July 22-August 1, 2017 Trip
Bilikiki's last 10 day trip can truly be described with only one word: exceptional! We were joined by 18 divers from Korea, New Zealand, USA, Switzerland, Australia and Sweden for some incredible underwater encounters.
On the first day we were very lucky to spot the resident saltwater crocodile in Mirror Pond in the Russells, seeing a crocodile was on the "bucket list" for some of our guests. Happy campers all around the boat even though it did get the adrenaline pumping! Day 2 took us to Mary Island and right before our last afternoon dive we were in for the treat of a lifetime. Our captain Alan spotted the blow of two whales and immediately identified them as orcas by their high dorsal fins. We headed out in the tinnies to investigate and were about to witness an incredible event: the orcas were hunting and caught a small scalloped hammerhead shark right under the tinnies!! We saw the bigger orca surface next to our tinnie with a big fish in its mouth and shake its head violently, but we were not aware of the full story until we reviewed all the video footage and photos that were taken by our guests. How lucky was that? Not only to see these magnificent animals up close in open ocean but to witness them feeding right in front of us must surely be a one in a billion chance! Of course this event dominated the talks on the boat for the next days and we were wondering what else we would possibly see?
The rest of the trip was "just" the usual fantastic Solomon's diving and we had beautiful dives in the pristine coral gardens of Marovo Lagoon and Lologhan in the Russells. We were thrilled to see that the ornate ghost pipe fish have returned to Wickham Island, and many divers fell in love with all the critters in White Beach and Maravagi, from twin spot gobies to devil stingers, nudibranchs and cuttlefish - it was all there. In the Floridas we were joined by a formation of 11 mobula rays gliding gracefully above our heads - another lucky encounter!
Our guests loved to meet the local villagers during the canoe markets and the village visits with beautiful carvings on display. The people of Karumolun treated us again to a brilliant performance of their traditional singing and dancing. For the pan pipe music at the end, everyone was clapping along.
A truly memorable trip with a great group of people has ended. We hope to see you all again and would like to thank you all for visiting us here in the Solomons. Who knows what the next trip will bring?
With best fishes,
Tina & Oli and all the Bilikiki crew