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Dive Review of Bilikiki -- MV Spirit of the Solomons in
Solomon Islands

Bilikiki -- MV Spirit of the Solomons, Apr, 2014,

by Jason Propsner, GA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 7776 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We planned the trip a year ahead of time, but our week fell on the week after the worst natural disaster to hit the Solomons in known history. They had flash floods that killed some residents and left many thousands homeless. The crew of the Bilikiki kept us up to date on the situation on their facebook page and we contacted Air Fiji many times to see when they would begin flying to the Solomons again and when the airport would reopen. The crew and staff of the Bilikiki handled the situation well and made us feel welcome even though their nation was in the middle of rebuilding from the floods.
The dive sites were beautiful and we dove on several historical WWII wrecks. Some were suffering poor visibility from the floods but most dive sites were clear and calm. We did several dives into the island caves/caverns with open tops throughout. There was even one with a dry room filled with bats, if you wanted to go that far in. I specifically enjoyed drift dives, back role entry and regular diving from the tinnies (small boats). The boat crew were always there waiting for us on the surface. We never had to find them rain or shine. We saw everything from large Mantas, sharks to very interesting macro subjects. We saw several large schools of Jacks. I wore a 2mm shorty all week even on the night dives. Tank fills were usually above 3000, but sometimes we needed a top off before the dive.
The room on the boat was cool and comfortable. We had a room to ourselves on this trip, but there room sizes are comparable to other live-aboards that can accommodate two guest with enough storage.
The meals were good and always on time. Snacks and evening horderves were always waiting for us. They accommodated my request for no seafood and others who were vegetarian.
Overall I would recommend the Solomon Islands and the Bilikiki to beginning to intermediate divers. The well traveled diver may find the sites to be less interesting than the other dive locations near the Solomons, like Indonesia or Fiji.
Websites Bilikiki -- MV Spirit of the Solomons   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Multiple Caribbean locations, Galapagos, Socorro, Indonesia, Hawaii, Various Latin America locations and Florida.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 76-80°F / 24-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 10-100 Ft/ 3-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Some dives were limited to 60 minutes, but most had no restrictions expect no decompression dives.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Battery charging room was separate and upstairs from the regular camera table. Battery changes required a trip upstairs. The camera table on the dive deck was roomy and kept dry. Plenty of drying clothes and air for blowing cases dry. There was a ant problem in the battery room. I left my case open in the battery room overnight to let it dry out from the night dive and condensation. When I put the camera and case back to together I didn't get all the tiny ants out of the O ring and the camera flooded. We were able to save the camera, but be aware of ants in your O ring. Even tiny ones can cause the case to leak.
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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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