Solomon Dive Adventures -- Morovo Lagoon
Solomon Dive Adventures -- Dive Marovo

MBULO ISLAND

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Stretching  about a mile north to south, Mbulo  is the largest of our offshore islands.  It too, is heavily forested, but features high cliffs on the southern end,  a lovely shallow lagoon  along its southeastern shore ( I just know there are seahorses in there- there has to be!!!),  heavily undercut lower cliffs around to its northern side.  The undercuts form mazes of caves, tunnels and arches underwater;  the forest a haven for birds.  We often see eagles and kingfishers as we round the northern point, a colony of terns off the lagoon.  Our resident school of spinner dolphins are almost always found playing off the southern corner.   Please click  location on map to go to the description.

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BEGHO POINT
Off the eastern end of Mbulo Island,  Begho is another massive point extending forever underwater.  When the moon and currents are right,  it is arguably the busiest marine life dive I have ever been on.  Jacks, tunas, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, tangs, ocean triggers, long spine unicorns rush hither and yon, while gray reef, white tip, and black tip reef sharks zoom in and out  of the busy thoroughfare. We find a spot and get comfortable and squeeze  every second of bottom time  we can as we ease our way up the slopes, knowing we will be well entertained by unusual squirrels and wrasses, sparkling diamond jacks and hosts of others on our long safety stop.  

CORAL CASTLES
The north side of Mbulo Island is generally pretty well protected from any storm surge.   It is home to the most prolific variety of hard corals that I have seen anywhere- and I only wish I knew all their names.   Wandering in and out of canyons,  the corals grow in fascinating formations, reminding one of visions of fairylands and castles.  It pays to keep a sharp eye out, for cuttlefish roam the area seeking food, and if we're lucky, a mate.  It was here I watched entranced as 2 males duked it out over a female, hovering coyly over in a protected corner.   A stunning array of butterflies, angels  and wrasses can keep one endlessly occupied. 

MBULO CANYONS
The north east end of Mbulo combines much of the variety of hard corals found at Castles  with deeper canyons  and dropoffs ,  and endless labyrinths of caverns and tubes inshore one can wander through for hours.  The sandy bottoms of these caverns provide great habitat for blind shrimps and their goby partners.   I can lie there and watch this act for hours, as the shrimp continually "bulldozes"  the burrow free of debris, with a feeler ever in contact with its guard goby.   A great spot for turtles.  Superb snorkeling.

LAGOON POINT
Drop in just off the shallow lagoon and you have too many choices- drift  to the north in search of big animals, scrutinize the pink  fan corals in the hopes of finding the tiny pygmy seahorses,  wander in and out of the deep slits.   Or you can head in the opposite direction, where the terrain features fine hard coral gardens interspersed with sand patches.  Schools of colorful parrotfish  compete with nesting titan triggers  for your attention;  or should you count the number of varieties of anemone fish.   Or, you can dive right into the lagoon, and crawl through the sea grass  on the eternal sea horse hunt.  But don't ignore all of the babies that populate this unusual nursery.

SILVERTIP RIDGE
Another southeast facing ridge smothered in luscious lemon soft corals with dancing golden damsels  above,  Silvertip boasts  ridges lancing off from the main ridge, creating deep, beckoning canyons yet to be explored.  Here, Allan encountered his first silvertip shark, a big, curious fellow who stayed with us for a full 5 minutes, zooming in and out to inspect these intruders in his territory.  At the risk of repeating myself, we  were immersed in schools of pyramid butterflies contrasting with the grays and silvers of the  tangs, runners, barracudas and jacks that populated the deeper ridge tips.
 

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