May 9 - May 20, 2017. Another fantastic 11 day trip has come to a reluctant end, this one with 20 divers from Dream Weaver in Colorado, USA.
This time we headed out to the Florida Islands first and we were rewarded with a spectacular dive in Devils' Highway in the afternoon. After a crazy drift across the reef plate we took our positions near the reef and waited for the manta rays. It took only a few minutes until the mantas started to feed right in front of us, there were more than 10 individual rays, including a rare melanistic black one. They made very close passes in front of us, sometimes several of them at the same time like a convoy, while still more were feeding on the surface - what an incredible sight, especially for some of our guests who had never seen a manta ray before! Certainly a dive to remember! To top our luck, we saw yet another manta ray while diving on Luten's Wall!
Once again the diversity of the dive sites and habitats impressed our divers. Some were amazed by the beautiful coral gardens and gigantic sea fans, while others loved the caves and cuts with magical light, and still others simply loved all the dives. Eagle rays, mobula rays, sharks, turtles and of course the tiny little jewels like nudibranchs, flatworms, pygmy seahorses, elegant squat lobsters, and even pygmy pipefish - the highlights just kept coming and there was something for everyone in every dive. The huge schools of jacks and barracudas on some sites are certainly always impressive and we were lucky to see some massive bumphead parrot fish on a few different sites. Simply beautiful!
Our guests also enjoyed getting in touch with the local islanders during our visits in Marovo Lagoon for the wood carvings and when the flotilla of dug out canoes came around the boat for the fruit and vegetable markets. The villagers of Karumolun in the Russells played their wonderful panpipe music for us and put a big smile on everyone's face.
It was a wonderful trip and we would like to thank all of our dear guests for diving and visiting the stunning Solomon Islands with us. We would like to see you again soon!
Many thanks and best fishes from
Tina & Oli and all the Bilikiki crew
Photos by Tina Gauer