Today was great full of events. We headed down to two wharfs first thing to join our boats to Tulagi. The Solomon Islands has lost the large boat it had for this passage, so we had one smaller and one very much smaller means of transport. The sea across Ironbottom sound was very choppy, at one point running a two-metre swell. All got wet, those in the smaller boat drenched to the skin.
We did not let that dampen our spirits. We walked the island of Tulagi passing through the ravine or cutting where the Marines halted at dusk on 7 August 1942 then to explore caves the Japanese dug to shelter from the naval and air bombardments. We saw the concrete cricket pitch the British used during their protectorate and the site where the Marines waded ashore. Heading from there up the hill and along Solomon Island paths we saw what it was like for the Marines, thick jungle and steep terrain. On the highest point we saw what remains of the British Administrator's residence then back to Raiders' Hotel for a lunch of freshly caught fish and chips that was to die for.
After lunch on our larger vessel, we visited Tokyo Bay and saw the wreck of a US Landing Ship and the wreck of a Japanese Frigate. From there we travelled to the Gavutu and Tombago Islands where Peter left a Marine Corps coin in the jungle at the place where the Marine Parachute Battalion landed.
Back at Tulagi we split the party again for the transit back to Guadalcanal. John, TJ and Susan took the smaller craft. En route Peter laid a plaque in the sea, commemorating the US service personnel who died in the conflict.
Long hot showers and dry clothes were the order of the day before dinner. An early night, we will be up at the US Memorial on Skyline Ridge before breakfast.