Tulagi and the surrounding Florida Islands is a magical place to visit and the deep (40-50m) all weather harbor is the best in the area offering safe and protected anchorage from winds and swells of any direction.
Sadly though, its a well known fact in the yachting and cruising fraternity that Tulagi Harbor has a bad reputation for theft and unauthorized boarding of visiting yachts. The majority of incidents have occurred on boats where they have chosen to anchor without landowners permission nor paid any “Custom Fee” for anchoring, have decided to save battery by not leaving any lights on during the night, or have not bothered to clear their decks of belongings prior to turning in for the night. However, by using some common sense and by taking a few precautions you can minimize the risk to your boat, belongings and crew.
First of all, visiting boats need to understand that Landowners also own the sea and reefs within 200m of the shoreline, as such they are also entitled to collect a “Custom Fee” from you. Coastal village life is generally subsistence living on a daily basis. With this fact in mind, know that the villagers will take any opportunity to make a few dollars from you by way of Custom Fee, produce sales or by “acquiring” something from your boat that can be sold on for some cash.
So our advice to you is:
- Anchor outside the Police Station on Tulagi Island ( 9° 6’18.78″S 160° 9’10.10″E). Most of Tulagi Island and the surrounding harbor is Crown Land so there are no landowner issues here. Go ashore and register yourselves with the Police and pay the anchorage fees. Anchorage fees for the Tulagi Harbor are set at SBD$300.00/vessel and is valid for 30 days after which it must be renewed. Note that this fee does not release you from any Landowner fees should you anchor elsewhere in the central province.
- While you are there, get an update from the police regarding no-go areas or areas that may not be safe for you. Confirm also that the Police will keep an eye on your boat whilst anchored on their doorstep. Additionally, you can go ashore there and leave your tender unattended whilst you take the 5 minute walk to the township for supplies, internet, garbage disposal etc. If however, you decide to anchor near a village or what appears to be a unpopulated island or bay, stand off initially and go ashore in your tender and find the landowner and negotiate a fee for anchorage. Note that you increase the risk of theft etc by leaving the Police anchorage or not talking to landowners.
- Leave some lights on at night, especially around your boarding platform/transom.
- Don’t leave attractive items (Dive/snorkling gear, shoes, clothing, fuel containers etc) on the deck where they can be reached from the water.
- Secure your tender onboard, do not leave it on the water.
- Canoes will approach to sell fruit, veggies and fish to you, do not let anyone onboard.
Raiders Hotel & Dive is a few hundred meters from the Police Station and is accessible by water. However, we are not a public wharf and our facilities are provided for our house guests, so, unless you are joining us for a meal, sun-downers or to come diving with us then please don’t bring your tender ashore at our location.
We have a lovely view from our bar/dining area overlooking the harbour and our dive boats, transfer boats and guest boats arrive & depart Raiders regularly, so please do not anchor in front of the Hotel thus obstructing the boat entry/exit path or the view for our guests from our bar/dining area.
Additionally, we do not fill dive tanks (other than our own) nor do we hire our tanks/dive gear to anyone who is not diving with us.
Calm seas and fair winds to you all.