Palau Pelagic Action
Palau Pelagic Action…
Our newest group aboard the Palau Siren was a lively bunch of doctors from the U.S. eager to get going we set up equipment and toured the liveaboard settling in for the evening and the first of Andri’s delicious dinners. Early morning started with a check dive on the Haf Adai Wreck, a small wreck in Malakal harbor. The second dive was planned around Ulong Island so we pulled up anchor and cruised over to Ulong Channel which was our day’s highlight ; a good strong current and plenty of reef shark action had the divers coming up saying “it was the best” “lets do that again”…
Yet there are many great sites to explore on our 7-night safari so we picked Siaes Tunnel for the following morning before crossing to the Ngemelis area to dive Big Drop Off. Marine life sightings included grey reef sharks, dart fish, hawksbill turtle, nudibranchs and schooling jacks but it was the night dive that pipped the post for most interesting dive of the day. Two of our guests had UV lights giving interesting effects on all the tiny critters we found such as leaf fish, flatworms and crustaceans.
The current was running well at New Drop Off so we made use of our reef hooks seeing loads of sharks, Napoleon wrasse, turtles and schooling barracuda. We also dived German Channel and Barnum’s Wall and whilst NDO was our favourite our last dive at the wall brought a rare sighting: a nurse shark and fantail ray.
Blue Corner’s mild to medium currents brought out many sharks who were hungrily hunting the bigeye jacks putting on a fabulous display for us. Again the bold Napoleon wrasses got everyone excited and wanting a repeat of this dive, so we made a plan to return the next day but as most of our guests were from the States we opted to make a full land tour at Peleliu Island to visit the site of a major battle between the U.S. and Japan. The day finished up with dives at Turtle Cove and German Channel seeing a leopard shark and spotted eagle ray.
Unfortunately the weather has not been the best this week meaning visibility dropped and slower skiff journeys but we were so busy laughing through it the atmosphere on board is in no way affected. After a somewhat bumpy ride over to Blue Corner we delighted in the shark action – they really came in close, some close enough to see eye to eye, and fish everywhere; the site felt so busy!!. Blue Holes followed and the day drew to a close with a visit to Jellyfish Lake with its golden jellyfish. Luckily the rain stopped in time so the ride through the rock islands afterwards, with a stop at Milkyway for a rejuvenating mud bath, was an enjoyable experience.
Our plan to return to Ulong Channel was thwartewd by the wind gods so Palau Siren moved back to Malakal where a dive at the wreck of the Iro Maru was followed by dives at Buoy 6 with its soft coral covered wreck and Chandelier Cave, rounding out the trip nicely with its four chambers and stalactite formations and of course beautiful Mandarin fish.