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deepdiver47
02-28-2008, 07:44
Palau trip report (2/16-2/25)

Arrival/Hotel: This was my second time to Palau (last there in 05) and I arrived in Korror at 10:00 PM from Guam. Since I had a prior week business trip in Taiwan my lag was nothing to speak of, so I was ready to go. I stayed at the West Plaza Malakal which met my needs very well. I was within walking distance to all of the essentials the dive boat, restaurants and convenience store. WPM is a reasonably priced hotel with good services. I was even able to tap into a local restaurants wireless!

Palau - above: A nice laid back island. They mostly cater to tourists from Asia and Europe. I have found this to be a very safe and relaxful place to go. The real beauty is in the rock islands, check out my pics

Weather: Pictures tell the story, everyday was roughly the same. It was partially cloudy, 87 F during the day, 77 at night. The occasional cloud gave us a shower on a couple of mornings which is normal for this time of year. Coming from a cold week in Taiwan, I relished the warmth.

Palau - below: I chose to dive with Keith at Dive Palau (palaudive.com). Keith specializes in individualized attention using a small group approach. I canít say enough about this guy. His gospel is long, slow dives getting back on the boat with ~300 left in our tanks. I was diving 3 Nitrox dives a day averaging 65-75 minutes per dive with an average depth of 65 ft per dive. Water temp was 82 and vis ranged from 50-80 feet. My day consisted of long boat rides (dive sites were 20-25 miles away) starting at 8:30 and ending roughly at 4. Since I love drop offs, reefs, caves, tunnels I was right at home with dives such as Blue Corner (heavy sigh), New Dropoff and Blue Holes. Large schools of sharks, barracuda and the occasional tuna were the norm. Dive depths ranged from 60 to 110 ft. In general, the diving was excellent and I could not ask for any more. The dive sites in Palau are the ones that keep you up at night left staring at the ceiling.

Food: Menu varied from local seafood to having Western food. My favorite restaurant was Kramers. The local fresh catch was either Wahoo, Yellowfin or Mahi Mahi which were awesome in Asian Seared Sashimi. Having spent the previous week in Taiwan, having a burger was also welcomed

Pros/Cons: Far too many pros to list. I loved the trip. I went diving with some terrific people from Norway, Japan and the U.S. As this was my second trip I was able to hone in on what to do/not to do. The only con to speak of was the huge dive coma that I am now experiencing since leaving the island.
A very special thank you to Scott (Travelnsj) as he was key in putting in touch with Keith. You can PM me if you require additional details. I'll have posted pics in a folder called Palau08

SkuaSeptember
02-28-2008, 08:32
I really have to stop reading posts like this. They make me so sad. Mostly because I wasn't there!
I'm gonna go read posts about ice diving now, then I'll feel better.

TX1Chica
02-28-2008, 08:56
DD, Where is the folder with the pics??
Palau is my dream vacation and I would love to see the pictures.

deepdiver47
02-28-2008, 09:37
DD, Where is the folder with the pics??
Palau is my dream vacation and I would love to see the pictures.

Double click on the my photos icon under my Avatar or you can try this:

http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/browseimages.php?do=member&imageuser=494

High Plains Drifter
02-28-2008, 10:32
[dramatic captain kirk voice]mmmust get to Palau....got...to...get..to...Palau![/dramatic captain kirk voice]

Travelnsj
02-28-2008, 11:52
You got some nice Pics....I see you saw the Disco Clam (as Keith calls it) was that the one at Turtle Cove or Blue Holes?....Glad you had a good time.

deepdiver47
02-28-2008, 12:07
You got some nice Pics....I see you saw the Disco Clam (as Keith calls it) was that the one at Turtle Cove or Blue Holes?....Glad you had a good time.


The picture doesn't do it justice, I should have taken a video to see the neon glow. That clam was taken on the underside of the Sias Tunnel

ADVANCED LEVEL :: CAVERN DIVE / WALL DIVE / DEEP DIVE (MINIMUM 100 FEET)
http://palaudive.com/images/sites_siaest_body_1.jpgThe tunnel, one of the most unique dives in Palau, is considered to be an advanced dive - for two reasons: depth, and the overhead environment. Situated on the western side of the atoll, the vertical wall juts out into the Philippine Sea, forming a pointed corner where a large (50 foot hight) tunnel cuts right through the wall. The bottom is well below 140+ feet (40+m). Because of the depth, time in the tunnel is restricted to around 12 minutes, but getting there and back is exciting in itself.
Dropping down over the wall, you will enter a horizontal tunnel beginning at a depth of 90 feet (27m). As you enter the tunnel, there is a window on your left looking out to open sea, and the exit is straight in front of you. White tip sharks can be seen sleeping on the sandy bottom, which gets as shallow as 110 feet (33m) and swirling schools of bigeye trevally are common here. Inside the tunnel is home to some of Palau's rarer fish: colin’s angelfish, decorated dartfish, helfrich’s dartfish, and burgess’s butterfly fish - all oriented to the roof of the cave and swimming upside down. This is one dive where you will definately need to carry a flashlight.

TX1Chica
02-28-2008, 13:26
I really enjoyed your pictures. Some day I will make it their myself. Until then, I look forward to reading and seeing pictures of your next adventure:)

rfb3
02-28-2008, 13:38
Wow! Nice pics! And thanks for the trip report. Pic Palau08 is my favorite.

Travelnsj
02-28-2008, 23:56
The picture doesn't do it justice, I should have taken a video to see the neon glow. That clam was taken on the underside of the Sias Tunnel

Did not know there was a clam there....I have only done that dive a couple of times but as you come out...Wow is that beautiful!...I usually swim around the outside at about 80'....being I am an air hog I lose a few minutes (quite a few..LOL) of air. Did you do Sias Corner? when that current is ripping it is also a great hook up and I hope you did Ulong channel that is one of my favorites.

deepdiver47
02-29-2008, 03:55
Did you do Sias Corner? when that current is ripping it is also a great hook up and I hope you did Ulong channel that is one of my favorites.[/quote]

Yes this trip I did SC and it wasn't ripping but it was good. Ulong Channel was when the current was ripping. Keith waited 4 days for a favorable time and tide. We had this place to ourselves and saw some real nice Mantas doing vertical rolls near the surface while feeding with a bright sun as a background. I was in that current inverted just watching them.
It reminded me very much of Yap

charlesml3
02-29-2008, 12:02
Gang,

Here are my photos from Palau and Yap:

Picasa Web Albums - Charles - Palau07 (http://picasaweb.google.com/charlesml33/Palau07)

I was there this past November. No question, Palau is high adreneline diving. I dove there for three days with Fish N Fins followed by a week aboard the Aggressor. Then a week at Manta Ray Bay in Yap.

I will most certainly be going back...

-Charles

deepdiver47
02-29-2008, 12:16
[quote=charlesml3;139580]Gang,

I did not know that Picasa had a web album, good to know.
Realy nice pics, very sharp...someone has been to JellyFish lake

Travelnsj
02-29-2008, 13:14
Yes this trip I did SC and it wasn't ripping but it was good. Ulong Channel was when the current was ripping. Keith waited 4 days for a favorable time and tide. We had this place to ourselves and saw some real nice Mantas doing vertical rolls near the surface while feeding with a bright sun as a background. I was in that current inverted just watching them.
It reminded me very much of Yap

So Dave do you mean you did not go thru Ulong and see the Lettuce coral? fish hanging out in that coral? sleeping Leopard sharks? etc etc?

rfb3
02-29-2008, 13:15
Gang,

Here are my photos from Palau and Yap:
I will most certainly be going back...

-Charles

Very nice! What kind of setup are you using?

Travelnsj
02-29-2008, 13:18
Gang,

Here are my photos from Palau and Yap:

Picasa Web Albums - Charles - Palau07 (http://picasaweb.google.com/charlesml33/Palau07)

I was there this past November. No question, Palau is high adreneline diving. I dove there for three days with Fish N Fins followed by a week aboard the Aggressor. Then a week at Manta Ray Bay in Yap.

I will most certainly be going back...

-Charles

Nice shots....I like that Black Manta that is rare for Palau also the Helmet Wreck.

deepdiver47
02-29-2008, 14:23
[quote=deepdiver47;139465]

So Dave do you mean you did not go thru Ulong and see the Lettuce coral? fish hanging out in that coral? sleeping Leopard sharks? etc etc?

You mean fish condos. Yes I saw plenty of those dark brown lettuce corals that were located on each side of the channel. These were just before the giant clam area. Although it did have a sandy bottom I did not see a leopard shark, but did see several grey reef sharks. We just saw eveything very quickly!

Travelnsj
02-29-2008, 15:30
Dave here is a picture of Keith walking in Ulong.....I've done that dive a few times and usually the current has always been pretty calm...I've had a couple of times that the current was going the wrong way and could not get in the Channel.

charlesml3
03-01-2008, 09:03
Very nice! What kind of setup are you using?

Canon Powershot 570. All of $139 on Amazon.com. I rented a strobe from the Aggressor. It's one of those that has a fiber optic cable that velcros to the front of the housing and basically slaves the flash. Worked great!

-Charles