On this 10 day charter trip, the crew was excited to welcome our German guests from Spirosub. The first diving day started with a check dive on the Haf Adai Wreck, a small sheltered wreck in Malakal area where our guests enjoyed the presence of Lion fish, Starry Pufferfish, fuseliers, sweetlips as well as crinoid shrimps and blue dragon nudibranchs. Then the Palau Siren pulled up anchor and moved towards Ulong Island to do the second dive in Sandy Paradise. The visibility was good and the marine life amazing: Leaf scorpionfish, grey and white tip reef sharks, school of barracudas, black and humpback snappers, white banded and cleaner shrimps, among other critters.
The first dive of the second day couldn’t have started better with white tip and grey reef sharks at the entrance of Ulong Channel where the current then drifted us into the coral garden with its huge lettuce coral formation, giant clams and groupers resting on the sandy bottom. Siaes Tunnel was our third dive in the Ulong area, a big cavern followed by a nice easy wall dive. Our last dive in the Ulong area was at Siaes Corner where we hooked in and not only had the grey reef sharks for company but also a juvenile eagle ray and even a flyby of a Mobula ray! The Palau Siren moved towards the Ngemelis area after this where we did our first night dive of the trip. Big Drop off was a beauty: slipper lobster, leaf scorpionfish, several types of nudibranch and spotfin lion fish. Blue Corner, German Channel and Barnum’s Wall were our next scheduled dives where the mild currents allowed us to explore the different reefs hiding the rare ghost pipe fish and to photograph the friendly Napoleon wrasse. Continuing our trip to the historical island of Peleliu, some of our guests took the opportunity to do the optional land tour and visit the site of a major battle between the U.S. and Japan in the Pacific. The next dive at Orange Beach brought another surprise: an Ornate Ghost Pipefish!!
The weather in Palau can change a lot from day to day but the rain didn’t stop us enjoying the underwater beauty of Big Drop Off and Turtle Cove where there were loads of green and hawksbill turtles as well as a big pregnant grey reef shark. The next dive, German Channel, was a great one: grey and whitetip reef sharks, dogtooth tuna, blue trevallies, Napoleon wrasse, school of barracudas, jacks, snappers, yellow tail and blue dash fusiliers and to finish with a Manta ray that most of our guests were lucky to see! Our night dive was Turtle Cove where there are always lots of special things to be found: flat worms, shield slugs, notodoris serenea nudibranchs, crabs, shrimps, sea pens, soldierfish, yellow snappers, Malabar groupers and of course white tip reef sharks!
On the next day, the Palau Siren was floating off Blue Corner and the sun was out for our first dives; Blue Corner and Blue Holes. This last one is always a favorite of our guests with its entrance through 3 different holes on the top of the reef allowing the light to come in to the main cavern, called the Cathedral. While we were diving Peleliu Wall, we saw a big eagle ray and after the dive it was time to move towards Jellyfish Lake and its millions of Golden Jellyfish. On our way there, we were treated to the sight of spinner dolphins playing in front of the bow of our liveaboard.
Two favorite dive sites on any trip, Ulong Channel and Sandy Paradise were on the list after the visit to Jellyfish Lake. We had a good current going into the channel and the best was for last as we got to see a good size Bull shark swimming along! Time to move back to Malakal where we did the early morning dive at the wreck of the Iro Maru followed by a dive in Chandelier Cave with its stalactite formations and surfacing in the cave. After the exit on the reef in front of the cave entrance mandarin fishes can be seen hiding in the coral. A great way to round of another superb trip in Palau.
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