Snorkelling & Scuba Diving The Solomons & Vanuatu

Drawn from our archived Islands of the South Pacific Trip Reports, below we share a selection of underwater activity highlights experienced while exploring he region’s pristine waters.

Yanaba & Egum Island: “As we left the atoll, a small pod of pilot whales said goodbye to us, against the backdrop of a setting sun.”

Budaluna: “The tropical island Budaluna was bathed in sparkling sunlight and the water shimmered without a breeze. Guests snorkelled and dived the reef that surrounded a nearby sand cay. Species seen: Clark’s anemonefish, a school of surgeonfish, whip coral, foliose corals, staghorn with neon damselfish, juvenile green turtle, giant clam, Moorish idol.”

Toa Maru II Wreck with Dizo Dive: “We descended with the wreck’s reference line to 14m, then trailed the southern part of the wreck to a maximum depth of 18m. We cruised around the site, exploring the superstructure, various champagne bottles, and glass jars full of different objects. There was a section of the superstructure with a swim through, bringing us to the other side of the wreck. With coral spawn clouding a lot of the water column (viz 7-10m), the wreck had a distinctive eerie feel. Divers absolutely loved exploring the structures to explore and the thriving reef encrusted within the walls. We had a Dive Gizo Dive Instructor leading the dive. We spent 90 minutes exploring the wreck and all guests were beaming after their dive! *Note this dive is not part of the complimentary dive offer and will be an optional extra. Species seen: Impressive sponges, bannerfish, ascidians, damselfish, schools of fusilier, encrusting corals, moorish idols, porcupinefish, tomato anemonefish, butterflyfish, lionfish.

Mangalonga & Langa Langa Lagoon: “The snorkellers said they never wanted to get out of the water! And the scuba divers shared the great experience, spotting a Moray Eel and talked about how amazing it felt being circled by schools of batfish on their Mangalonga drift dive. Species Seen: schools of anthias, fusiliers, half and half pullers, neon damselfish, moray eel, lionfish, cow-tailed ray, schools of batfish, spadefish, whip corals, beautiful large gorgonian fans, plenty of Christmas tree worms, ascidians.”

Marau Sound, Sand Island: “Divers had an incredible wall dive and snorkelers enjoyed a variety of experiences. On the sand cay itself, the locals had set up shelters and umbrellas with seating. Many guests went there for a swim and a relax. The locals had coconut drinks when guests got thirsty – it was very special. Species Seen: encrusting corals, boulder corals, barrel sponges, lionfish, schooling trevally, boxfish, nudibranchs, whip corals, gorgonian fans.”

Star Harbour & Santa Ana, Frigate Isl: “Some went for a snorkel off the beach which presented some excellent corals and fish. Others were transferred out to the Xplorer by Steve and they snorkelled over the wall. Snorkelling was superb. Divers encountered a school of squid, and spotted 2 black tip reef sharks. Species seen: School of squid, 2 black tip reef sharks, school of curious batfish, branching corals, bannerfish.”

Nendo: “Divers had a magnificent time exploring overhangs & swim-throughs adorned in colourful corals. Snorkellers enjoyed experiencing the lush reef flat at 4m. Visibility was exceptional. Species seen: Clarke’s anemonefish, true clownfish, school of bannerfish, whip corals, encrusting corals, lots of sponge life, trevally, fusilier, nudibranchs.”

Elephant Island, Hog Harbour: “Again, divers had a wonderful wall dive and snorkelers really didn’t want to stop. Species seen: encrusting corals and sponges, blue damselfish, Clarke’s anemonefish, juvenile green sea turtle, schools of anthias, Moorish idols”

Malekula: “Divers had an interesting dive using swim-throughs and caves. Dive Instructor Liv spotted a 2.5m dugong! Species seen: Dugong(!), Green sea turtles, encrusting corals, garden eels, moorish idols, butterflyfish, angelfish, anemonefish (Clarke’s, pink skunk), moray eel.”