Jun 06

Bilikiki's latest adventure was of a different kind. For the last 7 days we were joined by 17 enthusiastic guests from the USA to revisit some of the important battle sites of WW 2 in the Solomon Islands. We were lucky enough to be under the expert guidance of Anderson Giles, a retired professor from the University of Maine Presque Isle. Andy has been leading expeditions to the South Pacific WW2 sites for more than two decades and has been on the Bilikiki many times. It was fascinating to get an insight into the events of this time from him. Many participants had an emotional connection to this area, having had a relative of their families fighting on the American side during the war with Japan. 

We visited the wreck of the LST 342 now resting in the mangroves of the Florida Islands where a big saltwater crocodile surprised us by taking a sunbath on the wreckage. We then visited Ghavutu and Tanambogho, the locations of the first land battles in the Solomons. 
We stopped briefly on the beach of Savo Island, where a fierce naval battle took place and then headed off to the Russell Islands where an adventurous ride on the back of two old pick-up trucks brought us through the jungle to the abandoned Banika airfield. 
A long crossing took us to New Georgia in the Western province with visits to the airstrip of Seghe, where we snorkeled on an American plane that was bumped off the runway, and Munda airfield, built in less than two weeks by the Americans. It was the longest airfield in the Southern hemisphere at the time! 
Another highlight was certainly our visit to Skull Island, a sacred tiny island where dozens of skulls of tribal chiefs from the days of head hunting in the Solomons are kept. From there, we continued to Kennedy Island, named after the late US president J.F. Kennedy, who was eventually rescued after his torpedo boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. Initially declared dead, he and his crew first swam to this tiny speck of land and then on to the next island until they were found by local Solomon scouts several days later and saved. This historic swim to the beach was performed by all our guests with great enthusiasm! 
It was a fascinating trip and we can't thank Andy and his guests enough for being such a fun group and great sports in sometimes difficult weather conditions. We learned a lot during this trip about the events during the war here in the Solomons! Another massive thank you goes to all the Bilikiki crew for all their hard work, especially to our two captains Alan and Joe who spent long hours in the wheelhouse to get us to all the locations. 
We hope to see you all again very soon!
Best fishes,
Tina & Oli    

Posted by on June 06, 2017

What our guests say

"Just really, really, really enjoyed our trip!!! We really fell in love with Pato and Fernando. They did an excellent job guiding us! The crew is as go... Read More"

Darlene Myers

"Second time and still finding new sights to see! Wonderful trip well worth the effort....."

Reed Nescher

"I have been on many Bilikiki trips over the past eight years, and I will keep going back again and again. I’ve dived in more than 15 countries and h... Read More"

Joanna O'Shea

"I did my 1000th dive on my second trip on the Bilikiki. Last time was in 2005 and then I thought it was the best liveaboard I had been on. It still is... Read More"

Alex Davids

"My bucket list trip. Outstanding crew and service. Superb diving. Stable and comfortable vessel and accommodations. The chefs do a marvellous job, eve... Read More"

Fred Catella

"I have just returned from a 10 night stay on board the Bilikiki. It was my first trip on the Bilikiki however friends we were with have been 3 or 4 ti... Read More"

Pearl Corker

"Just got back from a 10 day trip on Bilikiki with Tina and Oli. The whole Bilikiki team made our trip a memorable one, despite the temperamental weath... Read More"

Jonathan Rose

"Always a great time on the Bilikiki. Spectacular diving, excellent food and an amazing crew. One of the best laid out boats I've been diving on."

Mike Aitken

"I had an amazing 10 nights onboard the Bilikiki! The dive sites were so diverse and so beautiful, we had some amazing encounters with wildlife, the cr... Read More"

Lauren Thomas

"If I could rate them 6 stars I would!!! Amazing boat, crew, food and diving."

Brett Lobwein

"Bilikiki is much more than a great dive boat with a fantastic crew sailing the remote Solomon Islands and discovering new and beautiful dive sites; it... Read More"

Thane Kreiner

"I can't think of a better way to spend 12 days than on board Bilikiki. It is absolutely spectacular diving amongst healthy corals, colorful fishes, st... Read More"

Karen Doby