Micronesia: Palau: 02-12/07/04: Diving in Palau

As I told in previous message, my liveaboard had been canceled. So, a bit with a sad feeling, I went to Palau. Fish ‘n Fins picked me up at the airport and had foreseen a very nice hotel for me. The next morning, I had a chat with the owners and they apologized for what has happened. But they offered me good compensation: very nice hotel, food and drinks at their restaurant and all the diving by daytrips.

Whenever a dive was done by daytrip, I could join them: so, some days I did 5 dives and some days 2 dives.
I actually met the people that were supposed to be on the Palau Aggressor already on the plane from Guam to Palau. So, they went now all on the Ocean Hunter II.
Diving in Palau means also a lot of current (if no current, no sharks, no action). I have done already several dives with a lot of current, but most of the times that are drift dives: you let yourself go with the current. in Palau, at several spots, you hook on to the reef with reefhooks connected to your BCD, and you watch the action happening in front of you. The difference now is that you look right in the current. 1 time it was really very strong. It is like standing in a storm with your face towards the wind. If I moved my head, my mask and regulator were almost blown off. Some divers didn’t really had a good time that dive. It was absolutely a new experience for me.
Most of the time, at these spots there are sharks passing by, big schools of fish and occasionally you see them hunting right in front of you.

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Coral wise, I was a bit disappointed : it seems a lot of the coral suffered severe bleaching.

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On the dayboats, they always made sure the surface interval was spent in a special way: sometimes we snorkeled, are I did some skindiving under rocks with some guys from the States and Israel. And for lunch they always dropped us off at some of the Rock Islands with their nice white beaches and lots of green vegetation.

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Palau is also famous for its jellyfishlake: jellyfish that actually don’t sting (they do, but you don’t feel it). thousands of them. You can snorkel in the lake which was absolutely a highlight.

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Palau has suffered severe and bloodie battles during WWII. The americans thought to get the Japanese out in a few days, but it took them several bloody months with a lot of victims. (For what? A tiny little island Peleliu with a beach and a forest!)

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