|Site Type:||Wall and reef; Macro (Nudi's); occasional Mega fauna|
|Depth:||Top: 5MMedian: 18M|
|Location:||The corner of Uepi where the Charapoana passage meets the ocean. Solomon Islands|
Uepi Point is the Uepi Island Resort signature dive and definitely one of best in the Solomons. The ocean facing side of Uepi drops off in a steep wall. The water from the Marovo Lagoon flows via the Charapoana Passage. The currents are not strong, but carry nutrients which attract the smaller stuff, which attracts the bigger stuff … you get the idea. Though a good dive at any time of day, in the early mornings and late afternoons it can be really going off with large schools of trevally and barracuda, as well as rays and reef sharks. The Point can be dived in many ways, as there is the wall side, a coral garden at around 12 – 5m and a drift back along the channel back to the resort.
Here is a short video of some of the great variety of marine life you will see. (I’ll be going back to grab some video of all the other stuff that’s not featured).
Starting from the Wall which is a mass of colour of corals and gorgonians you’ll see reef sharks or rays cruising below.
Looking amongst the gorgonians there are all manner of fish, from the quiet Lionfish
The humble Horned banner
And the very shy Netted Toby.
As the wall gives way to the Point itself at around 14m there are coral stacks and larges plates of acropora.
There are plenty of nudis for the nudi buffs.
And plenty more colourful sea fans, whips and ascidians, all teeming with basslets and maybe a shy squirrelfish if you look closely.
Up on the point there are areas of sand between the coral bommies where invariably a reef shark will be resting … with garden eels sprouting up all around him!
Also in this area there are shy sailfish tangs,
And some very unshy schooling banners who will almost buzz you in the free water between the bommies.
Looking around in this area, (particularly under things), I found this Hairy legged hermit crab
And a Blue spotted ray – who was not too happy about being spotted!
There are many giant triggerfish in the channel. (Having recently had a run-in with one, I now give them wider berth than sharks). There are also a number of Clown triggers, who are not aggressive – but will ‘stand their ground’.
A final treat for me towards the end of the dive was an encounter with a crocodile fish – great subject for photography as they seem unfazed by lights and these clumsy, cumbersome bubbling creatures that hover in front of them.