Thursday, 20 November 2014

German Channel, Siaes Corner..... we LOVE them!

It’s been a few months now since I arrived in the paradise of Palau!
Paradise here meaning one ship, Solitude One. A big family including Asians, Europeans and Africans.

The diving compared to most of the world is unbeatable, with all sorts of things to see.
Turtle Cove, one of the dive sites........... you enter a hole at 2 m then descend and pop out at around 25 m. As you wonder on through you come across giant gorgonians and sea fans. These are bursting with colour and inhabit many schools of shy trevally.
Following the wall back to the plateau there are many large schools of fish from jacks to snappers to barracudas. And when looking to the blue anything is possible. This time a family of reef sharks decided to grace us with their presence. We had the mummy, daddy and around 10 babies no bigger than 50cm. The parents where protective circling around with the babies following.
After that excitement it was on to the plateau where the first thing we came across was a hawksbill turtle, gently gliding past. Closely followed by a napoleon wrasse which seemed curious by us divers. The coral maybe the best Palau has to offer at this site, with every type of hard coral being possible to see. And with the coral comes the reef fish, the plateau is like your own personal aquarium with every turn you take seeing a different species.
It’s an easy slow dive but with many things to see, everyone on the surface had a big smile on their face.

German Channel is exactly that, a channel created by Germans so they could transport phosphorus and other minerals across the world. This happened many many years ago and has now become a blooming reef. Due to the current which flows through, it’s an ideal place for mantas to get a clean from the small wrasses.
Down the mooring we went and waiting for us there was a green turtle that was the perfect model for photos. Then approaching the cleaning station, all of us praying, we sat and waited. After 10 minutes or so two angelic but humongous creatures came swooping over, the wait had ended, we had two mantas!
They glided around for everyone to see, going high, low and wide. Then one went off track behind the group, which conveniently was where I had placed myself. Over it came, straight above my head. The closest I had ever been to an ocean giant, almost hugging me with it’s fins.
After this breath taking experience they swam away and it was off to the sharks whilst flying through the channel. Sharks here where plentiful and of quite some size, the biggest being around 3m. Mainly grey reefs with some white and black tips too. The white tips would cruise low around the flourishing reef and would not be shy to say hello at a close distance.
Towards the end, the flight kept going and reef fish kept appearing. The dive was like a dream, floating through the ocean being met by these amazing creatures. All divers were ecstatic.

Written by Sian Williams, Dive Guide

I have been working and diving in Palau for a couple of months already! We are a big family on board MV Solitude One.

Blue Holes is definitely my favorite dive site, when you first look down into the hole you feel like you are going into a completed darkness, and all of a sudden you are floating inside of a massive chamber as you were in the space  bring it  us a feeling of peace.
The corners and small cracks hold electrical clams, nudibranch, and occasionally white tip reef sharks sleeping on the sandy bottom. When you exit the huge chamber you should keep an eye out into the blue for big schools of jacks, red snapper, barracudas and sharks.
This dive holds exciting and beauty in the same sense.
A very unique dive site for me is Siaes Corner, facing the Philippines Sea. As soon as you start your descend and check out the visibility you know that is going to be a very awesome dive….drifting along the wall until you reach the corner where we look for a place to hook and start enjoying the show! Grey reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, black fin barracuda, turtles, blue fin tuna….every second is full of action!

Written by Cesar Portocarrero, Dive Guide

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