Dive Site: The Elbow, Uepi, Solomon Islands

Seafans and seawhips at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Site Overview

Site Type: Wall and reef; Macro (Nudi's); occasional Mega fauna
Depth: Top: 5MMedian: 18M
Location: The North most point of Uepi Island that sticks out into The Slot. Solomon Islands.

Description

If Uepi Island is a boomerang standing on two points, then The Elbow dive site is at the top – the bit that sticks out furthest into The Slot. This gives it possibly the clearest water of many of the dive sites around Uepi – and a good chance of seeing pelagics cruise by. Everything from hammerheads, to mantas, to eagle rays have been spotted here at one time or another.

Water clarity at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

It is a wall with a steep inclination, but has coral growing all the way down from the top as far as natural light penetrates.  We dropped quickly to 25m and worked our way steadily up over the next 60 minutes.

Acropora coral on top of plate coral at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

As with most site all around the Solomons – there are an insane number of large sea fans in pristine condition just hanging in the passing stream.

Seafan at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Being on the outer most point, the water has also carved a few swim-throughs on the rock.

Diver swims under and over hang at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Though the coral is large and in great condition, the one thing that struck me about The Elbow was, certainly compared to other sites around Uepi, the relative lack of the mid-sized reef fish.

Large acropora coral at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Down at 20m I found this Barramundi Cod

Barramundi Cod at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

And the occasional Coral Trout.  But a think all the other fish had headed off to the channels either side of Uepi Island where the water from the lagoon flows in and out.

Banded coral trout at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

As you move up towards the 5m reef, the coral and fans get ever more colourful.

Seafan and acropora at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

And there are many ascidians amongst the hydrocoral.

Colourful ascidian amongst the hydrocoral at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Unfortunately this spotted eagle ray cruised past 15m below us too late in the dive for me to match his depth.  I zoomed in a hoped for the best!  Next time 🙂

Spotted eagle ray at The Elbow diving Uepi in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

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