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Dive Review of Bilikiki in
Solomon Islands/Florida and Russel Islands

May, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Ralph Baker, NV, USA
Reviewer   (6 reports)
Report Number 1748
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Pacific & Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm, currents  
Water Temp
81   to 85    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
2
Water Visibility
80   to 50    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
none except no alcohol prior to diving  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
 No e-6 processing, no compressed air to blow water off cameras
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
A one word description would be PRISTINE.  This is a fabulous dive
destination.  Corals are in excellent shape; the soft corals add to the
color.  A great place if you like the smaller things.  Pygmy seahorses,
ghost pipe fish, soft coral crabs, barrel sponge crabs (I always thought
that was just "accumlated junk", now I know it is a crab!), pygmy
manta rays, cuttle fish, crocodile fish, leaf scorpion fish, sand divers,
brotulas, nudibranchs, snake eels and more.  There is more to see than you
can take in on one dive. A magnifying glass or bifocals will really help
those of us over 40.
   The sharks were small.  The black tip sharks are generally in the 3 foot
range.  I did see one black tip reef shark and one nurse shark that were
probably 4 feet long.  The turtles are sized like the sharks.
   Many wall dives, a few muck dives and some cave/cavern dives.  One dive
takes you inside the island and you surface with jungle over your head. The
WWII wrecks are too deep for recreational divers, although we did dive a
Japanese tug and some military hardware dumped by GIs.  
   On our first few dives we could hear/feel a volcano erupting under
water.  Not only were there the booms but you could hear the lava crackling
like pop corn as it rapidly cooled in the water.  That was a first!
   You are very much left to your own resources while diving.  There was a
dive master with every dive, but you may not see much of them.  They felt
it was their job to find something for everybody and would not take you on
a tour.  They would point out something that was truly fabulous, and when
you were done they had disappeared.  They had departed to find something
for another diver. One diver did ask them to give her a tour.  She was told
she could go with them, but it was her job to stay with them not the other
way around. Consequently you need to tell them what you want to see.  They
will find it for you.  After that they are gone.
    The boat takes on provisions as you travel.  This provides a wonderful
opportunity to see the locals as they come to the boat in their carved
canoes.  A couple of divers brought tee shirts and shorts.  These were
greatly appreciated by those who came to the boat to sell their goods.  The
advantage for the diver was not only giving something of real value but it
left space in her luggage for souvenirs! 
  The boat is up to the standards of all high end dive boats.  You eat
outside on the deck.  The eating area is covered so when it rains you are
protected. They do 5 dives per day from "tinnies."  The last
afternoon dive is at 5:00p.m.  Normally they would move to a new site for
each day time dive.  The night dive is at 8:00p.m. just after dinner.
  There is an Air Pacific flight from LAX to Nadi, Fiji, there you transfer
to another plane that takes you to Honiara. No overnight layovers.  The
disadvantage is it requires 29 hours of continuous travel time from the
East Coast. You will stop in Vanuatu.  Each stop requires you to deplane
and wait in the transit lounge.  Keep your passport and boarding pass
handy.  It is worth the effort!
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Other dive reports on Bilikiki Cruises

All Solomon Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Solomon Islands
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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