Melanesia Expedition: Loh Island
The small island of Loh is rarely visited by outsiders. On our first morning there was a cultural performance scheduled, as well as a diving, and I opted for the latter. Diving on expeditions is fun because we never really know where we are going until we get on the Zodiac and head out. The dive masters have usually scouted ahead and have a general idea, but lots of times we drop in where it looks good. The waters and coral are totally unspoiled and today was no exception. The water is amazingly warm and clear and there wasn’t much current, so in we went.
There weren’t a lot of fish, but the corals more than made up for that – in wonderful shapes and lots of different ones I had never seen.
Our first dive was at 8:00 a.m., back on the ship at 9:45 a.m. and then a wait of about an hour before the second one. We headed back in the water once again at 11:45 a.m. for more fun. There was a third dive scheduled for 3:00 p.m., but I decided to pass in favor of a fresh hot water shower and lunch at the pool.
Tonight was a “lobster special” night in Marina restaurant. The people of Loh had known we were coming and wanted to buy lobsters. When our expedition leader went in to see them, he was overwhelmed at the number they had collected. He immediately called the chef, who threw on a life jacket over his whites and headed for shore to inspect the catch. He was also stunned at the amount, but decided to go ahead and bring them back. They took up the entire 15 foot Zodiac and weighed in at 380 pounds! The really amazing thing is that there wasn’t one lobster left on The World the following morning. It was that good.
We had departed at sunset and were on our way to Tikopia, our first stop in the Solomon Islands.