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Log Date: Sunday, Jul 19, 2015
Entry By: Tropic Dancer Crew


Palau Tropic Dancer Captains Log for July 19 - 26, 2015.

After 4pm on Sunday, we welcomed on board our guests, all from different place in the world China, Canada, USA, Singapore and Switzerland. We started with a quick introduction to their cabins and then on the dive deck everyone set up their dive gear. We sat down for dinner and afterwards we covered the safety briefing and vessel orientation followed by a documentary on Palau.

Early Monday morning we moved the big boat into Malakal Harbor. After breakfast we covered the general dive briefing and our first dive was at the Helmet Wreck. We entered the water did our weight check and descended down to the wreck. We checked out all three cargo holds, seeing the WWII helmets, depth charges and airplane engines. On the bow we found saw blade shrimp and signal gobies. A zeno crab was seen on the wheelhouse. Back at the stern we spent some time looking over the WWII artifacts that have been collected from the wreck and placed by the bow gun. During our surface interval the big boat moved over to the other side of Malakal Harbor and our second dive was at the Iro Maru. Divers descended down on to the bow of this five hundred foot wreck checking the massive ship gun, making their way through the large kingpost and finding a delightful cuttlefish hovering over the deck. When divers made it down to the stern after checking out another huge gun we did a spiraling ascent up the large tripod structure, at the top of which had two giant clams surrounded by tomato anemones. During lunch the Tropic Dancer moved out to Ulong Island and did our third dive of the day at Siaes Corner. Divers descended down the wall and hooked for the first time at fifty along the edge of the wall, although there was only one shark seen divers got a look at tons of different fish and animal life. After unhooking divers made their way up the sloping coral garden finding lots of turtles and even a octopus scurrying from rock to rock. The last dive of the first day was a true crowd pleaser at Ulong Channel; we hooked in at the mouth of the channel and watched as sharks circled all around. Then as we unhooked we made our way into the channel its self checking out the fish life and cruising past a huge patch of lettuce coral, finishing the dive at two giant clams sitting side by side.

On Tuesday morning we started our day with another dive at Ulong Channel for another awesome dive checking out the sharks, fish, coral and giant clams. For our last dive off of Ulong was at Sandy Paradise. As we made our way down to the sandy bottom and the edge of the sloping coral garden were we cruised a long finding an octopus and shortly after fond five leaf scorpion fish on a single coral outcropping for some great photos. We then head back up the coral garden exploring our way back to the boat finding numerous fish life and even two more octopi. As guest sat down for lunch the TD moved down through German Channel to prepare for some more great diving with our first stop at the Big Drop Off. On this dive guest fond lots of different nudi’s and even their eggs, as well as a magnificent sea anemone balled up finding on all that it had caught throughout the day. For the fourth dive of the day we headed out to Barnums wall, starting with a slopping coral garden and then moving down the wall to solid wall finding nudi’s, turtles, and anemones all along the way. After dinner for the first night divers went back to out to Big Drop Off for some great macro life and got to see several large groupers out hunting on the wall as well.

Wednesday morning we awoke had breakfast and took off for German Channel. We first stopped to checked out a flamboyant red anemone and shortly afterwards had an octopus jet a across the small corals. We then made a our way to the first clean were we didn’t have to wait long before three large mantas came passing by, after about twenty minutes we made the swim over to the second cleaning station were we again fond the three large mantas and also had two juveniles join them making for some amazing pictures and an awesome dive. Dive two was off to the world famous Blue Corner for an excellent hook in dive. We had black snappers, jacks, sharks, napoleon wrasse turtles and tons of other marine life all around. During lunch we opened the big windows around the bar and enjoyed our food with a nice sea breeze. The third dive of the day we made our way back out to towards Blue Corner but this time went just a little bit further to Blue Holes. At this site divers descended down four different holes in the top of the reef in to one massive cavern for some great photo opportunities. Divers also found disco clams and a pigmy seahorse on a large seafan just outside the cavern of Blue Holes. Dive for was short skiff ride off of the boat at Turtle Cove, here divers again descend down an opening in the reef to a cavern with several disco clams and a sandy bottom. Then divers made their way out and along wall finding scorpion fish and turtle or two. After dinner divers went back to Turtle Cove to see the transformation from day to night on the reef wall, with the yellow hard corals in full bloom and packed full of macro life; wasp fish, scorpion fish, crabs, nudi’s and all different types of shrimp.

Early Thursday morning we started moving the big boat to Peleliu with tide still low the Tropic dancer sat outside south dock while divers headed to Peleliu Corner. With an outgoing current we dove the side know as “the Cut” for the large cut in the wall just before the hook in area. There was plenty of marine life at the hook in area, sharks, giant trevally, barracuda and a baby octopus weaving its way between divers. Dive two of the day was at Orange Beach Coral Garden named by the US Marines during WWII as one of the man spots the used as they stormed Peleliu. Along with several WWII artifacts like bullets and pieces of landing crafts divers saw an eagle cruising by, two octopi hiding in the reef and three crocodile fish. For dive three after lunch we dropped in at West Wall and started to explore this beautiful wall with several turtles and even a leopard shark sleeping on a sandy edge. Dive four was on Barracks Point, starting as sheer wall then jutting out into a wonderful slopping coral garden fill with excellent coral life, giant clams and chock full of turtles. After dinner the final night dive divers explored Ngedebus Coral Garden finding two cuttlefish and lot of other cool critters.

Friday morning the weather was nice and not much swell, so we started the day with a repeat dive at Blue Corner. There is always some much to say about this dive. This time it was incoming and it was a nice current. The sharks were there and the napoleon wrasse is always a photographer’s best friend. A large moray was there and acted very curious with its reflection in the video camera. Dive two was back to German Channel for another excellent manta experience seeing three and having one circle around and around getting cleaned for more than twenty minutes. Afterwards lunch was had and divers were off again for another dive this time at New Drop Off for our final hooking dive, we had a few sharks, turtles and a peacock flounder hiding on the reef under all the divers. Our final dive of the day was a Ngemelis Wall for a nice relaxing dive with some great fish life.

Saturday morning we made our way to Jelly fish Lake jumped on the skiff excited to see millions of golden jellyfish. It was a 15 minute skiff ride and a short hike over the hill to where everybody enjoyed the wonder of these magical creatures. After the lake we were taken on a tour of the rock islands that make up Palau stopping at the natural archway for photos and several WWII sights before heading back to the big boat. The last excursion of the week took us to Chandelier caves. The best way to end a week of spectacular diving with four air chambers to explore and a nice muck dive outside the cave looking for mandarin fish, razor fish and the bazaar looking spiny-devilfish.

Sunday morning at 2am we said our goodbyes to the seven guest as they headed to the airport to fly home. The remaining 7 guests woke up to continental breakfast and at 8am we said our goodbyes to all of them. We would like to thank all of our guests from China, United States, Switzerland and Canada for joining us this week aboard the Tropic Dancer. Sulang.
-Tropic Dancer Crew