Palau, Tropic Dancer
Captain’s Log 8/30 – 9/6
A little 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 were everyone started to set up their dive gear. Once gear had all been set up guest sat down for dinner followed by the safety briefing and vessel orientation then to conclude the night a documentary on Palau.
Early Monday morning we moved the Tropic Dancer out into Malakal Harbor. After breakfast we covered the general dive briefing before the first dive 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 just outside of Malakal Harbor for our second dive at the Iro Maru. Divers descended down on to the bow of this five hundred foot wreck checking out the massive ship gun and making their way through the large kingposts. When divers made it down to the stern and explored 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 boat moved out to the German Channel area. With our third dive at Barnum’s Wall, were we start at coral garden with lots of beautiful hard coral formation, turtles, white tip reef shark we also got to see a leopard shark and spotted eagle ray. Back to the big boat and had a snack followed by the last dive at German Channel, although no manta at the cleaning station there were lots of sharks and schooling fish feeding, the current picked up and we started drift inside the channel.
On Tuesday morning we started our day with Blue Holes. We dropped down the wall and made our way in from the big door entrance, seeing a pygmy seahorse, disco clams then head out of blue hole and went with the wall on our left hand side towards Blue Corner. As we swam along the wall we saw sharks, schooling fusiliers, turtles and bumphead parrotfish. Back to the big boat for snacks, then off to the second dive at Fern’s Wall for an easy dive with lots of fish in different varieties, soft corals, sea fans and gorgonians formations are beautiful; the highlight of the dive was a large tiger shark. 3rd dive was at new drop off, we started the dive on the outgoing side with medium current in the beginning once at the hook in area the current started to pick up, we all managed to stay the whole dive with lots of sharks, barracuda, reef trevally, pyramid butterfly and red tooth trigger fish. 4th dive was Turtle Cove; we started the dive at the cave and made our way out with the wall on the right. Tons beautiful soft coral formation and saw a square spot anthias, notodoris minor nudibranchs. Along the corner wall we saw the school of rudderfish, pyramid butterfly and black snappers, grey reef sharks swimming around and associate with rainbow runner. Also, lots of turtles on top of the plateau. Our first night dive was at German coral garden; current was out going and made our way towards the Alexis coral garden, beautiful coral garden.
Wednesday morning we started at Blue Corner on the incoming side, it was an awesome dive spending most of the dive at the hook-in area, spotting napoleon wrasse, lots of sharks, schooling jacks and barracuda. 2nd dive at Virgin Blue Hole it was a great dive finding crocodile fish and the canyon look like reef. 3rd dive at New Drop Off and we start at the outgoing side of it, saw lots of sharks, barracuda, reef trevally and turtle. 4th dive was at Big Drop Off it was a great dive with lots of beautiful soft corals, nudibranchs and flatworms, schooling butterfly fish and couple of groupers. Night dive at German coral garden with couple of crocodile fish in the beginning, plorabranchs, couple of lionfish and a beautiful moon jelly in the end of the dive.
Thursday we headed back to German Channel starting on the Peleliu side, we sat and waited at the cleaning station although no manta again we still had lots of cool stuff to see. Back to the big boat and head down to Peleliu for the next 3 dives of the day. We did Peleliu corner the current was out going and we dove the side know as “The Cut” where the current was strong, we hooked in most of the dive and saw lots of schooling fish like jacks, couple of tune and tons of sharks. 3rd dive at Barracks Point where we found plenty of turtles, cool giant clams and lots of small stuff like nudibranchs. 4th dive was at Orange Beach divers found lots of artifacts from WWII, also seeing turtles, barracuda and a school of bumphead parrotfish. Night dive was at Ngemelis wall it was awesome dive finding shrimps and crabs, basket stars and other cool stuff.
Friday our first dive at the world famous Ulong Channel starting at the wall we headed to the hook-in area were the current pick up we hook in with lots of sharks swimming around, afterwards we drift inside the channel to see lettuce coral and giant clams as well. Second dive at Siaes Tunnel, awesome dive swim through the tunnel that looks like cave with couple of sharks hanging around we continuo swimming till almost the end of the dive we got to se saw hammer head, it was a great dive. 3rd dive at Siaes corner and it was an easy relaxing dive with lots of schooling fish along the wall and beautiful soft coral and sea fan formation. 4th dive at sandy paradise where Sergio propose to Sylvia under water and it was a great dive too seen couple of scorpion leaf fish and lots of schooling tuna and barracuda.
Saturday we made our way to Jellyfish 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. Kind of a do it yourself” spa treatment. The last excursion of the week took us to Chandelier Cave. 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 tank all of our guests from Thailand, United States & Romania for joining us this week aboard the Tropic Dancer. Until next time.
-Tropic Dancer Crew