Ships around the Solomon IslandsThursday, 10 March 2011
On my recent Solomon Islands travels I spent some time on dive boats and did one inter-island trip on the regular high speed boat between Munda and Gizo. The 50km trip only takes a couple of hours although you can count on getting very wet.
▲ The Atoll Way in Seghe on the Marovo Lagoon. I saw this ship in Honiara a few days later.
▲ The other way of getting around the Solomons is to fly, here’s a Dash 8 coming in to land on Seghe’s grass airstrip.
Enterprising travellers wanting to make their crossings at surface level can try the MV Pelican Express or the MV Solomon Express, both of which make regular trips between Honiara and Gizo. The trip takes about 12 hours and the service is not exactly 100% reliable.
Wander the Wate Dock in the centre of Honiara, however, and you’ll quickly realise there’s plenty of potential for island travel on local shipping services. There’s a constant shuffle of arriving and departing ships and although you can be certain of being uncomfortable you’re also pretty sure to have a real adventure.
I saw one ship heading out from Honiara to Aola, Rere, Marau, Balo, Makaruka, Avuavu, Kidovoroa and Kuma and then back via the same ports. Another was making even more stops. It’s nice to see this sort of inter-island Pacific travel still going on.