Lisa and "Katy" - Solomon Dive Adventures

We met Lisa only weeks after she’d moved her dive operation to John Lee’s Guesthouse.   At 73, she is a spunky, fun-loving lady who has been in the dive industry for over 40 years.  Even Matt and Jen on SV Perry had done a dive with her years ago in Hawaii when she helped run a dive operation there!!  Small world, huh?

Lisa - Solomon Dive Aventures
Anyway, she was delightful and quickly became a friend after a few games of Rumikub and a bowl of popcorn.  The kids loved hearing her tales of the creatures she’s spotted in the area - a turquoise-speckled lizard hanging around the water catchment barrel, a little boa constrictor coiled on the top of a railing (who we’d later get a glimpse of in the crook of a tree!).  She sent the kids off in search of more fantastic critters, and they scurried away, inspired and energized by her enthusiasm!

Her story was a tough one.  She’d owned dive operations in the Solomons for years, and twice had been run out of villages when jealousy of her success reared its ugly head.  It is a tricky tightrope to walk in this culture as an outsider, I would guess.  Seeing potential for a business that would be profitable and bring tourism to these remote places, while trying to integrate into and respect local cultural expectations could prove challenging. Now, she is starting over, hoping to work alongside the locals, offering employment to some and bringing tourists to the village who will buy carvings and boost income.  She’s got hutzpah, in spades.

I didn’t take enough photos during our couple of afternoons hanging around there with her, but one creature encounter brought out the camera - this spectacular Katydid that Matt spotted on an overhanging branch.  It was huge and absolutely amazing in its design.  Its body looked identical to a leaf, complete with veins and a pseudo stem!  The feet on this thing were out of this world -  intricately engineered to cling to just about anything, including Marky’s face!!

For a few days, Lisa took her crew out to hunt the Crown of Thorn starfish that dessimate the coral on the reefs.  The first day, they got 105 of them, the second - 215!

Crown of Thorns - in a bucket...and not on the reef... :)


  1. What do they do with the Crown of Thorns starfish, when they pull them out? Hope all is well with you guys! Chris (Family Circus)

    1. For now they just pile them up on shore to decompose. We were trying to brainstorm recipes, but no one wanted to be the guinea pig! Any other ideas? Perhaps make a rug out of them to put on the transom steps for nighttime security??


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