Shark Action in Palau
Shark Action in Palau
On June 11th, a young American wave hit the Palau Siren as families from Houston hopped aboard the yacht. After a well-deserved rest we got into our first dive of this 10-night liveaboard safari at the Teshio Maru; a beautiful wreck in Malakal Harbour with very wide openings that allow easy access for divers. The second dive done we cruised to Ulong for some shark diving with white- tip and grey reef sharks and whilst a few of the divers had a manicure by some shrimps others enjoyed the flying eagle ray during their safety stop. Most of the kids signed up for the night dive at Sand Bar and came back with a huge smile on their faces after sightings of frogfish, decorator crabs and cowries. But more excitement was to come during our next diving days…
Jumping in at Siaes Corner we found strong current and plenty of underwater action, the sharks swam effortlessly by and thousands of pyramid butterfly fish were seen. A hawksbill turtle brought a perfect end to it this dive. Siaes Tunnel then revealed its hidden secrets, serene neon slug, disco clams, decorated dart fishes, puffer fish and lionfish on the ceiling of the tunnel. Dives at Ulong Channel with plenty of grey reef and white-tip sharks finished off a superb day. But we also had a special celebration, it being Vanessa’s birthday, and though she tried to keep it silent all day, some of the crew found out and prepared a surprise Birthday cake… Music was turned louder and some even tried dancing; a lovely day with lovely people, who could ask for more?
For the lucky divers Turtle Cove was awaiting on day 4. A tight entry in a tunnel that opens up 20m deeper on a beautiful wall covered with soft corals and hiding a couple of small caves where shrimps like to hide. A brown leaf fish and several turtles were just some of the marine life highlights. German Channel, famed for its manta rays, was our dusk dive but sadly only 1 showed up to perform, though napoleon wrasse, leaf fish and do tooth tuna all put in an appearance.
Blue Corner, one of the two dive sites most divers expect to visit during a trip to Palau was the main attraction for day 5. Ripping current had us hooked on the reef edge watching the schools of reef sharks, jacks, snappers and barracudas but as always the playful Napoleon wrasses won everybody’s heart. Sunday morning and the south wind was still blowing, still reducing our dive opportunities, but German Channel is not so far away… and the hope for a manta ray was still very high. Jim offered us a mass before breakfast; maybe we should have done it before for our manta wish to come true? Still no luck for manta sightings but several reef sharks and spadefish were there to keep the divers entertained. Our night dive in Muchacha enchanted the macro lovers with pipefish, shrimps, crabs and basket stars.
New Drop Off provides a stunning reef wall to enjoy watching the cruising sharks and schooling fish, whilst on the plateau turtles, white-tip sharks and smaller critters were spotted. After a quick lunch, everybody hopped on the boat to Peleliu, as six people had chosen to do the Peleliu land tour and learn a little of history of the Peleliu battle. Everyone enjoyed the ride especially when the dolphins finally appeared, its wonderful how they bring a smile our faces… Aboard the Palau Siren we spent another fun evening playing “Mafia”; Strategies, pleads, lies and a lot of fun..
Today was Tonya, our group leader’s birthday! She was woken up by many birthday wishes and presents from her friends… and the team’s treat was to let her pick the dive sites for the day, Blue Holes, Blue Corner and Orange Beach were the choices! Disco clams were definitely shinning for her, a grey reef sharks swam along peacefully, white-tips came to visit, a school of big eye trevallies and a few bumpheads, hunting hawksbill turtles, whip tail stingrays, green turtles and a massive nurse shark sand a pod of dolphins closed a perfect diving day. The evening just left place for a delightful dinner and scrumptious chocolate cake.
Last day was spent diving at Chandelier Cave, Short Drop Off, the Iro Maru wreck and Sam’s Wall. The Cave was the experience some feared, especially having seen sanctum, but Chandelier Cave is a shallow and easy dive and we had tied a line with colored lights to lead the way.. Taking off your masks and regulator in each of the 4 caves is simply an incredible experience, the best for a lot being to turn of the light in the last cave and be guided by the sunlight coming from the entrance. Six Nautilus entertained thirteen of our guest while other ones were slowly drifting along Short Drop off, Kacey, one of the teenagers fell in love with hers and had a hard time letting it go back to the depth where it belongs… Fascinating creatures you want to cuddle and protect. The Iro Maru revealed its secrets during the third dive and the mandarin fish put on a show along with the many-banded and network pipefish and all kind of crabs and shrimps. As some extended the dive beyond our usual 45 minutes allocated for night dives, others had a drink at Sam’s Bar while waiting!
The Palau Siren Crew has had a real pleasure having the Gigglin Marlin team on our boat for a ten days trip, they said they had an amazing time, the beautiful thing is that we did too, thank you for joining us and looking forward to having you back here or on another Siren Liveaboard yacht.