17 days…without telephone, email, internet, newspapers, radio…without knitting, spinning, nor any fiber activies, and it didn’t hurt a bit!
Here are some photos from my trip. Can you tell where I’ve been? (Click through the pictures, once for regular, and again for full size.)
24-Aug-2014: Sorry, I have removed the photo gallery because I have been getting a lot of comment spam through a loop hole in the WordPress Galleries created before a patch.
The trip was fabulous. We were pampered by the crew of Bilikiki. Dive Masters Kellie and Sam were wonderful.
What? You didn’t know I dived? Well, I didn’t until this trip. My friend Steve and Laurie and their dive buddies chartered the boat, and someone canceled at the last minute. Steve, who is also a SCUBA instructor, was kind enough to give me a crash course, and completed my certification in the Solomon Islands.
The day time temperatures ranged from 80-84F. The water temperature ranged from 82F +/- 1F. Although it rained a few times, we barely felt the heat and humidity, since the boat was moving from one dive location to the next. And while we were in the water, it didn’t much matter.
Over the course of 12 days (11 dive days), I logged 33 dives. Every dive was amazing. Sam and Kellie provided a sampling of some of the best dive spots available. We dove reefs, walls, caves as well as several WWII era wrecks (planes, ships, and automobiles).
The coral reefs; gardens; walls of sea fans, sponges, coral, and anemone; and fish were absolutely amazing. Oh, the colors! Lots of ideas for how to combine colors. I swam with hundreds of jacks, as they swirled around me in a giant column. Reef sharks, manta rays, moray eels, crabs, shrimps (with their attending gobies), sea turtles, octopus, giant clams, pygmy seahorses, pipe fish, nudibranchs, flat worms, spaghetti worms, sea cucumbers, angel fish, trigger fish, anemone fish, butterfly fish, lion fish, parrot fish, unicorn fish, dolphins…I can’t name them all. You’ll just have to take my word for it; it was just amazing. (And no, I didn’t see any snakes nor crocodiles. Thank goodness.)
I don’t have any pictures of the underwater stuff, since I decided not to put my camera into the waterproof case I bought. It seemed like too much trouble. Besides, the other folks have near professional quality equipment, my wimpy point-and-shoot seemed hardly adequate. As they post their pictures, I’ll add links to it. In the meantime, here is one of the videos created by Stan Waterman (he was at one of the island visits) about diving aboard Bilikiki. See related videos for part 2.
We visited a couple of villages. At Tulagi, Chief Raymond and his villagers put on a show for us. I’ll get those videos loaded up and post the link later.
If you are curious, we were in the Guadalcanal, Central and Western Provinces. The areas that we dove in were the Florida Islands, Russell Islands and Marovo Lagoon.