Buzz’s comments on his Solomon Island trip

 

Well, I 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. 

 

Qantas 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).

 

There really 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). 

 

The 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 click here.

For a map of where the Solomon Islands are click here.

Click for map of Solomon Islands

 

 

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