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Log Date: Sunday, Jul 26, 2015
Entry By: Tropic Dancer Crew







 



     After 4pm on Sunday, we welcomed on board 9 guests, all from different places around the world. Australia, USA, & Singapore. 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. 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 and making their way through the large kingposts. 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. After a Rock Island tour and lunch we motored to Ulong Channel Coral Gardens for our 3rd dive of the day. Schools of snapper, several white tip sharks, grey reef sharks a giant clam and a Napoleon wrasse were seen. Our last dive of the day was Ulong Channel south wall. With an out going tide conditions were favorable to dive the wall and not the main channel. Several white tip sharks were seen in the shallows, as well as, 2-3 hawksbill turtles. A barra mundi was also spotted. All together it was a great day of diving.

 

     On Tuesday morning we started our day with Siaes Corner. The incoming tide created a little bit of current. Schools of jacks, barracuda and snapper were seen. Grey reef sharks were seen in fairly large numbers and had large turtle swim thru the guests towards the end of the dive. Our next dive was Sandy Paradise. A sloping sandy bottom/coral garden is always vibrant with sea life The highlight of the dive was a pair of amorous octopus, who put on a show for the guests. They were not shy and the guests got plenty of pictures. Leaf scorpion fish, glassy eyed sweepers and A grey reef shark were also spotted. We returned to the mother ship and made the journey to German channel. Next up was Big Drop Off, for the 4th dive of the day. All divers made the plunge on this beautiful wall dive. Known for its shear wall, we saw a variety of flatworms and nudibranchs. A white tip and grey reef shark were seen as well. German Channel was our 4th dive. The current was incoming. For the night dive , we returned to Big Drop Off. The wall had taken on a vibrant yellow color, due to the coral’s polyps extending to filter feed at night. A flora branch and 2 pleura branch were seen attached to the wall. We returned back to the ship, where the guests enjoyed hot chocolate before calling it a day and getting some well deserved rest. Great day of diving.

 

     Wednesday morning we awoke to a very slight sea & little to no swell. After breakfast we headed out German channel to Blue Holes for our first dive of the day. The current was very light so we first checked out the cavern to see the electric clams and pygmy sea horse. We then continued down the wall to Blue Corner, watching a few sharks swim out in the blue. After a few minutes divers explored the top of the reef finding an eel, turtles and lots of fish life, included in this, was our resident Napoleon Wrasse. For the second dive we went to new Drop Off. Several sharks, schooling barracudas, jacks and snapper were in abundance. Several nesting titan triggers made their intentions very clear to all divers that got too close. For our final afternoon & night dive we ventured to Turtle Cove. The guests came down the chimney and out on the beautiful wall covered in soft corals and sea fans and moved through schools of pyramid butterfly fish viewed a few sharks and then as we came up on top of the plateau we spent time with a green sea turtle and Keith found a large scorpion fish tucked up underneath the coral. Night dive was Turtle Cove, as well. Lots of nudis & flatworms.

 

          Early Thursday morning we started the day at Barnums Wall. A beautiful wall with a sloping coral garden. Sharks, octopus, feather tail ray, and lots of schooling fish were just a few of the marine life seen. We returned to the mother ship and 8 guests departed to Peleliu for the historic WWII land tour. Upon returning from the tour we enjoyed one of Chef Cameron’s wonderful lunches. After lunch it was time for the next dive Fern’s Wall. Fern’s Wall was an easy drift dive past soft corals and large sea fans. Always a favorite with a wide angle lens A marble ray was seen, as well as, a crockadile fish. Next up was German Channel on an incoming tide. Wow, lots of sharks, turtles, schooling trevally & bump head parrot fish were spotted. The night dive was at German Channel Coral Garden and what a great dive it was. Lion’s paw, sleeping titan trigger and lion fish plus several nudibranchs were seen.

 

 

Friday morning the weather had gotten a little worse so we stayed on the inside reef and dove Alexy’s Coral Garden. There is always some much to say about this dive. Ivan saw a school of remoras looking for something to attach themselves to. A feather tail ray was seen below the divers in the sand. A large manta cruised by, and was enjoyed by all. The third dive was Ngemelis Wall a sheer wall adjourned with huge sea fans and wire coral. Next dive was German Drop Off. A sloping wall with coral gardens, German Drop Off is always a pleaser. Some of the marine life seen were; grey reef sharks, crocodile fish, feather tail ray, turtles and several anemones. Last dive of the day we went into the shelter of the Rock Islands, to Wonder Channel. Pipe fish, nudibranchs and flatworms were the stars of this sight. For the last dinner of the charter chef Cameron prepared an excellent meal, after which our video pro Conor showed off all the images he had captured of the guest and sea life we had seen throughout the week.

 

     Saturday we made our way to Jelly fish Lake We 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 went to the Milky Way. An island with velvety smooth sand that the guest slathered on themselves. Kinda’ a “do it yourself” spa treatment. 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 and signal gobies and other macro life.

 

Sunday morning we woke up to continental breakfast and at 8am we said our goodbyes to all of our guests. We would like to thank all of our guests from Singapore, United States & Australia for joining us this week aboard the Tropic Dancer. Happy Birthday to Kim Poh Chan and congratulations on 600 dives. Well done! Thanks to returning guest Ralph Ramirez for all the laughs and funny masks. Until next time.

 

 

-Tropic Dancer Crew