Dive Site: Kinugawa Maru (Bonegi 2), Honiara, Solomon Islands

Bonegi from the air at honiara diving guadalcanal

Site Overview

Site Type: Shallow ship wreck turning to reef
Depth: Bottom: 23M
Location: Off Bonegi Beach by the Bonegi Creek, west of Honiara, Solomon Islands

Description

The Kinugawa Maru is known as ‘Bonegi 2’ or even ‘B2’ – being the shallower of two shore-wreck dives close to the  Bonegi Creek – a truck ride from Honiara on Solomons Guadalcanal.

The 135m long Kinugawa Maru met a fate similar to its counterpart the Bonegi 1. Though it was closer ashore and remained upright. It is still clearly visible in outline from the plane on a flight to Sege. What remained above the water line was cut off and salvaged for scrap, and the prop was salvaged by an Australian.

Diver photographing through the whip coral at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

It is an easily circumnavigated wreck and we started at the bow, traversed the port side down to the gap between the sternpost and the rudder at 23 m, then back up the starboard side and finally spent the remainder of the hours dive in what was once the bow in 7m. The wreck is pretty open with few obvious ‘details’ left; perhaps with the exception of this ladder.

Ladder with coral at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Down around the stern we found a number a number of batfish who obviously don’t get disturbed often as they were pretty camera shy.

Round batfish at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

 

Longfin batfish at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

On the starboard our guide pointed out a mounted gun, though you would easily miss it as the barrel is now completely encrusted in coral.

Gun with diver photographing the muzzle at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

And the muzzle is hardly recognisable behind this cock’s comb oyster.

Muzzle of that gun with Cocks comb oyster at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

As well as the hard coral, there are plenty of gorgonians, soft corals and these weird-looking Balloon Corallimorphs. In fact there are not many parts of the wreck that are not coral covered.

Mushrooms with sea fan at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

There were a number of lionfish all around the wreck.  This one had a distinctly Japanese look to it – like some Japanese dive-bomber that had been strafed by an enemy but was still determined to deliver its payload.

Lionfish face on at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

There is a small section in the bow which has a bit of a swim through, but not much inside to see.

Silhouette of grill at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

Having said that, that area is the most colourful and lively part of the wreck, where all the surfaces open to sunlight are covered with colourful growth.

Colourful things at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

 

Colourful things at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

The other thing most noticeable on this dive was the variety of anemonefish together in such a small area – a feature of many dives in the Solomons.  There are spinecheek anemonefish – with lots of very large, dark females.

Spinecheek anemonefish at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

The Clown Anemonefish – the true ‘Nemo’ variety.

Western Clown Anemonefish from side at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit

And a local variant which is like a Clarks anemonefish only much darker red.

Local clownfish - face on at Bonegi 2 diving Honiara in the Solomon Islands by Diveplanit