After another ten days of beautiful diving (April 5-15), Bilikiki has returned to Honiara. Our 20 American guests, travelling with Island Dreams, were very excited to explore the stunning underwater world of the Solomon Islands.
Our trip took us from Guadalcanal to the Russell Islands, where the villagers of Karumolun entertained us with their traditional singing, dancing and incredible panpipe music. It was definitely a very memorable highlight of the trip. At Mary Island we were greeted by huge schools of big eye jacks, barracudas and bumphead parrot fish to the soundtrack of the rumbling Kavachi underwater volcano in the background. A first for many to hear!
The sightings underwater were plentiful, with lots of grey reef sharks (even some curious babies), whitetips, rainbow runners, eagle rays, and snappers. It was also a pleasure to see that some of the less frequently spotted critters are making a new appearance. We were especially excited to see so many twin spot gobies but also jawfish and the magnificent juvenile pinnate batfish on several dives. A definite highlight was the sighting of a beautiful thin ghost pipe fish at Wickham Island! In Mbulo Caves the light was perfect to impress our divers, but also the amount and variety of hard coral in this area was stunning.
In Marovo Lagoon our guests also enjoyed visiting the wood carvers who displayed their creative art in so many different forms and a number of pieces were purchased as souvenirs of these wonderful village visits. We finished our trip with some beautiful dives in the Florida Islands on "fishy" seamounts and the incredible Twin Tunnels, an all-time favourite. On a special request from group leader Ken Knezick we then travelled through the Popcorn Passage on our way back to Honiara - what a way to end a magnificent dive trip!
We would like to thank all our guests on this trip for coming and diving with us, especially to Ken for bringing everyone onboard! It was a pleasure having you here! We hope to see you all again soon.
And of course our thanks go to all the crew members of Bilikiki for their continuous hard work every day.
Tina & Oli
Ship Photo thanks to Ken Knezick
Ghostpipefish photo thanks to John Van Atta