WWII Stories of discovery....

New WWII Planes

Jack McKee, our Instructor Intern had the stunning opportunity to work with the team of Sealark Maritime Exploration, lead by expedition leaders Ewan Stevenson and Matt Wray, alongside Mark Roche and Dave Moran. The expedition team was working with Dive Munda on the search for some new WWII wrecks, and also were honorary invited guests to help us lay commemorative plaques on 6 of our WWII underwater wrecks in Magical Munda. Jack wrote this stunning story on Messenger to owner, Belinda and we loved it so much that we just had to copy it into our weekly blog and share with you. Enjoy, and oh you can thank us later! ;-)

“So I was having dinner with Jos and Chevone and Barney from the Museum, when he mentioned that his cousin Alphine had removed a canopy from a plane on a reef between Hombupeka and Hopei. So obviously that caught my interest, as I was at the same time trying to track down Soga Kea from Eghelo, who had previously tried to show myself and the Sealark team a plane at Rendova. So anyway, the following morning I gave Barney a call and arranged for him to take me to see the canopy which his cousin had removed. I subsequently began the long trek to the Peter Joseph WW2 Museum. Upon arrival Barney took me to Alphine's house and lo and behold, there was the canopy of a Vought F4U-1A Corsair propped up against a tree.

I didn't actually know what plane the canopy was from when I first saw it, but I was fairly confident it was American. When we headed back to the museum, Barney and I went through his book of WW2 planes and compared their canopies to my photos. However, none of the planes matched. So I headed back to AGH and did a bit more research, but was stumped. So I sent an email to Ewan asking what it was. I'm pleased to say that I did actually manage to identify it as from a Corsair before Ewan replied. We just didn't find it in the book because as with all of the Corsairs we have here, it has the old 'birdcage' style canopy, which only the very first Corsairs had. Ewan obviously knew exactly what it was and confirmed my identification which was good. So today I was hoping to meet up with Alphine so that he could take me to this new Corsair wreck, but he didn't show up.

But then Billy told me that he'd heard some rumours of a plane located off of Mbiula, and he was very confident that the local people would know exactly where it was. So Billy took me in the AGH 60 to Mbiula and sure enough, the local people knew where the plane was and took us straight there. Only they had said it was fully intact, with only the guns missing, so I was a little but disappointed to find that that was not the case. But it was a new plane, so I was still very excited of course.

I took plenty of photos but I hadn't a clue what it was. If it wasn't for the propellor and obvious wing structure I wouldn't have even been sure if it was a plane. So I sent a whole load of photos to Ewan and he has now confirmed that it is a Wildcat, making it our third Wildcat wreck.”

Alice Lost!?

Alice in wonderland - No-more!

SAD! SAD! SAD! Our operational director Belinda Botha has officially declared Alice in Wonderland (One of our top dive sites) undiveable! After months of constant monitoring, it has become apparent that the corals and fish life @ Alice in wonderland drastically deteriorated! This is due to constant Logging at the nearby island. We are investigating this matter and Belinda is working towards awareness within the Solomon Islands to try and stop this Madness.

 But let’s put this catastrophe in perspective… After 75 years one of our Wildcat fighter planes resting on this reef has been well preserved and regularly dived. The effect of run off (water pollution) has made this wonderful relic undiveable within a period of months. If this is what is happening on a small scale and in such a short time period, let us then not forget about the rest of the world and how quick it goes wrong!

Jos

Operations Manager

The BIG 60!

The legend celebrates!

Can you guys believe this? Sunga, AKA "Aussie" just turned 60! We were absolutely thrilled to host his birthday celebrations at Agnes Gateway Hotel.

Staff, management, guests, family and friends alike all joined in wishing Sunga a very happy birthday and we hope there are many more to come! Sunga forms an integral part of the Dive Munda management team and his exceptional customer service excellence, attention to detail, vast knowledge of the dive sites, custom culture and history of our amazing #magicalmunda makes him a valuable asset and irreplaceable. Next time you are in, ask him to share some Kastom stories (specifically those of the Kastom Sharks....) and be sure to ask him to don his uhm (skimpy!) traditional leaf attire and perform the local Bilikiki dance for you - Not. To. Be. Missed.

We absolutely love Sunga and hope to have him with us for many more years to come!

Belinda

 

Anniversaries!

Anniversary Time!

A week full of exciting celebrations here at Magical Munda! Funnily enough it turned out that we celebrated anniversaries through-out the entire week.

To start off we decided to take all our guests out to our famous Kashi Maru wreck on the 2nd of July 2018 for a special dive exactly 75 years after she sunk! She is still intact and well preserved after so many years, can you believe it- Magical.

It was then followed by celebrating 40 years of independence in the Solomon Islands. All the locals from all the Kastom villages walked around with a smile on their faces and a sense of pride as it has been fierce battles which made the Solomon Islands what it is today- Pride.

And finally our guests Butch and Lynn from America celebrated their 5th year of marriage underwater and enjoyed lunch on Dream Island- the name says it all- Romantic!

Catch you next week!

Happy Fishes,

Jos & Chevone

3 Generations!

Oh wow what a fantastically busy week we had…

One of our longest guests and friends Janifer Thomas came to Munda with her grandchildren to get their Open water Certificates! We had such a family blast and for the first time ever Janifer could go explore the magical underwater world with her grandchildren Lachlan, James and Tobias. A very special moment as Dive Munda made it possible for three generations to dive together!

We touch base next week again,

Happy Fishes!

Chevone & Jos

 

Celebrating the June Trilogy!

World Environment Day, World Oceans Day and Coral Triangle Day!

We celebrate and pay respect to our planet ocean and remind ourselves this week about what really matters and what really needs to be protected, preserved and conserved!

We had guests, staff and our community working together on some beach clean-up initiatives (both on land and underwater).

#saveoursharks #coraltriangle #plasticresistance #worldenvironmentday #worldoceansday #saynotoplastic

What did you do?