Solomon Islands - Profile
- The Solomon Islands are a double chain of islands in the Western Pacific stretching from Vanuatu to Bougainville. There are over 900 islands, the main ones being Guadalcanal, Choiseul, Malaita, New Georgia and Santa Isabel.
- The Solomons' culture, or
custom, is rich and varied, from wood-carving to beliefs such as shark-worshipping. Many islanders still live in the traditional way.
- The authorities are making a determined effort to preserve this way of life and they enjoy the full support of the customary chiefs in their endeavours. Visiting yachts are welcomed in most villages, particularly by children who like to trade fruit or shells for ball-point pens, felt-tips or balloons.
- Some villages will ask for payment for anchoring. Ensure that you are speaking with a village chief before proferring payment. If you have an "instant camera" you may suggest taking a picture of the payment being made in case there are further questions.
- In many isolated villages one can trade with the locals to obtain fresh produce, fish, carvings and shells. One should take along a supply of useful objects such as fishhooks, fishing line, matches, sugar, rice, tobacco, clothing and shoes, coffee, soap, needles, cotton and rope.
- As well as Vanuatu, the North East Solomon Islands (Temotu) suffered greatly at the hands of Cyclone Pam in March 2015. You can read about OceansWatch relief effort and opportunities to help the islanders get back on their feet again.
The political situation in the Solomon Islands is now more stable, but visitors should still obtain the latest travel advice from their relevant government agencies. It is still not advisable to travel to rural parts of Guadalcanal, however islands that have been avoided by cruisers in recent years, in particular those in Malaita Province, are keen to see boats returning and have worked hard on improving security for visiting cruisers.
Whilst the majority of Solomon Island villagers are helpful and friendly, there have been recent reports of burglaries from boats and aggressive boardings in and around Tulaghi and in Honiara and Gizo.
Advice from cruisers is to anchor outside villages where you are visible, do not leave anything lying loose on deck and ensure you lock all hatches at night time. Ask the chief of the village if you will be safe and ask him to please look out for your safety. Most villagers welcome yachts and appreciate your visit and will go out of their way to help you.
Useful reports on security by cruisers who have been to the Solomons:
SY Adina have a list of all the anchorages they visited and advice on security from when they visited in 2015. They did a lot of research in planning their route and did not encounter any problems. Details available at www.yachtadina.co.uk/sailingnotes
SY Kelaerin's thoughts and experiences re. yacht security in PNG and the Solomons following a 2014 visit.
Last updated May 2016.
The Solomons experience high temperatures and January to March are the months of heaviest rainfall. April to November is the season of the SE trades, while the rest of the year is the NW monsoon, which is also the cyclone season. Long periods of calm weather are not uncommon among the islands.
The Western Province is reputed to be safe from cyclones.
A useful guide to South Pacific weather resources complied by a Noonsite contributor, Rory Garland.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.
Central Province: Florida Islands (Ngella Islands)
Choiseul Island: Choiseul Island
Guadalcanal: Honiara *
Russell Islands: Yandina *
* indicates port of entry