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Dive Review of Dive Gizo/Adventure Sports/Gizo Hotel in
Solomon Islands/Gizo

Dive Gizo/Adventure Sports/Gizo Hotel, Jul, 2005,

by Richard Haines, CO, USA . Report 1860.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Been to Cozumel, Roatan, and Fiji
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions You can dive your own profile, staying in sight of the DM. Safety stops were usually on shallow reefs under the boat, so you could stay until you ran out of air, if you wanted to.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There wasn't a fresh water bucket on the boat for cameras. I was the only one with a camera and didn't make an issue of it. I just made sure I soaked it back in the room. Make sure you bring what ever you need.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The flights (and there are several) are carefully Orchestrated, and if you miss one connection, you might find yourself hanging around for an extra day or two or seven.

The Gizo Hotel, is the best place on the island. Rooms are plain but clean, comfortable, with lots of room, and it has a small pool. There isn't a phone or TV, but each room does have a refrig, and our room was air conditioned. The staff is very friendly and makes every effort to address your needs. All the fresh water is rain water, collected off the roofs and stored in cisterns. For drinking, bottled water is your only source. It is available all over and runs about 50 cents (US) to a dollar at the hotel per bottle. Meals are not included in the plan. So all meals and drinks are charged to your room. Sodas are about a buck and beer about two. Among the several great meals we sampled were; "the catch of the day", (usually king fish or Mahi Mahi) Mud crab, several chicken dishes and few pasta dishes. All were very good. Our bill was about 200 US dollars for the week, and that included the 5% surcharge for using a credit card. The next morning we went to breakfast. They start at 7:00 and have a nice menu, I think we had eggs every day, with fruit and cereal. No juice, but plenty of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
You will need Solomon dollars to pay for stuff at the shops and a few meals at restaurants other than the hotel restaurant. The best place to exchange money is the Gizo bank, a block or so from the hotel. (there are actually 2 banks) We used "the bank of Danny" who was gracious to exchange money for us. The rate is about 7 to 1. (Sol - US) On our first walk through town, (ok it is more like a fishing village, it was raining and the roads are dirt) we found a "department" store a block away and sodas were only 50 cents, so we would get drinks there and kept them in the frig. Another tiny shop in "town" had snickers bars for our chocolate cravings. At least half of the shops are closed on Saturdays and all are closed on Sundays.

Danny Kennedy is the dive shop owner and operator of Dive Gizo/Adventure Sports. I wouldn't say he has a monopoly, but he is "Mr Gizo Diving". He is originally form Florida, and has lived in the Solomon's for over 20 years. He knows every dive site and trains his own guys. He has two shops, one right in the hotel, but the main one is a 5-10 minute walk through town, across the street from the boats. He would pick us up at 9:00 every morning, and return us at the end of the day. He tries very hard to get to know everyone, and meet every ones needs. He arranged dinners at local restaurants and even made time to have dinner with us more often than not. He is quite the character, and fun to get to know.

The boats (there are several) are small and fast, (dual outboards) with cut outs for each tank. The one we used most often had a canopy roof for shade. (Bring sun block!) 10 divers are "snug" with gear and extra tanks, but we averaged 6-7 each day and were comfortable. Most dive sites are only 10 minutes away. The standard tank is an AL 95. They do have smaller ones for the women and some preferred the AL75, or the AL62. All tanks were consistently filled to 3000psi. The DMs are very competent and provided very thorough dive briefs. At the end of the day, (about 2:30-3:30) every one would take their own mask and wetsuit and leave everything else. The DMs would take care of breaking things down, rinsing it, and hanging it to dry for you. It would be in the boat ready for you in the morning too. After rinsing all your stuff, it can stay at the dive shop. There is plenty of room and plenty of hangers. We just took our computers back to the room, to fill in our log book.

Surface intervals averaged about 2 hours, and were an absolute joy. We would go to Danny's island (yes he has his own island "Njari") and grill some Mahi Mahi, or have some chili tuna sandwiches, fruit and cookies. A few times, we would go to Mbabanga island, (a small island) and visit Fatboy's restaurant. Grant (the owner) is one of kind, very friendly and a great guy. I think he is originally from Australia and settled in the Solomon's several years ago. Fatboy's is a nice place and has a mean fish and chips. Also on Sundays he puts up a great buffet with live entertainment. (good stuff) Both are tropical paradise settings, and simply beautiful.

Final comments: Although the traveling to and from were a hassle and frustrating, I'd have to say it was worth it. Our stay in Gizo was outstanding. We had a great time, learned some history, made new friends and the diving was fabulous. If you can be "flexible" in your travels, (a little extra time and a little extra cash) I highly recommend giving Gizo a try.
A full trip report (with lots of pictures) can be found here: [dive.scubadiving.com link] />
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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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