Solomon-Islands

Catamaran Yacht Charter - Pacific Ocean - Solomon Islands

Overview

The traditional ways of living are still alive and only a few tourists arrive in the Solomons. With 28 000 sq km of land and 350 000 people the Solomon’s are one of the bigger groups of islands. This region is still a land of contrast and adventure with jungle and rainforest, lagoons, atolls and coral reefs. The Solomon’s are still on of the best-kept secret regions in the South Pacific with a variety of cultures and customs and a great scenic variety.

Climate

Year round it is hot and humid. Nevertheless sea breezes and the South East trade winds will cool down the temperatures on the coast and on the anchorages. Hurricanes occur on the Southern part but do rarely much damage. The northern part of the Solomon’s is on the edge of the hurricane belt. Rainfall is lowest between Mai and November.

Tourism

Tourism does not play a role in the Solomon and very little is done to change that.
The good thing is, you will see an unspoiled archipelago with traditional living and customs. But you will also miss the infrastructure of a more touristic area.

People

The Solomon’s are nearly all Melanesians. They are gently and shy to unknown things and extremely friendly and helpful to the few visitors who arrive there. 80 % of the people live in small rural villages mainly as 50 years ago. They live from agriculture and fishing. Most villages are near the shore. About 70 % of the people are illiterate and education is neither compulsory nor free. 60 % of the children don’t go to school. Around the capital of Honiara there is much unemployment and social problems can be expected in the near future. Communication is not easy because outside of the capital not many will understand English.

Customs

The clan is the basic social unit and has normally about 200 people. They share a lot, work together on community projects. The land is owned by the families just the opposite to Tonga where land is owned by the king and the government.

Arriving with a yacht you should know that lagoon waters are considered village property. If you anchor the first thing to do is to ask the chief for permission. And take a gift for the chief with you. Often people come and ask for a fee for something. Be carefully, negotiate and pay less but do not refuse.

Economy

The economy is based on the natural resources with timer, gold mining, palm oil, copra, cacao and tuna fishing. But the exploitation is mainly done by foreign companies. So a lot of the income will not stay in the country. Tourism does not play a role in the Solomon and very little is done to change that.

Transportation

You get to the Solomon Islands (airport in Honiara) via Fiji, Auckland or Brisbane two or three times a week.

Activities in the Solomon Islands

Scuba diving and snorkelling especially in the wreck areas of the WW2 wrecks, the island of Gizo, traditional music and dancing, buying arts and crafts that are the highlights of a normal vacation. But for those who have more time or sail with a yacht there is much more to explore.

Sailing in the Solomon Islands

There is not much provisioning available if you are outside Honiara. But here you find some supermarkets with a reasonable selection and there is also a fresh fruit market

Basic repair is also available in Honiara but not in the other islands.
Money has little value in the remote islands. Be prepared that people want to trade with you useful object they see and need like fishhooks, matches, tobacco, clothing, ropes …

Sailing with Neverland in the Solomon Islands

Neverland will stay in this archipelago in July and August 2006 for about 8 weeks. Our sailing in the Solomon’s will be one of the highlights of our circumnavigation. If you are interested you can join us for a two weeks charter. But it is better if you can afford three or even four weeks, because you need time in the remote part of the world and it is a long way to get there. For a 4 weeks long sailing vacation we will offer you a special rate.

Guadalcanal

With 5 300 sq km this island is the largest one in the Solomon’s and here is also the nations main capital Honiara, the highest mountain Mt. Makarakombura with 2447 meters, the biggest port (Honiara). But this island is more the gateway to the Happy Islands of Solomon’s.

The capital Honiara has 40 000 inhabitants and is growing fast. There are a view things of some attraction to see when you are here – the US War Memorial, the National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre, you can play a round of golf, make dive excursions see the central market and everywhere signs of the WW 2 like the Bloody Ridge.

Malaita

Perhaps the best place to experience culture tourism in the Solomon’s. Here you will find the last shark callers in the Langa Langa Lagoon, They worship their ancestors whose spirits are embodied in sharks. They feed the sharks and they swim with them

Malaita is a thickly forested island populated by 96 000 people. Different to the other islands many people live in isolated hamlets in the jungle.

Perhaps the best place for a yacht is anchoring in the Lango Lango Lagoon. There are the villages of Auki and Lilisiana, the lagoon itself, many small islands and traditional life with ceremonies to see. A good place is also the Lau Lagoon with many small artificial island built from coral blocks and a special type of traditional life.

Savo

The island has a 500 m high double crater, which is still active. There are hot springs on the waters edge, some are used for cooking. People live very traditional in 14 villages. They speak a Papuan language. Staying here for a few days is a real adventurer vacation. The waters around Savo are called Iron Bottom Sound because of the many sunken warships during the WW 2.

New Georgia Group

Perhaps the most attractive and varied area of the Solomon’s with many islands either covered with dense jungle or planted with coconuts. On these islands the women own the land, which is passed down through the oldest daughter. There are many villages and people are friendly and helpful.