Sunday, June 5, 2011

Manta Day

First we went to the Virgin Blue Hole. A hole in the plateau descends to about 100 ft. Then there is a passage to the wall of the lagoon.

Next to German channel where we saw four mantas at Ruben's secret spot. Was major cool.

One last pic for Dan. :)

Milkyway Day

I got very attached to the "milky way" portion of the tour, and it never seemed like we stayed there long enough. The Paluan milky way is a sheltered cove, where the limestone and the decaying vegetation form a mucky bottom that is white. It gives the water the appearance of a milky turquoise color. Visibility is about 6 inches and E is always joking about what may lurk there, but it is just the perfect spot to me. There is a bit of silliness that the tour companies have the customers engage in, as they apply this "beauty mud" to themselves and pose for pictures. The mud smells sulfur-y and after a short time on the skin, needs to be washed off as it causes a mild burning sensation (chemical exfoliant??) Beyond this bit of playful nonsense, I found the milky way to be deeply serene and I just loved to float there and breathe in the oxygen rich air, made fresh by all the foliage of the surrounding rock islands. While floating in the dappled light of over-hanging trees, noise ceases and you see the deep blue sky, the fluffy clouds drifting by and the deep green foliage of the cove. More than likely, you will see the graceful long tailed white birds that fly in pairs over this area.

Snorkel sites I visited through the IMPAC tour: Fantasy (while the kayakers did their thing.) Wonder channel or Rose garden (while the others went to jellyfish lake) and Paradise. I would also snorkel at the beach while on lunch break. Ngermeus Island beach is one such spot, and was the place where I had seen the shark the first time I snorkeled there. Mr. black tip was elusive the other times. ...actually it's amazing how fast you go from being afraid to see a shark to being disappointed when you don't see one.

Fish designs seem to be mainly spotted or striped, and vary in every imaginable color combination. Some sport designs that looks like circuit boards. Fins coordinate or contrast nicely. Tails come in a variety of shapes. One boat captain (on the dive boat, not the snorkel tour) went the extra mile and kept a ready reference in his dry bag. He was genuinely interested in verifying the name and description of any fish you wondered about. (Tall Ken at Fish & Fins, a "salty boy" from Melekeok.)

I favor the caramel colored, spotted young groupers who seem to sit on the corals trying to mind their own business, and the many varieties of parrotfish who always seem to be on a mission to get somewhere as they swim. I love to watch as the bright blue fish that are less than an inch long congregate above a coral and all seem to drift apart, only to reach an invisible tipping point and contract again. Schooling fish are interesting to watch, as they hypnotically change directions in uniformity.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Amazing Day in Palau

A pod of dolphins greeted the divers at blue corner.

Lion Fish

Two types of Anemonies with Two types of Clown Fish

More Fish

Napoleon Wrasse

Sleeping White Tip Shark

Grey Reef Shark in Blue Water

Pacific Black Fin Barracuda

Lunch on Long Beach

Manta at German Channel

Also seen, but no pix...A Grey Reef Shark getting its teeth cleaned by Cleaner Wrasses. Yes the little "dental hygienist" wrasses swim into the sharks mouth to pick out bits of food. The shark comes to the cleaning station and lets them work on his teeth! Amazing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

tropical depression= rain and more rain

The last few days, the weather satellite image has shown a large cloud mass over the pacific area where we are... something about "a tropical depression"  anyway, there was a solid day when the sun didn't come out and it rained pretty nearly all day. Under what would normally be a bright noon time sky, it looked like dusk. There was lightning and thunder galore....  God was bowling a lot of strikes. Except to walk to dinner, I hadn't done anything since the hike to the waterfall last Thursday, so E decided to rent a car today (Tuesday) and get me out.

E is waiting for a better forecast for diving.

The worst part of the residual "motion-of-the-ocean" has passed.  We decided to take a drive back to the North Beach Cottages, stopping to have lunch at the internet cafe in Melekeok.  I had E stop at the grocery on the way out of Koror to get some cat food to take to all my little feline friends. They were appreciative. 

I brought along my pens, journal and book... but I think I only wrote one word. It's enough truly, just to sit and absorb the serenity and majesty of the ocean and sky.

It's too bad that on this vacation, the ocean viewing is more the exception than the rule... for whatever reason, the populated/ downtown section of this nation is on a strip of land that has no view of the ocean. 

good chance of rain tomorrow... the frogs are all croaking..

 ... apparently the roosters don't seem to do their morning screetching if the sun isn't out... or maybe the rain drowns out their cockadoodle doo's... which start at 0430.

Internet Deli in Melekeok

Rain obscures the distant coastline

North Beach