THE SOLOMON ISLANDS is an archipelago of several hundred islands in the South West Pacific Ocean stretching from Vanuatu to Bougainville. There are over 900 islands, the main six comprise Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, San Cristobal and Santa Isabel.
Most of the islands are of volcanic origin and have rainforest covered mountain ranges intersected by narrow valleys with coastal belts fringed by coral reefs. Most of the smaller islands are raised coral or low atolls. The Solomon Islands archipelago is part of two distinct terrestrial eco regions: the Solomon Islands rainforests eco region, and the Vanuatu rainforests eco region.
There are volcanoes with varying degrees of activity on some of the larger islands. More than 230 varieties of orchids and other tropical flowers brighten the landscape. The Solomons’ culture and custom is rich and varied, from wood-carving to beliefs such as shark-worshipping. Many islanders still live in the traditional way and authorities are making a determined effort to preserve this way of life and they enjoy the full support of the customary chiefs in their endeavours.
Visiting yachts are welcomed in most villages, particularly by children who like to trade fruit or shells for ball-point pens, felt-tips or balloons. With underwater visibility usually around 30m and water temperature in the high 20’s (oC), conditions are ideal for divers to discover the marine wonders of the Solomon Islands. There are countless WW2 wrecks, beautiful reefs, enchanting corals and a multi-coloured array of fish comprising this diver’s paradise.
Honiara, capital of the Solomons on Guadalcanal island, boasts an idyllic tropical climate, unique historic sights both on land and beneath the water. Plus, handicraft shops, cafés, restaurants and bars. As the site of the first Allied offensive in the South Pacific during WW2, Honiara holds a significant place in history. Allied forces landed on Guadalcanal, largest of the Solomon Islands, and seized a Japanese airstrip under construction. Today this airstrip is Honiara’s International Airport
Captain’s log: Sovereign State of Oceania