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Desert_Diver
09-19-2007, 18:07
I PMed Travelnsj (Scott) to ask him questions about Palau. He is on record as Palau being one of his favorite dive destinations. This guy has a disgusting amount of free time and an apparently inexhaustable supply of money because he dives some really exotic locations. Over and over and over again.

He whined and carried on about his post count here on Scuba Toys, so I agreed to post this publically. And the implication you are to come away with is that I am interested in YOUR opinion too.

Questions:

1. Did you do a resort or liveaboard, or both?

2. Which did you enjoy most, and why?

3. Was diving in the current a problem assuming that I have sucessfully dived the Bahamas and Coz? At least I survived anyway.

4. Any hints, kinks or special comments you would like to make about your trip to Palau that would be pertinant to my planning?

So, Scott and the boys (whoops) and girls too, what do you have to say about Palau?

Thanks,

Art

ScubaToys Larry
09-19-2007, 18:27
I did the Peter Hughes in Palau (Don't think it's there anymore... moved it to Belize) and it was great!

So many cool things you won't see anywhere else like Jelly fish lake, Mandarin Lake and they have a Dolphin Experience you can do. The dolphins are in a huge penned off lagoon, and you can dive or snorkel with them. There is a charge, but it's non-profit and it all goes to run the facility. I guess the story is it was started by the president of Sony who had an autistic child, and they did a dolphin experience once, and his son just smiled ear to ear the whole time... and for a week afterwards.

So he fronted the money, hired the people and they try to be self sufficient with their charges to go in there, but any handicapped children get free use of the facility any time. They have a lot of special lifts for putting kids on and lowering them into the water where they can pet the dolphins that come up to say hi.

The reef life and quantities of fish were amazing everywhere - tons of sharks, and wall dives starting at about 20 feet.

We did some drift dives in the 5 knot range - just ripping along, but they have a chase boat that just floats along above you and picks you up at the end. They required each diver have a Dive Alert, a Safety Sausage and they supplied ELTs (emergency locater transmitters) so you would have to work at it to get lost - and even then you probably couldn't.

One of the best dive trips I've been on.

Desert_Diver
09-19-2007, 18:36
I did the Peter Hughes in Palau (Don't think it's there anymore... moved it to Belize) and it was great!

So many cool things you won't see anywhere else like Jelly fish lake, Mandarin Lake and they have a Dolphin Experience you can do. The dolphins are in a huge penned off lagoon, and you can dive or snorkel with them. There is a charge, but it's non-profit and it all goes to run the facility. I guess the story is it was started by the president of Sony who had an autistic child, and they did a dolphin experience once, and his son just smiled ear to ear the whole time... and for a week afterwards.

So he fronted the money, hired the people and they try to be self sufficient with their charges to go in there, but any handicapped children get free use of the facility any time. They have a lot of special lifts for putting kids on and lowering them into the water where they can pet the dolphins that come up to say hi.

The reef life and quantities of fish were amazing everywhere - tons of sharks, and wall dives starting at about 20 feet.

We did some drift dives in the 5 knot range - just ripping along, but they have a chase boat that just floats along above you and picks you up at the end. They required each diver have a Dive Alert, a Safety Sausage and they supplied ELTs (emergency locater transmitters) so you would have to work at it to get lost - and even then you probably couldn't.

One of the best dive trips I've been on.

I've heard this "best dive" vote from quite a number of people.

What time of year were you there?

What was the weather like?

Are there other liveaboards still doing the Palau run?

Were you there on an organized trip or were you alone (or just with a dive buddy)?

Thanks,

Art

chinacat46
09-19-2007, 18:54
I did Palau in the 3rd week of Feb of 2005. I was at Yap beforehand and Palau blew Yap out of the water. I was on the Palau Aggressor and the diving, crew and food were all excellent. I would go again in a heartbeat but unlike Scott I try to do new places before returning to the same place. Although I have been to a couple of places twice and will return to Wakatobi and Lembeh Strait for a 2nd time at the end of this year. The weather was great when I was there. The middle of Feb till sometime in May is supposed to be the best time. There are a couple of other liveaboards besides the Aggressor. I think Big Blue and the Ocean Hunter both I & II. I went with a friend not on an organized trip. Great trip go for it.

Desert_Diver
09-19-2007, 20:54
I did Palau in the 3rd week of Feb of 2005. I was at Yap beforehand and Palau blew Yap out of the water. I was on the Palau Aggressor and the diving, crew and food were all excellent. I would go again in a heartbeat but unlike Scott I try to do new places before returning to the same place. Although I have been to a couple of places twice and will return to Wakatobi and Lembeh Strait for a 2nd time at the end of this year. The weather was great when I was there. The middle of Feb till sometime in May is supposed to be the best time. There are a couple of other liveaboards besides the Aggressor. I think Big Blue and the Ocean Hunter both I & II. I went with a friend not on an organized trip. Great trip go for it.

I think that I have made up my mind to go. I just haven't decided whether to do the liveaboard or a resort.

I went to the Undercurrents web site to research trip reports. Most of them were my Travelnsj. (sadly shaking head) Maybe I could hire out to him as his dive gear sherpa? (hopeful look)

Art

chinacat46
09-19-2007, 20:56
Well you won't get a recommendation from Scott for a liveaboard. He gets seasick in the rain.

ScubaToys Larry
09-20-2007, 06:44
]

I've heard this "best dive" vote from quite a number of people.

What time of year were you there?

What was the weather like?

Are there other liveaboards still doing the Palau run?

Were you there on an organized trip or were you alone (or just with a dive buddy)?

Thanks,

Art


It was Feb... Weather was great - 80's during the day... occasional burst of rain -but over all beautiful. I know there are still some others there - but not having been on any others... maybe others here can give a recommendations.

And I took a group of 14 there - so we had most the boat for us.

deepdiver47
09-20-2007, 07:10
Questions:

1. Did you do a resort or liveaboard, or both?

I did land based thru Sam's Tours which I would recommend


3. Was diving in the current a problem assuming that I have sucessfully dived the Bahamas and Coz? At least I survived anyway.

In general, no it was not an issue but it does depend on where you go.
Blue Corner is outstanding and that did have strong currents. Some of the oter walls had moderate to little. You may want to stay away from the Peleliu area (the very south) as it can have ripping currents.

4. Any hints, kinks or special comments you would like to make about your trip to Palau that would be pertinant to my planning?

I went back in 03 and I am heading back in Feb/Mar. If you go land you will have long (45 minutes) bumpy boat rides. Make sure you take time to go sea kayaking with Sam's on your off gas day, it is an outstanding way to get up close and personal with the Rock Islands.

Desert_Diver
09-20-2007, 20:58
Thanks for all the responses. Palau definately sounds like the next destination (after Fiji). I appreciate the information.

Hey, Larry? Are you planning a Palau trip for any time 2008-2009?

Art

ScubaToys Larry
09-20-2007, 21:05
No, I'll be getting to Australia, and maybe a stop in Papa New Guinea, but not Palau in the next year or so...

scubamike
09-20-2007, 21:22
Questions:

1. Did you do a resort or liveaboard, or both?
Resort (Sam's Tour), but I would consider a liveaboard next time. I wanted to dive EVEN MORE!!!!

2. Which did you enjoy most, and why?
ALL OF THEM

3. Was diving in the current a problem assuming that I have sucessfully dived the Bahamas and Coz? At least I survived anyway.
Some dives have current..but it's so much fun!!!!. just relax dont even bother kicking..follow the guide and enjoy


4. Any hints, kinks or special comments you would like to make about your trip to Palau that would be pertinant to my planning?
If you are heading to Palau, connect via the Philippines and go diving in the Philippines.. excellent diving there too. I spent 1 month there and it was amazing as well.

High Plains Drifter
09-24-2007, 13:18
Although not as informative as a lot of the replies above, there was an interesting article in this Sunday's NY Times on diving Palau. The article is online too:

Blue Heaven for Big Fish (http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/travel/23journeys.html?ref=travel)

Damselfish
09-24-2007, 14:18
I did the Palau Aggressor a few years ago, great trip. I think this is a location where a liveaboard really makes sense unless you have some particular reason you don't want to do that. We will go back sometime, although I have other places I want to get to first.

I can't comment much on the currents, they seemed to be relatively mild when we were there compared to descriptions I have heard.