July 9-19, 2019
The Bilikiki is back from a fantastic trip with a great bunch of divers from the USA, Spain, Brazil, the UK and Australia. A big thank you to Geri Murphy for bringing most of the divers along and to Marty Halldin for sharing his super photos with us.
This trip had many highlights but for me my favourite dive was Twin Tunnels where, although I chose not to go down the tunnels on this occasion, I saw about 10 grey reef sharks hunting. At one point a gigantic tuna caught a surgeon fish from amongst a huge school and that bought all the sharks in like crazy! That dive was followed by a close second favourite at Kicha where the hard coral garden and sheer amounts of fish life were incredible. I didn’t know where to look with all the fusiliers, jacks, barracudas, snappers and batfish! Other peoples' favourite dive was Maravagi Bay where we saw all sorts of weird and wonderful macro subjects plus about six cuttlefish! Others preferred the WW2 sites, we dived wrecks including a Japanese freighter, a dump site and a seaplane. There was great viz on the Mavis Seaplane and with the help of a strategically placed red light to add atmosphere (I think) it was one of the best dives I have done there for ages - Oli was on fire too spotting a demon stinger, snake eel and so many reef top pipefish on the reef. Other divers were thrilled to see their first pygmy seahorse or were stunned by how photogenic the soft coral at Wickham Island was.
Although we had more than our fair share of rain and cloudy weather, when the sun did come out we took full advantage of it! We all enjoyed our village visits to look at and buy carvings in Marovo Lagoon and in the Russells everyone loved the cultural experience and walkabout where we could ask Chief Raymond any questions we had about village life.
A huge thank you to the Bilikiki crew and the onboard managers, Tina and Oli who all work so hard to make everything run so smoothly. It was lots of fun to meet some new dive buddies and to catch up with old friends. I hope to dive with you all again someday, especially Nati once she gets her Open Water license!
All underwater photos are thanks to Marty Halldin