I’m not sure if I slept any better this night but the main consolation was that we were moving out and that certainly felt good.
Here are some pictures of the room. Trust me when I say that it was worse than it looks.
For breakfast we had to start kill some of the instant noodles. The motel owner allowed us to borrow their portable gas stove and all we had to do was buy a gas canister. We fired that up and barely had two chomps on the noodles before our van was downstairs to bring us over at 8:30.
So today was going to be the day when I finally get to do real diving as in without an instructor and where you’re just expected to know what to do. This was a bit daunting but our dive master Dexter was really awesome in settling some of my nerves and telling us to really just stay calm and breathe normally. Our captain was Charlie. We had about 8 of us in total diving with most of the group from the US and one from Australia if I remember correctly with experience spanning 20 dives to over a hundred so it was quite diverse.
One thing that I really appreciated about Sam’s Tours after going through what they do in Phuket is that the dive shop runs its own boats instead of sending out large boats with multiple tour operators. The two Yamaha 150’s were plenty enough to zip us south from Koror down to our dive sites.
(Dive 1 – 45 mins, 24.1m) We found out the hard way that summer is actually low season and therefore rainy season. The first dive to Ngerchong Outside was choppy to enter but hell to exit with the waves getting pretty huge and rain coming down on us. This being my first real dive in Palau, I was still impressed with what I saw – at least 4 reef sharks, huge schools of fish including barracuda. Dexter told us to bring down some reef hooks if the current was too strong but we didn’t end up having to use it. This was also the first time seeing huge coral walls that go downwards as far as they eye can see.
For lunch we went to a small island where there were a bunch of Chinese tourists eating there but it was pretty packed there so we just ended up eating our bentos on the boat.
(Dive 2 – 47 mins, 23.2m) The weather cleared up slightly but there was a storm coming in. For this dive there was more coral than Dive 1 but less fish. Visibility was also much worse. I think the most interesting thing we saw on this dive was this huge table coral. It almost look like a large circular dinner table. Huge! This dive site isn’t even on the map but is a site that Dexter uses often so he named it for himself – Dexter’s Corner. He was also nice enough to let us use nitrox for this dive so we didn’t have to worry about our bottom time.
After our diving we checked into the West Plaza Malakal which really was a huge step up from Lehn’s.
For dinner we ate at Kramer’s Cafe which is rated #1 on TripAdvisor and was recommended by quite a few locals. Kramer’s lived up to the hype. The seafood there was quite superb.
And that’s the life of a diver around here. Breakfast, dive, lunch, dive, chill, dinner, sleep.
Check out the Next Day
The diving continues into the next day with also a visit to the famous Jellyfish Lake. Read on here Day 68 – Palau – Jellyfish Lake.
Curious what else I did on my trip to Asia? See the full itinerary and all 89 days.