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

April, 2016, an Instant Reader Report by Gregg Backemeyer, FL, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
"Solomon Islands: Spectacular Coral and Marine Life - Good Boat"
Report Number 8904
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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

Dive Conditions

calm, no currents  
Water Temp
79   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
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Small Critters
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Large Fish
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Large Pelagics
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Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
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Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
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Shore Facilities  
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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 ...
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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4 stars
Service and Attitude
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Environmental Sensitivity  
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Dive Operation
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Shore Diving  
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Overall Rating

Value for $$
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3 stars   
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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 ...
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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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