Buzz’s comments on his Solomon Island trip
am getting older and I have been to almost all the great dive destinations in
the world. One of the only places that
others have strongly recommended, but I had not visited was the Solomon Islands. It was one of those places that was difficult
to get to and expensive (because of I could not use frequent flyer points), so
I had never managed to get there.
However, early this year Qantas had a super airfare sale, so I started
looking into this destination.
now has a direct flight from LA to Brisbane
and there are flights from Brisbane
to Solomon Islands. With a direct flight to LA, I could arrange
travel with no obnoxious layovers, spend a few days in Brisbane to get accustomed to the time change,
and arrive rested and ready to dive. I stayed at the Marriott in Brisbane because I had
frequent stay points and it was free. It
was a very nice hotel conveniently located to the Queen Street Mall (the center
of the central city activity).
is no land based choice to dive the Solomon Islands. There are two live aboard options operated
by the same company. Both offered
several itinerary options. I prefer the
convenience of a live aboard. I ended up
choosing the MV Bilikiki. It was the older of the two boats, but it was
in excellent condition and I would recommend it. The crew was exceptional and made the trip
easy. Most of the passengers had been
diving on the Bilikiki before. I was easy to understand why they
returned. The diving was fairly
easy. We never had to fight any
currents. Diving was from “tinnies” that were well designed for diving including
ladders that made rentry back into the boat easy
(much easier that rubber inflatables).
diving was very good and I am glad I went.
I struggled taking pictures because of strobe problems but fortunately,
there were some great available light opportunities. Enjoy the streaming pictures,
there were a few critters that I had never seen before. For individual pictures click here.
More information on MV Bilikiki
For a map of
where the Solomon Islands are click here.
Click for map of