Honiara, Guadalcanal - Solomon Islands

Posted 5 August 2012

By good fortune my arrival at Honiara coincide with the 11th Pacific Arts Festival, where Island nations around the Pacific were represented with dance groups, carving and of course the Vakas, a modern version of Polynesian sailing canoes. This was a great show put on by the Solomon's government. What I liked most was a war raid using 12 war canoes with 12 men on board each canoe, simulating an attack on a village. The fight between defenders and attackers was very real, with the out come in favor of the attackers, leaving the beach full of  'dead bodies' and without nobody expecting the raiders started grabbing women and children (tourists) into the canoes and paddle away with great speed. On the return I asked a young lady how the experience was and her answer was 'scary but exciting'.

After the festival, I went to a yacht festival in Roderick Bay in the Florida group at the invitation of Alan, from SV Love Song. I must confess that in almost 3 years of traveling, this village was the most rewarding experience in the entire South Pacific, mainly because the cultural interaction and participation on the every day village life and most important based on my observation of Morgan and Yap (the children from Love Song) Roderick Bay is a children's paradise with no parallel.

Last week I spend diving to explore ship wrecks from WWII. The first one was a Japanese cargo transport called Hirokawa Maru, that was sunk at Bonegi beach, together with Kinugawa Maru, also a transport ship. Both wrecks are only metres from the beach and are done as shore dives. I had 4 dives, Maru 1, a fabulous night dive, a submarine and the B-17 bomber. The depth, was 30 m, for # 1, 25 m for # 2, 24 m for the submarine and 18 m for the airplane. The visibility was very good in all of them and the water temperature on the 30's, in another words, t-shirt dives. The best dive was on Maru 1, full of coral and fish, really pristine.


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