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Liveaboard Diving in Guadalcanal
What to Expect On A Guadalcanal Liveaboard
A liveaboard cruise to Guadalcanal will take divers to many WWII wrecks as one of the most fierce battles in the South Pacific happened here. There remain visible remnants of history across the region, both under the water and topside. The island of Guadalcanal is home to the capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara, and is the largest of the nine hundred island archipelago. Our Solomon Islands liveaboard dive cruises depart from Honiara, which is located on the north-central coast of Guadalcanal. Nearby dive sites can be enjoyed leisurely from the comfort of your liveaboard boat.
What You Will See
Wrecks and more wrecks are the order of the day when diving Guadalcanal Island via liveaboard. History lovers will be charmed by the opportunity to explore sunken air, ground, and watercraft. Over the 70 years since the region was embroiled in bitter battles, many of these wrecks have transformed into splendid underwater habitats. Along with the rest of the Solomon Islands, expect massive tropical fish counts, large critters such as sharks and turtles, and of course an array of macro subjects hiding in the shallows, muck, and among the wreckage.
Dive Sites of Guadalcanal
Near Honiara, there are four key dive sites. Bonega l, Hirokawu Miru, is a Japanese transport ship that was downed by American dive bombers and left on the beach. The shallower sections lie in 5 meters which makes this wreck accessible to snorkelers as well as divers. This section of the ship is in many parts and is now a wonderful place to observe the underwater tropical beauty that makes these islands famous. The deeper sections of the wreck are more intact and extend to a depth of just over 55 meters.
Bonega ll, Kinugawa Maru is another Japanese transport ship, sunk at the same time as Bonega l. It is encrusted with coral and surrounded by thousands of fish. A fine example of a reef that has formed from the wreckage.
B-17 Flying Fortress. This American airship is almost intact, except a missing tail, and lies on the sandy bottom. The cockpit can easily be explored and the engines are in place.
Lying off Lunga Point, the SS John Penn is a massive American attack transport ship. It extends from 35-60 meters in depth but the bow is most commonly investigated by divers. There are often schools of large pelagics such as barracuda and mackerel in some of the broken areas of the wreck. The radio room, crew’s quarters, officer’s mess hall, and more, can be examined.
I-1 Japanese Submarine is now an enjoyable reef near the village of Tambea, about 40 kilometers from Honiara. The top of the wreck lies in approximately 10 meters of water and the stern extends to 25 meters. This sub has an interesting story as the codebooks that the American military recovered from its wreckage helped crack the Japanese code and affect the course of WWll.
Getting To Guadalcanal
Honiara is home to Henderson International Airport. This is the gateway for all international flights into the Solomon Islands. Most regions of the world connect to Honiara through Australia, Fiji, or New Zealand. As noted above, Honiara is located on the island of Guadalcanal and is where you will board your Solomon Islands liveaboard dive tour. Guadalcanal dive sites are a quick sail from the point of departure.