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Dive Review of Dive Gizo/Uepi Island in
Solomon Islands/Gizo & Uepi

August, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Dee, AL, US (2 reports)
Report Number 2980
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
various places in the Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
depth limits  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
No camera rinse facilities at Gizo. Limited at Uepi. Boat crews helpful
with camera gear.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
Gizo & Uepi, August 2006

Where to dive when business takes you to Brisbane? The Solomons! Great air
connections, DFW/LAX/BNE. We spent a day in Brisbane, then took Solomon Air
to Honiera & on to Gizo. The flights offer fantastic views of islands,
reefs & sea. The Solomons exist in a different time & we benefited
from reading Ples Blong Iumii, local history written by Solomon Islanders.
(Guadacanal was in the Honiera area. Kennedy Island, where JFK & PT109
crew survived, is a surface interval near Gizo.)

Allen & Rueben, Dive Gizo divemasters, met us at the Gizo airport and
carried our bags to the boat for the short trip to town. The Gizo Hotel
remains clean and simple, lovely courtyard around the pool, A/C &
fridge, no TV. We had a great view across the main street (sand) to the
water. The restaurant is good. Take your own coffee press if you dont want
instant. No bugs or mosquitoes, just a few gnats at the bath sink &
they were gone with a puff of Off. 

Danny and Kerrie at Dive Gizo are wonderful hosts! Theyve been there for
18 years and will do all they can to accommodate you. We scheduled 3 dives
a day for 5 days. All surface intervals are on out-islands with beautiful
beaches. Lunch & snacks provided. Our dives had little current and more
fish than one could imagine. We did Grand Central Station twice. Jenny at
Reef & Rainforest, who arranged our trip, noted Grand Central is one of
the best dives shes ever done, and she was right on the money. We sat at
90 meters at the edge of the wall & watched schools and schools of
fish. The school of barracuda covered 150 degrees of our 360 degree view,
at least 8 fish deep throughout. The rest of the panorama was schools of
fusiliers, trevally, batfish and others. The Tao Maru is great even if
youre not into wrecks, home to a wide variety of fish, critters &
corals with many relics of the boat cargo, including a 2-person Japanese

Almost every dive profile started with 30 meters and finished at 10 meters
or less, allowing plenty of time to off-gas. We were free to explore the
shallows until air at 500 psi, so every dive was over an hour. The dive
sites are 10 to 30 minutes away, and the scenery is enchanting. We did
several dives near Naru Island & the coral was spectacular. Danny knows
when to schedule dives so the current is slack. Hes led efforts to set
aside marine preserve areas so sites are pristine.

Theres an old liveaboard sunk just off Dannys jetty thats well worth the
shore dive. Water is murky, but theres a friendly school of batfish, at
least 3 lionfish, many pipefish, anemone & clownfish, plenty to see on
an easy dive.

We went on to Uepi for another perspective. The resort is on its own
island, which Grant & Jill Kelly have developed over the past 20 years.
Its off the gridthey generate their own power, all water is rainwater.
The grounds are beautiful with lots of orchids and hibiscus. Our private
bungalow with covered patio was right on the beach. Lunch was brought to
the bungalow, so mid-day surface interval was most relaxing.

The island sits with the Coral Sea to the north and the Morova Lagoon on
the other sides, a 30 minute boat ride from the airport. The channel just
off the jetties is a great wall thats your house dive or snorkel. The
sharks are friendly and provide great photo ops. Billy Ghizo was a
particularly pleasant divewall off an adjacent island with lots to see at
all depths, including a pygmy seahorse, baby batfish, nudis, sea slugs,
lionfish and the biggest eel Ive ever seen hiding in the rocks. There are
plenty of dive sites, including wrecks, within a 30 minute boat ride. Again
sites are pristine. There may be some local fishing, but no one else is
diving the area, just the 20 guests at Uepi.

We didnt encounter any other Americans on this trip, and we truly enjoyed
meeting Australian divers & hearing about where they dive. Weve heard
the Solomons get only about 1500 tourists a year, so you are well off the
beaten path. (As with any remote destination, its thoughtful to email
ahead & see if theres anything you can bring for your hosts.)
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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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