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Underwater Video: “Solomon Islands Serenade”

A video of underwater highlights from last month’s dive expedition to the Solomon Islands aboard the wonderful liveaboard ship Bilikiki.

Once again a great many thanks must go to the Bilikiki crew. My “Mumu” at 26kg (57lbs) is a big chunk of camera to schlep in and out of the tinnies, and the guys did it with a smile… and apparent ease. The eagle eyes of the boat crew topside, and Sam and Kellie underwater, greatly improved the filming opportunities. Thanks for the croc spotting!

And below is a shot list in case you wonder what you are looking at, and where you can go to see it for yourself if you go diving in the Solomons (which you should). I’d love to hear any of your comments.


Time What Where
0:00 Pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) in Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica) gets buzzed by a tail-less manta (Manta alfredi?) “The Devil’s Highway”, Maravhagi… but you have to go with dive guide Sam 😉
0:17 A huge Elephant ear sponge (Ianthella basta) Ta Island
0:26 A juvenile Midnight snapper (Macolor macularis) Leru, Russell Islands
0:29 Dragonet. I think Morrison’s dragonet (Synchiropus morrisoni) but I need to check when it comes time to catalog; came across Clip 7097 (a really old clip shot on a TRV900!) just now which has a white nudibranch crawling over it… ID please anyone? “Bat Cave”, Russell Islands
0:32 Red-and-black anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) “Rainbow Reef”, Russell Islands
0:36 Juvenile cardinalfish—maybe Five-lined cardinalfish (Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus)—on the living waterbed that is the Upside-down sea jelly (Cassiopeia andromeda) Ghavutu Wharf (glad the captive dolphins are a thing of the past!), Florida Islands
0:39 Dusky garden eels (Heteroconger Enigmaticus) Boneghi Beach, Guadalcanal
0:43 Ringed pipefish (Doryrhamphus dactyliophorus) Ghavutu Wharf, Florida Islands
0:46 A big-headed juvenile Panda anemonefish (Amphiprion polymnus) Boneghi Beach, Guadalcanal
0:49 Threadfin anthias (Pseudanthias huchti) Everywhere there is a shallow reeftop exposed to current
0:53 Juvenile harassed and kept in line by the dominant female, Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii) “Velvia”, Florida Islands
0:57 Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii) fanning her eggs “Velvia”, Florida Islands
1:00 Banded archerfish (Toxotes jaculatrix) lurking under mangroves “White Beach”, Russell Islands
1:03 School of Mobula rays (Mobula tarapacana) “Petrol Point” (the dive site formally known as “Patrick’s Point”), Florida Islands
1:06 Manta (Manta alfredi) “The Devil’s Highway”, Maravhagi
1:10 Yellowmasked surgeonfish (Acanthurus mata) looking for a place to snooze in a black coral tree (Antipathes sp.), dusk “Velvia”, Florida Islands
1:13 Several juvenile Longfin batfish (Platax teira) hiding in sea grass Maravhagi Bay, Florida Islands
1:17 Shallow coral reef just off the beach Mbike, Florida Islands
1:20 The almost mirrored “Mirror Pond” surface… damn bubbles “Mirror Pond”, Russell Islands
1:24 Double-ended pipefish (Syngnathoides biaculeatus) feeding around their eel grass home Karumulun, Russell Islands
1:27 Broadclub cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) watching Pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) hiding in Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica) Anuha, Florida Islands
1:31 Regal angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus) passing through at dusk “Velvia”, Florida Islands
1:34 A juvenile Many-spotted sweetlips () hunting at dusk Maravhagi Bay, Florida Islands
1:37 Small octopus hunting in seagrass Karumulun, Russell Islands
1:44 Razorfish (Aeoliscus strigatus) among seagrass Maravhagi Bay, Florida Islands
1:51 Saddled rock cod (Cephalopholis sexmaculata) comes in for cleaning by juvenile Blue-streaked cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) Nembalau Rock, Florida Islands
2:01 Bluestreak fusiliers (Pterocaesio tile) getting nervous at dusk “Barracuda Point”, Mary Island
2:05 Red-spotted nudibranch (Gymnodoris ceylonica) cruising the seagrass Karumulun, Russell Islands
2:08 Masked grouper (Gracila albomarginata) “Barracuda Point”, Mary Island
2:12 Barramundi cod (Cromileptes altivelis) lurking in the shadows “Petrol Point” (the dive site formally known as “Patrick’s Point”), Florida Islands
2:15 Chromodoris kuniei nudibranch flashes what’s under her skirt “Velvia”, Florida Islands
2:25 Striped goby (Asterropteryx striata) hanging out under Mushroom coral tentacles (Heliofungia sp.) Boneghi Beach, Guadalcanal
2:29 Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) finally in bluewater! Florida Islands
2:36 Bigeye jacks (Caranx sexfasciatus) “Barracuda Point”, Mary Island
2:39 Bigeye barracuda (Sphyraena forsteri) “Barracuda Point”, Mary Island
2:42 Wire coral goby (Bryaninops yongei) with Whip anemone (Nemanthus sp.) Boneghi Beach, Guadalcanal
2:46 Pygmy goby (Eviota guttata?) on sponges Maravhagi Bay, Florida Islands
2:49 Filamented flasher wrasse (Paracheilinus filamentosus) male showing his bits to the ladies Boneghi Beach, Guadalcanal
2:53 Red-and-black anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) “Twin Tunnels”, Florida Islands
2:56 Manta (Manta alfredi) over shallow reefscape “The Devil’s Highway”, Maravhagi… you seriously have to go with Sam though 😉

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Adam Loeke
10 years ago

Totally amazing and beautiful

10 years ago


10 years ago

It was masochistic torture to watch your video, Josh. Love the opening clip – what a gorgeous money shot! And that croc swimming gave me chills . . . JC!!! Absolutely fascinating and a natural behavior that has to be something rarely captured on video. Thanks for reminding me what an incredible area of the world that is and so agree that it’s the ultimate crew- thanks to you, I miss it all baaaad!!

10 years ago

Just watched this for the 2nd time. Really beautiful little fish again, Josh!! You capture gobies, blennies, dragonets, etc. like nobody else I’ve seen. How sorry I am to have missed this trip!!

Anita Mac
10 years ago

Very cool. Love the rays – they are so graceful, but the clown fish are my faves – total finding nemo fan!

Phil Jame
10 years ago

Thanks for the video. Glad you visited my Islands (Florida Is.). I grew up there and know every spot shown in your video. If you happen to visit the Islands again, let me know. I may have built a leaf-house there by then – for my family’s vacation and retreat. I am living in Europe currently! Bless.

Radim Schreiber
9 years ago

beautiful! My favorite shots are the opening with manta ray and the crocodile.I also love the music. What song is that. I would love to use it for my project as well. Thanks Radim

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