Log Date: Sunday, Mar 29, 2015
Entry By: Tropic Dancer Crew
At 4pm on Sunday, we started our pickups, In total we welcomed on board 15 guests, All a group from the US. We started with a quick introduction to their cabins. Then on the dive deck, everyone set up their dive gear. We sat down to dinner and after we covered the safety briefing and vessel orientation. We handed out the nautilus lifelines and watched a documentary on Palau.
Early Monday morning we started up the big boat early headed into Ulong Island. After breakfast we covered the general dive briefing. Our first dive was Sandy Paradise. We entered the water and everyone did a weight check and soon started their descent. We stopped at the cleaning station and let the cleaner wrasse clean our hands for a while. Then we check a patch of coral with school of glassy sweeper and so couple of leaf fish. We saw school of barracuda and jacks. We finished our dive to the shallow but the current take us away to the blue water because of the outgoing current. While divers doing surface interval we covered the last power point presentation on how to use the reef hooks for our second dive, Ulong Channel. Incoming current, we entered the water and swim to the wall. We drifted to the mouth of the channel and hooked in and watched the shark parade. We unhooked, drifted inside the channel, pass the lettuce coral and end the dive where the two the Giant clam were. After lunch we went over to Siaes Corner for third dive. We entered the water and drifted towards the hook in area. We made it to the hook in area and hooked in. We stayed there for a while and had several sharks in the blue. We unhooked and spent the rest of the dive exploring the plateau. For dive four we headed out to Ulong Coral Garden. We started the dive from the mooring and drifted along the wall. We had some sharks in the blue and a couple beautiful anemones that were balled up feeding. Dinner was soon ready when we arrived at the big boat, after we watched a fish ID presentation on the most common fish we see here in Palau.
On Tuesday morning we woke up while the big boat heading to Turtle cove mooring. After securing the big boat we started the day with Blue Corner. The current was nice and incoming. We hooked in at the 45 foot hook in area and enjoyed the show. There were sharks in front of us the napoleons swam in and out of the group. We then unhooked and went down to the 60 foot hook in area. We had more sharks in front of us while we were hook in there. We then unhooked and explored the plateau seeing some turtles and blue lined snapper. Most of the guests said that this was the best dive of the charter. While we were diving the boat moved to German Channel outside. For dive two we headed out to Turtle Cove. Jumped in the water and all the divers descended to the chimney. A crocodile fish to begin with and so a lot of macro life along the wall. Drifted to the wall and just before we reach the corner we move up to the plateau and saw schools of fish like black and red snapper together with drummer fish. Lobster and turtles as well. Dive three we went back to Blue Corner. Still a incoming current. We entered the water and start the dive with mild current. Just before the hooking area the current picked up and get real strong. Most divers manage to hooked in but some were unfortunate and caught by the upwelling current. Nothing much to see and the current getting stronger and stronger. We feel that its not safe anymore so we unhooked and decided to just drift and did our safety stop. For the forth dive we had an incoming current and went to New Drop Off. We enter the water and drifted to the hook in area. Stayed there for a while and watched the shark and school of fish while hooked in. Then we unhooked and explored the top of the reef. A close encounters with green sea turtles and flounder to. After dinner we went back to Turtle Cove for the night dive. We started on the second buoy and from there explore the wall on our right hand side. Saw basket stars, scorpion fish and lots of shrimps.
Wednesday morning we started the day with Blue Holes. The current was out going, we entered the water and swim on the surface to get through the holes on top of the reef. As we were inside the cavern we explore for a while and wander around with the nice sky light coming through the holes from the top. Then we exit the cavern and go wall on the left with a bit of eddy current from the beginning, from there the actual current take us to outgoing side of Blue Corner. Then we so several gray reef sharks and lots of fish. Some did hook in and some decided to explore the plateau. For dive two we went Big Drop Off. We entered the water and go wall on the right. We saw a lot of nudibranch and some have their eggs coiled. Some eddy current along the way but the current just perfect that we can look nice and slow on the beautiful wall with lots of sea fan and colorful soft coral that are feeding during that time. After lunch we headed to Ngedebus Corner. Another wall dive that we started wall on the left and beautiful sighting and encounter with big marine life such as Leopard Shark and Turtles. Macro life was there and so lucky that we saw sea spider that time which was very rare here in Palau. When we got back from the dive the Big Boat move to German Channel inside. For the fourth dive we headed to German Channel. We started the dive by descending down to Peleliu side of the channel. We went right away to the cleaning station close where we dropped and descend to wait for Manta. No manta so we decided to go to the other cleaning station. While we were swimming across the channel one Manta just cruise by. We so a lot of fish after, such as jacks, barracudas, shark and more. After dinner we went back German Channel area for the night dive. During the dive Crocodile fish, nudis, shark and twin spot lion fish.
Thursday morning we started the day on doing the Virgin Blue Hole but end up doing the Canyons instead due to tide and water condition issues. We jumped in the water and explore the wall. Saw some shark and turtle and the wall turn into canyons. Its a scenic dive and good for photography. We end our dive to the shallow water with lots variety of tropical fish. Second dive we gone over to Ferns wall. Outgoing current and we started at the buoy with a strong current at the beginning. We saw a lot of turtles, Nudis and more macro life. The current died out and we enjoy exploring the shallow water while doing our safety stop. After lunch we went over to Barnums Wall. We Entered the water and go wall on the right. Leopard Shark to start with at depth of 90 ft. perfectly lying at the sloping sandy patch area. Current was incoming and it was mild so we take it nice and slow to look for macro life. Seen crocodile fish, juvenile bicolor parrot fish, gobies, blennies and even flat worms. Then more big stuff as we continue along drifting such as turtles and two spotted eagle ray and school of long jawed mackerel feeding at that time. For the fourth dive we went to German Channel. We jumped and entered the water on Koror side. We went to red anemone right away and wait for the other to come. When all of the divers were there we slowly make our way to the cleaning station. Sat there for a while and notice that there was feather tail resting at the bottom close to the cleaning station. Took some photo and wait for the manta to show up. No manta so we did swim across the channel to other cleaning station. Again no luck so we go the center of the channel and lucky one manta cruise close to the group. We did drifted inside the channel and seen few cool fish like barramundi and octopus. On the night dive we went to Big Drop Off. The divers enjoyed that night dive with lots of nice sighting of marble grouper hunting, nudis, lots of shrimp and crabs!
On Friday morning we woke up early and head to Peleliu island. First dive we gone to Peleliu express. We entered the water and drifted along the wall. Not so much current at the moment so some of the guests explored the top of the reef and the edge of the wall. We reached the hook in area and hooked in for long time. Sharks swimming back and forth in front of the group. We unhooked and drifted to the corner and we saw more sharks and big hawksbill turtle and school of spade fish. On second dive we did Orange Beach Coral Garden. The current was out going and we started shallow on the right. Very relaxing dive with beautiful coral garden. Saw turtles, sharks, lots of anemone and artifacts that left from the World War II. After lunch we went to West Wall. We jumped and entered water at the buoy and go wall on the left. A very mild current with clear visibility. Macro life along the wall Nudis and anemones. We saw Dory too. Lots of turtle swimming around and pausing for the divers. We end our dive to the shallow reef just after the big patch of tomato anemone. Forth dive and we gone over to Barracks Point. Current was incoming, we entered the water and drifted shallow on the right. Another relaxing dive with very nice visibility. Giant clam, school of black snapper, barracuda and lot more along the way. We ended the dive at the wall and traveled back to the big boat. The guests enjoyed the ride on the way back to big boat with the beautiful sunset and some dolphins playing with the wake of the skiff. Dinner was ready as we arrived back at the boat. During Dinner the big boat moved into Wonder Channel to be closer to Jelly Fish lake tomorrow.
We woke up Saturday morning with the big boat in the rock islands. We were totally surrounded by the islands and could hear all the birds chirping as they too were waking up. Our first excursion was Jelly Fish Lake. We tied the skiff up on the outside and started our hike over the hill to the lake. We entered the water and after a short swim into the middle of the lake we were surrounded by millions of jelly fish. Everyone enjoyed this time in the lake, with an estimated 13 million jelly fish. After the lake we went by skiff on a rock island tour. We stopped at Palaus famous limestone archway and some WWII sites before returning to the boat. We then did a quick turnaround and headed out to Chandelier Cave. We surfaced in all four air chambers to take photos of the stalactites and outside the cave we found the mandarin fish. After an afternoon of cleaning, drying and packing scuba gear, we gathered in the salon at 6pm for the cocktail party and watch a photo slideshow of the week and soon after all the guests headed off into town for dinner. After dinner the guests came back to the boat, and most of them started packing and at 10pm we said our goodbyes as 7 guests headed to the airport.
Sunday morning at 2am we said our goodbyes to 4 more of our guests as they headed to the airport to fly home. The remaining 4 guests woke up to continental breakfast and at 8am we said our goodbyes as they headed off to their hotel. We would like to thank all of our guests for joining us this week aboard the Tropic Dancer, hope to see you all again soon…
-Tropic Dancer Crew