Palau has it all…
Palau has it all…
The Stars and Stripes boarded the Palau Siren in a late sunny afternoon, after briefings, safety drills, equipment set-up, everyone went to bed to be ready and fresh at 6am the next day. The morning started with two wrecks, the Helmet wreck and Haf Adai, no current and a lot of little critters to admire. The afternoon dive was in Chandelier Cave with its stalactites but there were only five takers for the sunset/night dive in Sam’s Wall to do some muck diving the day was rounded off nicely by an excellent dinner cooked by Andre the chef and Serge. The wind had dropped down and the sea was flat to reach Iro Maru, one of our largest wreck afterwhich the Palau Siren was waiting for us to sail towards Ulong Island… First use of a reef hook for most of our divers in Ulong Channel, sharks were coming very close and the gentle current had us drifting to the large patch of lettuce corals. After Sandy Paradise, 6 signed up for the dive in Ulong Corner, the other relaxed in their cabins or chatted in the dining area, eagerly anticipating tonight’s feast!
Next morning the Sunrise behind Ulong Island was magnificent, coloring the sky in various pink, blue, orange, purple, we started the day with a dive at Siaes Tunnel, spotting disco clams and a turtle right at the exit. After breakfast, one group skiff headed towards Siaes Corner while the other one back to Ulong Channel where a stronger drift took us fast to the end of where a turtle was feeding on one side and a school of black snappers and grey reef sharks on the other. We sailed to the German Channel mooring for our first dive in Blue Corner where a ripping current enchanted the divers as it gave them both the thrill and the marine life action. Our night dive in Big Drop Off was as usual a hit especially as a manta ray was swimming inside the German Channel, perfect ending to the day.
Very early birds woke up at the same time as the staff maybe very excited to go to the famous Blue Holes, no other divers were about at that time in the morning and it’s a great site to experience as the light changes – really amazing! Next dive at New Drop Off was a challenging one with a ripping current, the strongest we have seen there in a long time…. full moon is definitely coming. Unfortunately one diver, Ricardo, felt the pressure more than others and as a safety precaution we contacted DAN who recommended a visit to the local hyperbaric chamber in Koror, a challenging day was rounded off relaxing on the boat enjoying the sunset and very gladly Ricardo was back with us early the next morning.
Virgin Blue Hole provided a thrilling vertical descent, reach the bottom in the darkness and then slowly see the light from the outside… beautiful experience. One group went to Fairyland for a relaxing dive with canyons and the other one in Turtle Cove for another descent into the lovely holes followed by a gentle drift along the wall. Dexter’s Wall with less turtles than usual ended at the beginning of the Blue Corner with all the sharks, snappers and jacks waiting for us. For some it was poker time, others went for the night dive whilst some enjoyed a cool beer watching the sunset.
Last full day together started with our entire group setting off for the Peleliu land tour, which all found very interesting, a little History can fit in a diving trip. An Italian lunch was enjoyed before we headed to Jellyfish Lake and its non-stinging Mastigias Papua. The Chuyo Maru wreck was to be our last dive in Palau with no current and plenty of small critters. So we got to experience almost everything this time around – schools of sharks and big fish, manta rays, critters, strong currents and gentle drifts, caves and caverns, wrecks, history and jellyfish…. Palau is one of the most versatile destinations for divers – its easy to see why our little island home is often voted #1 dive spot worldwide!!!