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Dive Review of Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions (SIDE)/Taka in
Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions (SIDE)/Taka: "Solomon Islands: Spectacular Coral and Marine Life - Good Boat", Apr, 2016,

by Gregg Backemeyer, FL, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 8904.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving French Polynesia, Mexico, Caribbean, Guadalupe Island, Socorro Island, Windward/Leeward Islands, South Florida, ABC Islands, Honduras, Hawaii, Panama, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas (Tiger Beach, Bimini, et al), Saba, BVIs, AVIs, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Solomon Islands and more..
Closest Airport Honiara, Guadalcanal Getting There Usually through Fiji or Australia

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 79 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco unless expressly discussed and allowed; max depth based upon your own algorithm and Nitrox fill; strongly suggested ending air pressure.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments This boat was recently acquired by SIDE and I was told enhancements are to be made. That said, the UWP accommodations were below average. No tables on the dive deck itself, o ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Headline: Good boat (the Taka), good crew, good food, spectacular coral and marine life, safe and competent operation. 3.5 out of 5 stars..

This was my first trip through DUI Dive Trips, who I was unaware did trips/expeditions (yes, they are the dry suit manufacturer), and I used them for two reasons . First, I met the scheduled trip leader (Paul Holbrook) on an expedition to Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia in Q1 2015 who was very likable and, secondly, he promised a small group and a more intimate experience than usual (he was a paying customer and not the trip leader on the Nuku Hiva expedition). They delivered as promised with a group of only 9 divers, including the trip leader (not Paul as it turned out), which allowed for everyone to have their own cabin. We had a LOT of space as such. I'll mention here that the trip leader brought a drone which provided some amazing video/stills. He provided a "photo essay" at the end of the trip which had drone footage and also his own excellent photography. The production was top shelf. Thanks Andy!

My comments regarding the boat Taka should be tempered with the fact that the vessel was recently acquired by Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions (SIDE) and they are continuing to assess/improve/add to the boat. Nevertheless I provide candid feedback in this report. Be sure to read the UWP accommodations section of this trip report. We were blessed with mostly sunny skies and mild currents despite it being the rainy season. My computer consistently pegged the water temp at 82 Fahrenheit but others said it was even warmer. M ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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