360 degrees fun
For this Palau liveaboard dive trip, the crew welcomed on board an international mix of divers coming from the UK, Australia, US, Indonesia and Russia. We boarded Palau Siren from Malakal harbor during a beautiful sunset. After they got to know their new home for the next 7 nights, we unpacked and set up their dive gear for the first dive the next morning.
The first dive brought us to Barnum’s Wall, just outside German Channel. After a quick check on the gear and weights we explored a beautiful sloping reef, which can be called an aquarium with all its fish life. Our next dive was Fairyland, with some very interesting structures, grey and blacktip reef sharks, green and hawksbill turtles and some cool small stuff as well. For the night dive, we chose German Channel, sandy bottom, perfect for photographers and a lot to see.
In the morning, we were back at German Channel for another amazing dive with usual suspects like grey and whitetip sharks, schools of jacks and barracudas. After breakfast on the way to Blue Holes we met up with a pod of spinner dolphins, followed by one of the most scenic dives in the world. Four holes, to enter from the top into a huge cavern, where the light beams from the sun create a magical feeling. Our last day dive was New Drop Off with our first chance to hook in front of, who would guess it, sharks, a lot of sharks! The night dive was close to the Palau Siren, but no less spectacular, at Vernie’s Reef where we saw turtles, shrimps, prawns, crabs and many more.
With Blue Corner as dive no. 1 for the next morning, we started the day pretty nice and developed our skills in the current and hooking. Then it was time to move to Ulong Island. We started there with one of the signature dives of Palau, Ulong Channel. A beautiful shallow dive with a wall in the beginning, a coral garden, and the channel in the end. Then, after a little break for lunch we got back in the water at Sandy Paradise, where large schools of jack and barracudas waiting for us. Our friends, the leaf scorpionfish, were also there and posed for every camera. When it got dark, we went to Jurassic Cove. No dinosaurs, better, Tiger Shrimp and octopus.
The next day we chose to go back to Ulong Channel, where the conditions were perfect. Hooked in, the sharks came very close. Drifting into the channel with an aggregation of hundreds of groupers and a massive stand of lettuce coral. Once on board, one of the guests spotted a manta feeding under Palau Siren. Some of us decided to make the best out of our surface interval and went snorkeling with the manta. Still excited from this encounter, we did the next two dives at Saies. On the first dive, we did the tunnel, a big cavern to dive in and enjoy the look out and on the second one, we did the corner, a very relaxed current, which allowed us to take a close look at the prettiest of all corners.
The following day we went to Peleliu, where the Philippine Sea meats the Pacific Ocean on our dive site, The Cut. Here is where we find the big boys, giant trevallies, bump-head parrotfish, large schools of big eye jacks and of course our sharks. After the dive, we arranged a land tour through Peleliu where our guests had the chance to see WWII remains, like landing crafts, tanks, big guns and many more. We then found our way back to the reef for our last two dives, Turtle Cove and Dexter’s Wall. Both sites are known for being a great spot to get a shot of a turtle at a cleaner station or chilling on some soft corals.
The last day and last dive on the outer reef had to be Blue Corner. This dive never disappoints and once more showed us all why it’s one of the top spots all around the world. As soon as we jumped in the water they were there. Grey and whitetip reef sharks everywhere, at the drop off, on top of the corner together with all their friends, fusiliers, turtles, schools of barracudas, snappers and jacks, groupers, octopus, leaf scorpionfish and more!
Next on our itinerary was the best wreck in Palau, The Iro, a 143 meter Japanese Navy wreck which was a supply vessel torpedoed by a US submarine on its way from the Philippines to Palau. The bow displays a large crescent where the torpedo hit. The wreck is teaming with marine life and fully encrusted with a variety of hard corals, clams and oysters. For the last dive, we tried our hand at cave diving with a visit to Chandelier Cave. We explored the cave formation which is composed of four chambers, stalactites, and stalagmites. In front of the cave lies a shallow coral garden with some very pretty locals. Not too easy to spot, the mandarin fish is a photographer’s challenge.
On our journey back to Koror, Captain Defli went for sails up and presented Palau Siren in her full beauty! What a great cruise diving in Palau! We hope to see you soon for another great live aboard diving holidays!