Maldives Megan Gets a Taste of Palau

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Maldives Megan Gets a Taste of Palau

BatfishStarting off in a new destination is always exciting and having spent the last year in the Maldives, aboard the Maldives Siren, I was eagerly anticipating the move to Palau to join the Palau Siren team. Heralded as one of the top pelagic destinations worldwide, just how would the diving in Palau compare with the Maldives or even Indonesia for that matter??
Blue Holes PalauFor my first trip the crew and I were joined by host Gerald Rambert, who would be conducting a photo workshop on board. With many Siren repeaters, there seemed to be less focus on the workshop seminars and more focus on the diving and simply just having fun- fine by me!!! The trip got underway with a check dive at the Helmet Wreck in Malakal Harbour where we were welcomed by batfish, before moving on the Ulong where, despite the mild currents, we saw grey reef & white tip reef sharks, schooling trevally, humphead parrot fish and Napoleon wrasse. The night dive also turned up a slipper lobster! We spent a further day amongst the sharks, tuna, snappers and trigger fish of the Ulong region before moving to Ngemelis to dive the famous sites of Blue Corner & Virgin Blue Holes.
Reef Scene Palau 2Having heard so much about these sites you are not sure they will live up to expectation, but the corals here were truly stunning – perhaps better than I have seen in the Maldives in terms of variety and of course we had many reef sharks as well as turtles and big fish schools., so indeed the expectations, whilst high were truly met! The next days were spent diving a variety of sites in the southern area, where the majority of famous ones are located. German Channel of course delivered in terms of the manta ray sightings and we experienced some pretty strong currents at Peleliu (even compared to the Maldives) which brought with them schools of snapper, trevally and more sharks!
Crocodile Fish PalauI love macro too and was always pleased to find some little gems in the Maldives so I’m also looking out for the smaller creatures when the shark action slackens off or during night dives. I was very pleased to find an odd-looking decorator crab an d a crocodile fish whilst night diving at Sam’s Wall, as well as skeleton shrimps at Big Drop Off, crinoid commensal shrimps at Virgin Blue Holes and Chelidonura nudis when I wasn’t watching the mantas in German Channel!
JellyFL PalauAmidst all this excitement there was still time for Anne & Axel, now on their 5th trip with the Siren Fleet, to take the MKVI rebreather try dive and for Ilke, Ingmar, Chris & Adam to complete their nitrox certifications. We also snorkeled in Jelly Fish Lake– a totally unique experience for me and took the optional land tour on Peleliu Island.
Nautilus Diver palauThis 10-night liveaboard safari culminated with dives at Chandelier Cave, The Iro Maru Wreck and by special request Short Drop Off to see the Nautilus. Whilst I found many of the dive sites to be quite similar in topography this final day gave so much variety and really showcased the diversity of Palau as a diving destination….. I’m looking forward to more!


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