Bilikiki – Part 2

May 16

The diving here is good, real good but not to our expectations. It is hard to come to a place like this with absolutely no preconceived notions, even though we try. I expected the stuff we see here to be very different from elsewhere we have been. Really it is quite similar. There are some differences, some different fish and different creatures.There is a lot of coral covering whole areas. The density is probably no more than Bonaire.

Solomon Islands

One can never have too many clown fish pictures!

Over all we are happy enough. Have seen several new types of nudi’s, just not the real fancy ones I have seen in the literature. Debbie found a fish today no one had seen before and there are several people on board with 1000+ dives. The two fellows that were really impressed have 5000+ dives each. They had to go to the book to find out what kind of fish it is. It is a yellow spotted scorpion fish.

We dive mostly walls here. A few ‘coral gardens’ where we float along and scour the garden directly below us but mostly we hang over the endless blue depth and kick slowly twisted to the left or the right seeing what is hanging on for dear life, with an occasional glance into the blue to see if some big fish is touring near by. The walls are hard on the body. We have to constantly twist left or right and kick one sided to avoid inadvertently wrecking some coral. Four dives a day for more than a week are taking their toll.

The reefs are in pretty damn good shape. The dive traffic here is very light. So, damage is minimal. The locals fish to eat and a lot of the reefs are owned by the nearby village. Some chiefs have declared no fishing zones at good dive sites and receive compensation from the dive operators. The villagers have to paddle to the next island to eat. OK with us and we didn’t hear any complaints from them.

Solomon Islands

Here money talks. Some of the chiefs are letting loggers take vast amounts of trees off the land and not requiring the loggers to replant. They don’t understand now but will soon be complaining when their village is washed into the ocean on a day when the rain pours down and the mud slides. As with any disaster I guess the rest of the world will pay at that point. The villagers may understand then and the loggers will get away with the money they made and not give two hoots about the village in the ocean.

There is a night dive offered almost every night. There must be 2 divers for it to become a reality. One fellow has done four dives every day and been on both night dives that have happened. One other fellow has done both night dives but taken a dive off in the day doing 4 dive days like the rest us. The other 18 divers call it quits after 4 dives hit the sack at on average 8.30pm and do not show their faces until 6am. I think we are all tired.

May 19

The crew is great. They work their tails off. Up at 4am and to bed around 8pm for some, everyone gets 8 hours downtime and works 16. There are a few times when the guys can chill but when it is time to move they do. They are all quiet and don’t say much but they will talk if we are the instigators. All of them are pretty good with our habits and preferences. Debbie had trouble propping her butt on the gunnel of the boat and reaching her legs over the bench so if she sat at the front of the ‘tinnie’ she could find a spot to back roll without the bench in the way. 90% of the transfers to the dive sites she is in the front seat.

WWII Japanese Seaplane

WWII Japanese Seaplane Mavis

A really good dive trip. Most of the dives are very good, some just good and only a couple of ho hum dives and a few excellent dives. The ones that surprised me most are the wreck dives. Most wreck dives look like boats under water to me, or maybe bits and pieces of stuff scattered across the bottom of the ocean. These WWII wrecks have been under water long enough for loads of things to grow on them and a lot of fish swimming about. The fact they were wrecks was neither here nor there to me but I liked the wild life.


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