Monday, April 11, 2011

Palau Dive 5

This was our fifth day of diving, and some folks that were with us decided this would be their last.  Others of us, Dan and I included, decided to do two more additional days after this.  So, because this was their last day, we decided to go back to two of our favorites and went to German Channel and Blue Corner.  We were only doing two dives this day, but planned to end the day with a hike to and snorkle in Jellyfish Lake.

At German Channel we were fortunate to see Manta again.  They were beautiful and graceful.  No good shots of them and no great video like I did the other time though.  However, I did get a nice shot of a Feathertail Ray that was laying in the sand and a playful turtle that we saw towards the end.

We also were incredibly fortunate to see a HAMMERHEAD SHARK on this dive!!!  It's extremely rare to see these in Palau.  In fact, our dive guide Steve, who is Palaun and has been diving here for 15-25 years has only seen them two or three times before.  I did get some video, but it is very patchy and it would probably make you puke, so I won't put it on here.  But, it was truly a really cool thing to experience and a neat memory.

The next dive at Blue Corner was just absolutely amazing.  We saw a lot of shark, of course!!!  We also saw SEVERAL green moray eels, and I even got a video of one swimming around.  We saw our one and only Lion Fish too, which is interesting because you see them all over the Caribbean now.  We also saw the pair of spotted eagle ray that live here, and are always together.  They kind of remind me of dogs too.  Our friend Jo also celebrated her 100th dive on this dive, so we captured the moment with a picture.

After Blue Corner we headed over to Jellyfish Lake for a snorkle.  You can't dive at Jellyfish Lake, something in the earth underneath the water makes it poisenous at depth.  Plus, you don't need to, the jellyfish like to follow the sun.  The jellyfish in this lake have evolved over time and have lost the ability to sting.  It is just amazing to watch and touch these little guys.  However, you have to be really gentle with your fins because they are fragile creatures and can easily tear if you kick them the wrong way.

After we finished up at Jellyfish Lake the boat took as back to Sam's, the dive shop.  A few of us had decided to do an extra shore dive there.  You were able to just take a tank from the shop and hop in the water off the dock and do a dive against the shore wall.  It was probably only 5 to 10 feet deep at most, but it is the home of Mandarin Fish, which are so beautiful.  Being the dive junkies we are, Dan and I are never one to skip a dive, so of course we wanted to go.  Unfortunately, three dives is about all our camera battery can handle, and it died during the Jellyfish Lake snorkle.  But,our buddy Tom had his camera and we have a few pics of the Mandarin Fish that he took.  They are so cool!

Mandarin fish come out to mate around dusk.  There was about five of us that hopped in the water and spent about 45 minutes watching these beautiful creates flit around.  They were kinda shy and would have to work up some courage to come out and see us.  These fish are really small, probably an inch or two at most, and there were some little babies that were probably just a couple of centimeters long.

Later that evening, Dan and I went over to the bar/grill at Neco Marine for dinner.  It is called Big Drop Off.  It was pretty good food.  But then again, we aren't picky when it comes to fresh fish and french fries!

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