+ Reply to Thread
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4
Results 31 to 39 of 39

Thread: Honiara - Solomon Islands

  1. #31
    RBW Member carlosfredericobastos is an unknown quantity at this point carlosfredericobastos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    44
    REVO III mini Hybrid

    Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    hi guys,

    my son and i will be diving with neil at tulagi dive from the 18th to the 24th of august.

    can you reply to my message with not to be missed dives, tips and/or advices related to the diving and to restaurants/internet connection/topside attractions, safety tips?

    i would appreciate it very much.

    cheers, fred

  2. #32
    RBW Member KevinD is an unknown quantity at this point KevinD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    (No longer) west of Woodstock, south of Vietnam.
    Posts
    34

    Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    Having dived all the divable wrecks there, if you would be kind enough to tell me the max depth you plan to dive I'd be happy to tell you some of the best dives.

    As for on shore entertainment, not much. The so callled (outdoor) 'museum' out Tassafaronga way was worth a vist, that is if everything has not rotted away since I was last there.

    And depending on how adventurous you are, and dont mind a steep cliimb through the jungle, there is a great mostly dry cave over on Forida Island (where the USN used to get some of there fresh water from, back in the day). But, if the weather is inclement, that is might rain or is rainng, do NOT go there. A few of us got trapped in there once and had to do breath hold dives through some low sections to get out! But we did go a long way back in the cave after all, we even 'ran a line' and (of course) had flashlights with us.

    And Neil knows where whats left (very little) of the 'beached' Jap destroyer Kikuzuki is, but I'd only bother going there if you are a true history buff and had time to kill. Actually though, come to think of it, not a bad place to go during your surface interval if your going to dive the USS Arron Ward (approx 60 / 65m to deck (bow / stern respectfully), and about 70m on sand at the propellors.

    Anyway, as I said, lets know your max depth as much depends on that as to what you can dive.

  3. #33
    RBW Member carlosfredericobastos is an unknown quantity at this point carlosfredericobastos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    44
    REVO III mini Hybrid

    Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    Hi Kevin

    Thanks for your reply. 70 meters would be our max depth

    Besides the uss aaron ward, which wecks would you suggest?

    Any reef dives ?

    regards fred

  4. #34
    RBW Member carlosfredericobastos is an unknown quantity at this point carlosfredericobastos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    44
    REVO III mini Hybrid

    Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    It seems there are not that many topside attractions in honiara

  5. #35
    RBW Member KevinD is an unknown quantity at this point KevinD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    (No longer) west of Woodstock, south of Vietnam.
    Posts
    34

    Wink Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    Quote Originally Posted by carlosfredericobastos  View Original Post
    Thanks for your reply. 70 meters would be our max dep
    Besides the uss aaron ward, which wecks would you suggest?
    Well I am not sure where Neil operates from now, G'ganal side or Tulagi, but.........

    On G'canal side there is the upright Jap transport Azumasan Maru , about 35/ 40m on deck at bow, right about 90m at blown off stern. Then there is the USS John Penn, a transport on its side, about 57m (60m?) On seabed. The there is the so called 'Bonegi 1', a jap transport shore dive on its side with the bow almost on the beach and the stern in about 60m.

    Over Tulagi side there is of course the not to be missed Ward (even if it is just a shadow of its former self), upright, depths as stated previously. The USS Kanawha, a fleet oiler upright in about 60m seabed. The there is HMNZS Moa, in Tulagi harbour at max about 40m. Unfortunaly usualy poor vis but I once struck it with great vis. But thats very very rare. The off Gavutu / Tanambogo there are several IJN H6k 'Mavis' flying boats in 30 to 40m. And then of course the IJN Tama Maru, fairly upright in about 70m, but has very little profile so it is pretty much a 70m dive, and is also some distance west of Tulagi

    Sorry I cant be exact with depths as dont have my log book with me, but the above would only be a couple of m +/- different to what I state.

    There are many other wrecks than this of course, but you asked me my pick in the depth you state, so..............anyway, those should keep you busy, given you don't have a lot of time there.


    Quote Originally Posted by carlosfredericobastos  View Original Post
    Any reef dives ?
    REEFS!?!?! Reefs?! "We dont do no stinken' reefs"! What are those? But yeah, there is a nice fish action pinncle, whose name escapes me at present, out from the Kanawha, off Tulagi. Can get big fish action there at times. But I aint the one to ask about reefs.
    Last edited by KevinD; 11th August 2017 at 15:54.

  6. #36
    RBW Member KevinD is an unknown quantity at this point KevinD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    (No longer) west of Woodstock, south of Vietnam.
    Posts
    34

    Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    Quote Originally Posted by carlosfredericobastos  View Original Post
    It seems there are not that many topside attractions in honiara
    That would be an UNDERSTATEMENT!

    Of course, there is always the Honiara Yacht Club bar.

  7. #37
    RBW Member carlosfredericobastos is an unknown quantity at this point carlosfredericobastos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    44
    REVO III mini Hybrid

    Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    hi kevin

    thanks for taking the time to help me planning the trip. Well... I read about the wrecks and i believe you pretty much drew the best trip plan i could think of.

    i will post a report after i come back home.

    regards fred

    by the way tulagi dive is based in honiara.

  8. #38
    RBW Member KevinD is an unknown quantity at this point KevinD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    (No longer) west of Woodstock, south of Vietnam.
    Posts
    34

    Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    Fred, the only real entertainment you'll get there, is.........underwater.

    And here's a taste, or 'spoiler', that is if your lucky enough to get to dive em all. (I'll save a few of the Ward, for another post.)

    Below images named / captioned from top to bottom. (All my pics are taken in either 1998 or 2002)

    USS Kanawha, sunk same day as Moa and Aaron Ward (7 April 43) photographed two months before she was sunk.

    One of the three big guns on the stern of Kanawha. That's Neil himself swimming away.

    Kanawha, left, depicted just moments before being mortally wounded by Jap bombs. The US Wildcat you see foreground had just shot down 7 Jap aircraft (in the one sortie) and went for an eighth, when he himself was then shot down. The name of the painting (by Stan Stokes is called ''Unlucky Eight''.)

    My wife Mirja looking at a depth charge in the racks on the stern on HMNZS Moa.

    A very rare clear day on bow of Moa, note main fore-gun rear right, and the 'purloined / burrowed / liberated' 20mm machine gun (from the US) pointing vertical on the very (submerged) bow. This photo 100% proves that Moa had this additional weapon added just before being sunk. (And no, it is guaranteed not a bowstaff, it IS a 20mm machine gun!)

    The stern of Tama Maru, her upper works completely collapsed, about 70m to the sand and usually in very clear water (again, Neil in the background, the late Peter Frith on a CCR foreground).

    The Tama was originally a trawler similar to this, but converted for wartime use by the IJN
    Attached Images
    Last edited by KevinD; 12th August 2017 at 14:17.

  9. #39
    RBW Member KevinD is an unknown quantity at this point KevinD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    (No longer) west of Woodstock, south of Vietnam.
    Posts
    34

    Re: Honiara - Solomon Islands

    Unfortunately Fred, if you dive the Ward, you will see the remains of a ship that no longer resembles what you see in the following photos in almost any way. Sad but true! Argh, the ravages of time.

    Below, from top.

    Top, the mighty A, DD483, or old Aaron Ward as she is known to most.

    2nd. Photo taken (obviously) before the bent up stern completely collapsed and now rests level as it were on seabed.

    3rd. The aft twin 40mm Bofors guns, pre and post the collapse starting. Am told now that both port and stbd guns are now on the deck / seabed.

    4th. The bridge before it completely, repeat completely, collapsed, although certain Ďitemsí have started to collapse as can be seen already.

    Now this final triptic (i.e. #4) comparison leads me to a very very amusing (to me) story. And although somewhat off-topic, given the opportunity to tell the story, as it's the first time I have ever 'published' the pics in question side by side, I just couldn't resist. But hey, feel free to go straight to the pics and overlook the following by all means!

    But, should you consider reading on, then...................Once upon a time back in what now seems like the Dark Ages when even nitrox, (let alone helium based mixtures, e.g. trimix) was still a dirty word in some places, especially among the powers that be in the regular scuba training agencies (and hyperbaric doctors) in Oztralia, there was once - in the mid 1990ís - a very prolific dive blogger in Sydney (maybe he still is), probably one of the first, and he devoted much time to describing the ships he dived around the world. And good on him for doing that! But he was, at the time, also very anti mixed gas (although he may have changed his outlook since I believe, after he finally saw its benefits); so not sure if he was just one of the card-carrying dedicated air breathing mammals so to speak, or just didn't want pay that extra cost for a clear head. Now this individual claimed not to get narked at depth and besides, who needed mixed gas in just 60/65m of water anyway. Now while I agree gas is not mandatory at that depth, it certainly is very beneficial. But just to be clear, if I didnít have gas for a dive to that depth, I would certainly dive air (and did so for many years in the Solomons when helium was not available). And after the best part of 30 years diving I can honestly say that although I of course have been narked, I guess I am one of the lucky ones who have / had a high tolerance, or more so an adaptability, to narcosis. (This does not mean I am here promoting deep air diving by any means. But I would not / have not given up a dive to 60/65m just cause I didnít have gas, thatís for sure!)

    Anyway this chap, whose name here will remain hidden to protect the guilty, dived the Ward (on air) for the first time and couldn't just figure out just what the 'item' was that protruded horizontally from the bridge (pic on right), even posted in/on his blog, asking as it were, and I think it is still up there! Couldnít be a gun, or if so what sort of a gun was it that pointed straight out like that, as no place to fire it at, as it was aimed right at, would have hit, the #2 5" mount directly in front of it. A bloody damn mystery it seemed. Well, if he hadnít been so narked, as there is no other explanation for it (but he wasn't narked right, as it was only 60m on air after all ) he would have, or should have, easily deduced it was simply a / the collapsed 20mm machine gun as seen in-place in the two pics at left prior to its collapse (and as another 20mm can be seen pointing upright at left on the top of the forward deck-house, i.e. on left side of the right hand pic).

    Anyway, sorry to bore you with this off-topic tangent, but I thought it very funny when I heard about it back then (and then actually saw it written on his blog), and I still find it amusing now! Talk about being befuddled at depth and not even knowing it. And if that incident didnít / does not prove a point as to the advantages of gas at depth I donít know what would / does. Anyway, best fishes to him now! I hope he can have a laugh about it now too, but am not so sure about that. I hope so though.
    Attached Images
    Last edited by KevinD; 13th August 2017 at 14:50.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts