After spending 10 days of amazing snorkeling, whale watching and land excursions Bilikiki has now reached Gizo. Our 15 guests from the USA and Poland under the guidance of the Oceanic Society had a great time.
The days were spent happily snorkelling the magnificent reefs of the Solomons. Our guests were fascinated by the healthy reefs with their huge diversity of corals and all the fish that live in them. Encounters of curious cuttlefish always made our snorkelers happy, but they were also excited to meet a number of grey reef sharks, whitetips and shy blacktips swimming through the shallows. Those together with schooling jacks, barracudas, bumphead parrotfish, and of course all the regular reef inhabitants, made for an amazing array of things seen.
During one of our crossings we were lucky to encounter a huge mixed aggregation of melonheaded whales and Frazier's dolphins. The whales stayed nearby, so we decided to try and swim with them from the tinnies. Some of us were rewarded with a quick view of them, turning this in-water experience into a definite highlight of the trip. Spinner dolphins accompanied the boat on multiple occasions, leaving a smile on everyone's face.
Another very special day was spent at Tetepare Island, where resident rangers protect the pristine forest and also run a tag-and-release program for leatherback and green turtles. After a short hike through this impressive forest, in which we were told about the medicinal properties of some of the plants, the rangers actually then caught a green turtle in the lagoon in front of our eyes! The animal was then quickly taken ashore, checked for any injuries and existing tags, then measured and weighed. "Our" beautiful green turtle was a healthy female weighing 50kg! What an impressive experience!
Many more highlights made the days pass quickly, like Skull Island with its very unique atmosphere, where the skulls of ancient headhunters are kept, or our visit to the wood carvers, where many stunning pieces were purchased. We finished the trip with a beach BBQ on a beautiful island surrounded by a pristine reef, a perfect ending to this trip!
Our thanks go out to all our guests for joining us on this unique exploratory trip, we hope you enjoyed discovering the Solomons with us.
We also thank our fantastic crew, who seem to have eyes in the back of their heads when it comes to whale spotting, for their continued hard work.
Tina & Oli
Photos thanks to Tina