe show! The floating veggie markets along side the Bilikiki were a real hit too!
We would really like to thank our guests for this amazing trip and for all the fun they brought to it! It was really a blessing to spend Christmas with you and super fun to dance away New Year's Eve!
... and finally we would like to thank our crew for all the hard work they have done this season. They are incredible, reliable, professional, friendly and just amazing! It has been a real pleasure to work with you this year!
We look forward to seeing everyone again later in 2019 but until then, happy bubbles to everyone and Happy New Year!
Pato and Fernando
Above photo and top manta ray photo by Allison Vitsky Sallmon
Above photo by Robin Flowers