Bilikiki has just returned from an interesting six day trip organised by military history specialists Valor Tours and led by the knowledgable John Shivley. For this trip, the main activity was not to dive our beautiful coral reefs but to discover, visit and learn about different locations where important battles took place during the Second World War.
With our 15 guests from the US, we started this journey of remembrance in the Florida Islands, home of the previous capital of the Solomons and some fierce fighting in the early days of the Solomons campaign. Around Tulagi Harbor, we visited the WWII sites of Blue Beach, the Cut, the Cricket Pitch, the Cave, the Bridge and the High Commissioner's Residence. We sailed around the islands of Tanambogo and Gavutu and we finished our day getting close with our tenders to the LST 342 wreck. We even got to see a crocodile and an enormous yellow fin tuna in the mangroves while moving to the see the Kikusuki wreck!
We left the Floridas and set course towards Seghe where we visited the air strip and snorkeled the P38 plane wreck. After that we stopped in Viru Harbor and went up the hill to discover a Japanese gun which had fired against allied forces. We then visited Lubaria Island, where JF Kennedy had his PT base.
We visited the huge airstrip at Munda and got the chance to meet Barney, a man who has been collecting WWII relics for many years, he now has a museum in his backyard! How interesting it was! We learnt a lot with him and we are very grateful to have met him! The guests especially enjoyed that visit. After Munda we sailed through the Diamond Narrows and spent our afternoon at Plum Pudding Island also known as Kennedy Island, as this was the island Kennedy swam ashore to when his boat was sunk.
On our way back to Guadalcanal we stopped in the Russell Islands where we visited the PT Base at Pavuvu, White Beach and Lingatu, all locations where the Americans had bases and hospitals during the war.
For their first and last days of the trip out guests visited sites around Guadalcanal including Red Beach, Bloody Ridge, Hill 27, the Bonghi wrecks, the Guadalcanal Memorial, Visale and other important historical places. It was definitely a very interesting trip were we learnt many things we didn't know about history.
We would like to thank Valor Tours and John for organising this trip and all our guests for being such a nice and cheerful group of people.We hope you have a safe and pleasant trip back home and that we will see you all again!
Last but not least, a big thank you to all our crew for taking care of us and for sharing their knowledge about all these important places we got to visit.