Solomon Islands Wreck Trek April 2-9, 2022

Solomon Islands Wreck Trek April 2-9, 2022

Join the Key Largo Dive Center’s Dive Travel Club on our dive adventure excursion to the Solomon Islands for the Iron Bottom Sound Wreck Trek. Make this a two week trip and add our Fiji Dive Adventure week on the return (April 10-17, 2022).

Various room styles are available form single to double with varying amenities and prices starting from $3500 per diver. Airfare is not included since our divers travel from all over the world so you are responsible for your air travel arrangements. We recommend Fiji Airlines from LAX to Fiji to Guadalcanal. Deposits start at $1,000 depending on booking date and we have a flexible pay plan that allows you to pay over time with no interest. Email us for additional information at scuba@KeyLargoDiveCenter.com or call (305) 451-5844.

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS
• The Solomon sland were the site of one of the most prolonged, intense, military campaigns during the war.
• Divers will literally see and feel World War ll history while on their liveaboard dive cruise
• Many wrecks are accessible to recreational divers, while some can be enjoyed by snorkelers in the turquoise shallows and tech divers in the deep blue
• Reefs, teeming with high fish counts cover many of the metal skeletons
• Up to 4 dives per day
• Expert dive guides on board

Itinerary
DAY 1
• As the sun sets, you’ll board to begin your epic diving adventure.
• Meet the crew, mingle with guests and settle into your cabin as you cruise northward overnight to the magnificent Russell Islands, the first stop on your dive odyssey.
• 2017 is the 75th anniversary of WWII and we are honouring this event with the introduction of a very special itinerary – a 7 night WWII Wreck Week to help keep history alive.
• We will begin our expedition with a westward cruise out of Honiara. One of our first stops in the Russell Islands will be White Beach – a strategic base of the American military during WWII. When this site was decommissioned, the pier was destroyed and much of the equipment at the site was sunk. Explore jeeps, trucks, barges and more at this incredible site. Above the water line, we will visit one of the local villages and hike to a Corsair F4U lost in the jungle.
• We will continue our trip east to the Florida Islands and Tulaghi. This was one of the most significant bases for the Japanese during the war and the scene of several major battles. As part of the Guadalcanal Campaign, these battles are considered the turning point of WWII in the South Pacific.
• Here we will dive both Japanese and American Seaplanes, Cargo Ships, Minesweepers and Heavy Cruisers. In addition, we will explore the town of Tulagi to see some of the battlegrounds.
• Finally, we will return to Honiara, the capital city of Solomon Islands. Here we will explore Cargo Ships and a submarine as well exploring above water with a tour of the monuments to both the American and Japanese military and an excellent outdoor museum.
• Many of the wrecks in the Solomon Islands are considered deep dives. In fact, a number of them are far below recreational limits. Wrecks on this trip are all within recreational limits.
• Divers must have an Advanced Open Water certificate or higher. Deep and wreck diving training or experience is strongly recommended. Penetration diving will be limited to those with appropriate certifications.
• We want to ensure you experience the best diving available in Solomon Islands. As such, we customize our itinerary each week to ensure you experience the best visibility, water conditions, wildlife, dive sites and weather available.
• Below is a sample of what you might expect on a 7 night adventure. Specific dive sites are always chosen with conditions, visibility and guest safety in mind. If you have specific dive site/local requests – be sure to let us know and we will do our utmost to include them.
DAY 2
• 6:30 am – Early Breakfast
• 7:00 am – Early Morning Dive
• 8:00 am – Cooked Breakfast
• 9:00 am – Morning Dive Cruising
• 11:00 am – Late Morning Dive
• 12:30 pm – Buffet Lunch
• 2:00 pm – Early Afternoon Dive Cruising
• 4:00 pm – Tour or Late Afternoon Dive
• 7:30 pm – Cocktails & Dinner
• Cruise overnight to new location
• Village visits, specialty dives or land based excursions may be offered on selected days.
• We begin our diving at the Russell Islands, often starting at White Beach, home to a major American supply base during WWII. At the end of the war, an artificial reef was created by dumping trucks, jeeps, tractors, bulldozers and large amounts of ammunition.
• As well, we will visit one of the local villages, where a Corsair F4U was lost in the jungle. A small hike will allow us to step back in time to see this piece of history.
DAY 3
• While our focus this trip is WWII history, diving in Solomon Islands would be incomplete without an exploration of the reefs.
• Today we will spend time at sites such as Ta or Karamulon. We are greeted by white and black tip reef sharks starting their day pacing along the wall. White spotted eagle rays can also be found heading out to deep water. Up in the shallows, cuttlefish and millions of reef fish are waiting to greet us.
DAY 4
• We will travel east again to the Florida Islands and Tulagi, the once capital of the Solomon Islands. The wrecks in this area include a number of American and Japanese seaplanes.
• Before the landing of the Marines on the 7th of August 1942, an air strike was conducted by the US Navy to eliminate the flight boats of the Imperial Japanese Army. As a result, several Kawanishi (code name Mavis) 4 engine reconnaissance / VIP transport seaplanes, were sunk. The two main sites lie in 30 metres of water and wrecks are big enough to keep you occupied for an entire non-decompression dive
DAY 5
• As we continue our exploration of the Florida Islands – we will visit the Heavy Cruiser, USS Minneapolis. This ship was struck by two torpedoes forward of the number one mounts.
• The Minneapolis was towed back to Tulagi Harbour where the damaged bow section was removed and a temporary bow constructed so that she could be sailed back to Pearl Harbour and the Naval Yards for a complete repair.
• The bow section lies at the back-end of the bay in 14 to 24 metres of water. It was badly damaged by the explosions, but a very interesting dive with lots of junk to explore
DAY 6
• The area around Tulagi is so rich with history, we will spend a third day here exploring. On the agenda today are both the RNZN Moa and the Kanawha.
• The Moa’s role was minesweeper and submarine chaser, and she played a pivotal role in the sinking of the Japanese submarine the I-1 which lies in shallow water off Cape Esperance on Guadalcanal (and is on our dive plan for tomorrow).
• USS Kanawha, like the RNZN Moa, was sunk on the 7th of April 1943. She stayed on station to complete refuelling duties and was at the exit of Tulagi harbour when the air raid struck. The Kanawha was hit in both the forward fuel hold and rear mechanical spaces.
• We’ll end the day with a night dive at Gavutu or Maravagi where we often spot octopus hunting on the reef.
DAY 7
• No trip to Solomon Islands would be complete without exploring the wreck diving around Honiara. So we will spend our final morning diving exploring some of the harder to reach wrecks.
• The I-1 Submarine played a role in Pearl Harbour before being moved to the South Pacific. She was damaged and forced into the reef by the RNZN Moa in Feburary of 1943. Code books were recovered from this wreck that helped complete the code and end the Battle of Midway.
• We will finish our day with a tour of Guadalcanal and the war memorials. This includes a stop at the Vilu War Museum. As well as artillery, shells, helmets, rifles and other war relics, the outdoor museum has the remains of many famous Allied aircraft on display. The aircraft include a Grumman F4F Wildcat, a Lockheed P-38F Lightning and one of the greatest combat aircraft ever, the Chance Vought V-166B F4U Corsair.
DAY 8
• As the sunrises, we arrive back in Honiara for your morning flights or wherever your travels may take you.
• We’ll miss you on board but we know you will already be planning your next visit back to us.
This yacht was custom-designed with divers in mind and features an open dive deck with hot showers, a dedicated camera room, and two large skiffs for stress-free pickups and tours
• Dive into the past while exploring the sunken WWII wrecks of the Iron Bottom Sound, and enjoy the amazing biodiversity and coral gardens around the Solomon Islands
• Watch the sun rise and set from the large sun deck, and enjoy the breezes as the wild seascapes float by
• Refuel between dives with the warm, hearty meals and snacks served fresh each day

Included:

  • Approximately 23-26 Dives
  • Dive Insurance
  • Island Tours
  • Snacks between meals and after dives
  • Transfer from/to the airport (round trip, only on boat arrival/departure days)
  • Dive Guides
  • Dan Dive Accident Insurance for the trip
  • Full Board
  • Water
  • Tea
  • Weight Belt/Weights/Tanks
  • Coffee

Photos:

Premium Double Main Deck

Premium Double Main Deck

Classic Double Main Deck

Classic Twin Main Deck

Std Twin Share Lower Deck

Std Single Lower Deck

PBY Catalina Flying Boat Missing Engine

USS Minneapolis Torpedo Damage