Bilikiki's latest 10 day cruise (Oct 31-Nov 10, 2017) was all about whales and dolphins. We were joined by 19 nature enthusiasts under the expert guidance of Dr Charles Anderson from the UK. The mission was to find and observe cetaceans here in the Solomons and we were not disappointed. The days were spent with one or two snorkel sessions in the mornings and afternoons while the rest of the day we were out in open ocean trying to spot whales and dolphins. Dr Anderson gave us some very informative presentations about the different species in the evenings too.
The weather could not have been better with hot sunny days and flat calm seas. Armed with binoculars and cameras we quickly spotted big pods of spinner and spotted dolphins. The huge school of pilot whales, which we had already seen on our previous trip, was waiting for us in Mary Island. They approached the boat curiously and stayed around for a couple of hours - beautiful! During our crossing from Mary to Marovo Lagoon we came across an incredible sight: hundreds of spotted dolphins, mixed with melon headed whales and Fraser's dolphins as far as we could see! What a spectacular sight! We decided to go even closer with the tinnies and hung on to the ropes with mask and snorkel to get an underwater view of this impressively huge group. There were whales and dolphins everywhere!
Another incredible sighting was a group of at least 9 massive sperm whales that were slowly cruising past. They became curious at the sound of the Bilikiki and were very fortunate to have them around the boat for more than two hours!
We had wonderful sightings every single day and the total number of different species came to an incredible 15 in the end, including dwarf sperm whales, 3 different species of beaked whales, pygmy killer whales and again 2 orcas - the trip exceeded all of our expectations!
We would like to thank Dr Anderson and all our enthusiastic guests for this wonderful experience, we hope to see you all again soon! A huge thank you also goes to our fabulous Bilikiki crew especially our captains Alan and Joe, who seem to have eyes in the back of their heads, for some amazing sightings and for bringing us as close as possible to these magnificent animals.
Until the next time,
With best fishes
Tina & Oli