Back Up for Air…. Again

Greetings to you all again from Palau. Doug and I just got back to town from another ten days of diving the absolutely fantastic waters of Palau.  You may all wonder how we are managing to do so much diving in one of the world’s top diving spots without going bankrupt! That is why we have our own home on the water and our taxi out to the dive sites, our dinghy! We have jumped through some beaurocratic hoops to obtain a Koror State ID card. If we did not have this card Doug and I would have to pay $25 each for 10 day visitor permits  that would enable  us to visit the Palau Rock Islands. We still have to pay $40 for a 30 day cruising permit but we figure that is definitely doable.

We can now take ourselves and our boat out to the Rock Islands and down to the best dive sites. The closest anchorage to the diving is still a good 20  to 60 minute dinghy ride but it is worth it. We take two tanks with us and a lunch and just go dive, dive, dive!!

Here is a map of Palau and the dive sites: (just click on it to enlarge it)

Home base is up in the right hand corner, inside what is called the Pinchers. That is where Koror state’s main town is. We sail out of there and  southwest down to Ulong Island where there is a pretty good anchorage. The dinghy ride is only about 20-30 minutes to the amazing Ulong Channel. I am of the opinion that Ulong Channel is some of the best diving I have ever seen in my 10 plus years of diving. The sail to Ulong Island is about 2-3 hours. Next we head south of Ulong Ilsand for about another 2-3 hours sailing to the small group of islands just northeast of German Channel. There the dinghy ride is longer, but the dive sites are numerous and fabulous! Blue Hole, Blue Corner, Manta Feeding Station just to name a few!

When we are not diving we are exploring around the Rock Islands. This last trip we found a very cool swim-through that came out into a small lake. Here is a picture of looking into the lake through the opening.

Swimthrough

When we got through to the other side, snorkeling, we made two very cool discoveries. One was a new jellyfish.

Jellyfish and reflection

The other discovery was…… a BOMB!!!

WWII bomb

Believe me… as soon as we got back to town we let the authorities know about this bomb. And found out it is not unusual to still be finding them here and there. There was a major WWII battle down in the southern Palauan state of Pelalu.

Looking out of the swimthrough.

I have added another Palauan page to the right with MORE underwater critters from our last outing. Go take a look and enjoy!

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IT’S ABOUT TIME!! PALAU….

Rock Islands, Palau

I must give credit where credit is due. This is not my picture. I borrowed it off a Palau web site. This IS what the Rock Islands of Palau look like.  And this picture is only a small part of them. Very beautiful. Palau is actually a group of islands spread out haphazardly inside a fringing reef. The islands are not the flat little islets that make up atolls. They are tall and covered with rain forest type growth. The bases of a lot of the islands are limestone and they have been eaten away by wind, water and critters making them look a lot like green mushrooms.

Where is Palau??

The map on the right shows the Pacific Ocean in the Micronesian area. Palau is to the west. You can also see the Marshalls, where we started this saga last January!

Suka tucked in amoung some of the Rock Islands

When you arrive in Palau you will have a hard time disinguishing it from the Hawaiian Islands. It is that developed.  So, I haven’t spent much time taking landside pictures. Here are a few, though, showing some of our exploration in and out of the Rock Islands.

Exploring in and around the Rock Islands
Down lagoon on a dive trip
And of course, a beautiful sunset in paradise!

 

Palau is really a beautiful place. But, you know me. I go bonkers on what is underwater. So most of my pictures are going to be from our dives. Check out the new Palau page for some beautiful new creatures, including some sharks and turtles!