In celebration of the magnificent diving experiences the Solomon Islands has to offer the international dive community, the 2nd Annual Solomon Dive Fest 2017 will take place in the country’s Western Province from October 2-7 2017.
Suspended like a string of deep green pearls from Papua New Guinea to Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands is the epitome of a hidden South Pacific paradise, a true living culture, rich with art, dance and the iconic sound of the panpipe music synonymous with the ‘Hapi Isles’ as they are so aptly named.
This scattered archipelago of 992-odd richly forested mountainous islands and low-lying coral atolls has been attracting international tourism since 1568 when Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendana first sailed into this tucked away corner of the South Pacific.
Mendana’s legacy can still be found in the Solomon Islands today with many of the islands still bearing the Spanish names he gave them – Santa Isabel, San Cristóbal and perhaps the best known of all, Guadalcanal, the name synonymous with the infamous and very bloody World War II campaign in 1942 and the catalyst for the Allies ultimate victory over the Japanese Imperial Forces.
This year will mark the 75th anniversary of the battle for Guadalcanal and the event will hold even greater significance for the people of the ‘Hapi Isles’ who take immense pride in the knowledge their home is the place where freedom for the Pacific was hard fought for and ultimately won.
Hosted locally by Dive Gizo, SIDE Dive Munda and SIDE MV Taka, dive excursions, cultural activities, photographic competitions, and workshops have all been combined into one very special event with focus given to two of the Solomon Islands’ best dive locales – Munda and Gizo.
Munda is located north west of Honiara and has swim-through caves, wrecks of planes and boats all within a short boat ride and reefs right in the main accommodation resource, the Agnes Gateway Hotel where the coral is still in pristine condition. Munda is also the place where water flow and currents create the perfect conditions required for barracuda and jacks feeding frenzies. Barry’s Breakfast is just one such dive where you can hang in mid-water surrounded by swarming pelagics while Titan triggers patrolling the reefs below.
Gizo offers a huge variety of spectacular dive sites. Grand Central Station boasts the highest fish count in the world with more than 275 species recorded in its teeming waters. Wreck enthusiasts too are more than catered for with a 440-foot Japanese freighter, the Toa Maru and an almost fully-intact US Hellcat fighter aircraft lying in very shallow waters a short boat ride away from Gizo Town.
The festival also features the opportunity to experience a liveaboard dive boat aboard SIDE’s renowned MV Taka.
Packages to this year’s Dive Fest are available from just $1,355 per person to include:
- Return flights flying Solomon Airlines ex-Brisbane to Gizo and Munda via Honiara plus all transfers
- 2 nights twin accommodation at Rekona Lodge or Gizo Hotel, breakfast and dinner in Gizo
- Attendance at the festival’s opening ceremony, dinner at PT109 restaurant with kastom sing sing and dance
- 3 tank dive day with Dive Gizo with tanks, weights, dive guide and BBQ lunch
- DAN seminar
- 1 night twin Standard cabin (shared bathrooms) on board MV Take with all meals and sailing from Gizo to Munda
- Up to 4 dives with tanks, weights, dive guide and kastom fees
- Photography workshop
- 2 nights twin accommodation at Agnes Gateway Lodge in Munda
- 2 tank dive day with SIDE Dive Munda with tanks, weights and dive guide
- Kastom lunch at Hopei Island and WWII Museum visit
- Marine biology focused seminar
- BBQ dinner with kastom dance performance
- 1 tank dive day with tank, weights, dive guide plus Skull Island visit
- Cocktails and winner of Photo Competition announcement
- Closing ceremony and dinner
- 1 extra night twin accommodation at Agnes Gateway Lodge, Munda (no meals included)
For more information on this package and the possible upgrades see www.solomonsdiving.com/solomons-dive-fest-2017
WIN a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!
This torch delivers 1200 lumens of light powered by an ion rechargeable battery. There are 4 levels of brightness with burn times between 2-20 hours. Battery charge level is indicated via coloured lights around the on/off button. The beam angle is 10°. The anodised aluminium alloy housing sealed by double ‘O’ rings with a max operating depth of 100m. SRP £125.00 which includes torch, charging cradle and battery.
To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:
In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported via the Marine Conservation Society that the UK’s landmark post-Brexit fisheries legislation has now become law. The Fisheries Act is the first legislation of its kind in nearly how many years?
- A) 60
- B) 50
- C) 40
Answer, A, B or C to the question above:
Northern Diver Christmas Sale starts TODAY!
This year Northern Diver’s Christmas offers are starting on Black Friday and running until midnight on New Year’s Eve!
There are some great deals to be had across the site – www.ndiver.com – from discounted Drysuits and Coltri compressors to 15% off their entire Lighting Section!
And if you can’t find the perfect present for the diver in your life, they have a choice of Gift Cards on offer. They are even giving you £25 extra when you purchase a £100 voucher!
The offers don’t stop there – there is FREE shipping on all orders over £100 and even a FREE gift with every online purchase.
Every purchase will get you entered into a great prize draw to win one of their new Electracore 3.0mm Rechargeable Heated Vests!
And should you find that you need to return any of your purchases, Northern Diver understand that Christmas may be a little different for everyone this year and you may not get to see every one over Christmas, so they have extended their Returns Period to the end of January 2021. (Valid for purchases made from Black Friday to end of December 2020).
Some unmissable offers to look out for are the Varilux Zoom, part of the Varilux Black & Gold Range, with its variable beam width; and Northern Diver’s 4mm compressed Neoprene Drysuit, the Voyager, which is on offer for an incredible £475!
For more information visit the Northern Diver website by clicking here.
Photo credit: Joe Duffy
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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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