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Published: August 22nd 2009
Yesterday, we have arrived back in Honiara and the adventure here in the Solomon Islands is coming to a close. We had 10 glorious days diving and swimming in the Russell islands (group in the Solomon’s Islands), Salvo Island and in Mboli passage between big and small ngaela Island. Most days, there was an afternoon dive followed by a night dive. Some of the dives were spectacular and other were totally different to what I had ever experienced but all with the aim of finding shells. My most impressive dive was a small cave dive which was on a sea-wall. The wall was breathtaking with loads of fish, saw a turtle and a few sharks. There were loads of different types and colors of coral, sea anemones, fans etc. I wish I could capture it on film. On the other end of the spectrum was a dive through a rip current on a muddy bottom with very low visibility not great but glad I experienced it. The weather was good for the most part. The most difficult night was the first one when we ended up in a thunder and lighting rain storm. Eventually we anchored a river inlet which was a bit difficult to get into with no light on shore - me navigated by computer and GPS and the captain using local knowledge and his night eyes on deck. We arrived at 2.00am, the weather had eased up and everyone (except me and the captain) geared up and went night diving!!! Talk about dedication.
On our travels, we usually anchored opposite villages. Brian would have to go ashore ask permission for us to dive and pay a minimum compensation for the privilege. We got to know the locals who were friendly. They would canoe out with there produce e.g bananas, eggplant, bush limes (makes great limeade), papaya, greens, beans, shells carvings etc. Denise has been to the Solomon Islands numerous times over the past 20years came prepared with 6 dozen kids t-shirts of different sizes and lollypops and few other things. Although we would pay for items, after trading with Denise, we would receive extra. One night we received cooked cassava which tasted delicious. We also bought mud crab, crayfish, fish which were fresh and tasted delicious. Denise and I were co-cooks and produced some really good meals despite the limited facilities and ingredients. Denise made homemade mayonnaise by hand it was delicious and was great to dip the crayfish and mud crab in.
It was interesting traveling with 5 other people, some with strong personalities on a boat. You really get to know them intimately. We had a few incidences, tempers flaring etc but for the most part we got on well and had a good laugh about everything in the end. Brain the captain had allergies followed by a cold for the entire trip which meant that he was unable to dive. He has been this way since Wallis and it is a shame as he is fantastic in the water. There was a 4some who played a card game called hearts and that kept them busy for a few hours. The morning was taken up with boiling shells and cleaning them in bleach. The Co-cooks laid down the law - no cooking shells while we were cooking breakfast!! It was too hot and smelly in the galley. We managed to keep our water consumption to a minimum so we didn’t run out of water while away. I can’t wait to get a nice long hot shower or bath!! I am satisfied with the occasional long shower at the yacht club with cold water.
Two of the people left today and the rest of us leave on Tuesday. I am looking forward to moving on and seeing my friends in New Zealand - Marion and Collin before going home. That is all for now. Thanks for all the comments and messages it is great to hear from you all.
P.S. Sorry no pics but problems uploading them
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