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Dive Review of Bilikiki/Spirit of the Solomons in
Solomon Islands

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Lynn Morton, California, United States
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 5167
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Visit the Bilikiki -- MV Spirit of the Solomons Website

Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
California, Alaska, BC, Belize, Hawaii, Fiji, PNG, Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 30    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
no diving after drinking, no deco  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The salon on the dive deck level doubles as the camera room.  There are 2
large tables for setting up gear and electrical connections for recharging
underneath the tables.  Since it was only the 2 of us, we had more room
than we could possibly use.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
This was our 4th trip on the Spirit.  My husband had won a trip in a video
competition, but I was a paying passenger.  We didn't find out until a
couple of days before we got on the boat, but we were the only 2 passengers
on the boat.  We had a full crew of 18 people taking care of our every
need.  It was extraordinary that they honored our booking and went out with
only one actual paying customer.  And not once did we ever feel that the
service was any less for it.
The diving is really varied in the Solomons, with muck diving to big
pelagic dives.  Visibility also varies, depending on the site.  Some sites
were in lagoons with muck and old WWII wreaks and the vis to go with it. 
But there were also the cool critters to go with it.  We also dove Merry
Island, their dive for seeing the schools of barracuda and jacks swirling
in the blue.  Don't know if it was the season or over fishing, but there
were fewer big fish than we'd seen in years before.
A few dives really stand out for me.  One was at Velvia Reef. We descended
to find a trio of cuttlefish, obviously in full courting mode with 1 female
and 2 males.   It was fascinating to watch the color changes and the 2
males challenging each other for her attention.  We left them to it, but
came back at the end of the dive to see one of the males win and the actual
mating.  Afterwards, the male approached me and laid his tentacles in my
outstretched hand, blowing gently with his siphon on my palm.  Then he
allowed me to stroke his belly.  It was wonderful.  We came back the next
day and watched her laying her eggs.
The other dive was called Devil's Highway.  We dropped on a reef flat of 25
feet that was being scoured by a 5 knot current.  We zoomed along until we
came to the wall, then grabbed hold and hung on!  We sat there for an hour
and 20 minutes and watched a seemingly endless parade of mantas pass by. 
They were swimming upcurrent, then rising and starting to feed as the
current carried them back by us.  They passed by us over and over, often
within arm's reach.  It's a great dive.
The Spirit is a great boat with many crew members that we first met 10
years ago.  It was amazing that they took us out, but after we'd traveled
that far, it was really appreciated.  
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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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