So I realized that the underwear situation wasn’t looking good and I was too lazy to hand wash everything so in the morning I went across the street from our hotel to this laundry placed called Orrekim before we headed over to Sam’s. Luckily they just opened and found out that my 1 KG of clothes would only cost $1.50. Sweet!
I had a traditional Palauan breakfast at Sam’s Tour and then geared up for another awesome day of diving. The divers were mostly the same as the previous days so there was a sense of familiarity. The captain for the day was Ashley and divemaster was Siksei again. We were going to go out with a big bang today with 3 (which then turned into 4).
Weather however wasn’t on our side in the morning when sun immediately turned to hard pummeling rain as we made our way to the first dive site. Luckily things cleared up once we got to the site.
Dive 1 (56 min, 24.7m) – Our first site was called Blue Corner. This was the first place where the current was strong enough to force us to use reef hooks at the top edge of a coral wall. This place probably could be renamed Shark Corner because there were tons of reef sharks (black tip and white tip) that were circling around us while we were hooked in. No wonder they call this place a Shark Sanctuary. It was neat to see all the buddy fish for each shark that would stick on to the underside I assume as a cleaner fish. We were also so excited to see our first real turtle so I was able to check that one off the list. On top of that there were tons of huge schools of fish including barracuda. We also saw a bunch of trigger fish and one leaf fish. The rest of the dive was mostly a coral wall to our right shoulder before we rose up to use reef hooks.
For lunch we just anchored outside an island and ate our bentos on the boat. I also got real good at peeing in my wet suit so relieving myself was not a problem this time around haha. We had a bit of time as well and there was some coral close by so a bunch of us did some snorkeling. Then the Chinese tourists came in to snorkel which ruined things.
Dive 2 (52 mins, 27.4m). Although this dive didn’t have the biggest fish, it probably had the coolest dives down to our bottom depth and the most turtles. This dive site was aptly named Turtle Cove. The entry in was very different because we started off with a live drop (meaning there wasn’t a buoy and rope to descend with) and then once were descended we had to dive through a cave hole which lead us into this cylinder-like rock wall where we had to climb back up and out of. The rest of the dive was wall diving as ost dives in Palau seemed to be with a limitless depth down below. We saw at least 3-5 Green Sea turtles and what was neat about this dive was that I was able to get REALLY up close and personal with these turtles. I swam with them for a bit, chased a few down for a bit and also touched a few of shells. Other than turtles we saw a scorpion fish and spadefish. This dive also pushed my tank and depths to the limit because I nearly ran into decompression mode because I was spending too much time at 25+ meters. Towards the end I had no choice but to increase my no-decompression time by diving at higher depths.
Usually that would be the end of our day but we tacked on a third dive today to check out Chandelier Cave which is right by the dive shop. Now this wasn’t our typical dive because we were able to dive into a cave system with 3 caverns where we could pop up into to see the stalactite structures above water. For this dive we had to rent underwater flashlights to help guide our way. The best part was at the end when we were at the third and farthest cavern and had to swim all the way to the mouth of the caves with no lights on except the ambient light peeking through the entrance. It totally felt like I was recreating the movie cover from the movie The Abyss.
Sam’s Tours Micro Wall
To prolong things even further I figured that since we still had our gear on we could do a bit more diving at the dive shop’s “Micro Wall” just for kicks to see some of the smaller fish.
After filling out the dive log, paying for the remaining balance of our bill (so that we could leave right away after tomorrow’s kayaking) and returned some of the rental equipment) we had to say a quick goodbye to the diving crew so that I could pick up my laundry which closed at 5PM.
The Impac van drive that drove us into town recommended a local restaurant called Longshoremen right across from our hotel so we thought we’d try it for dinner. It was deserted when we got there but we stayed anyways to try some of the local foods which more or less was a mish-mash of Japanese, American and Polynesian type foods. The food was actually not that good but I suppose it was super cheap in Palauan terms. It seemed like a big local take out spot as quite a few locals came by to pick up their orders while we were there.
Not quite satisfied with our meal, we first checked out Sea Passion Hotel and then walked over to PPR (Palau Pacific Resort) to grab some dessert. I snagged a $8 green tea red bean roll which seemed like a good deal because I could only eat half and the other half I ended up eating for breakfast the next day.
- On a small island like this sometimes it’s interesting just to check out some of the other hotels and walk around. They usually have their own gift shops and restaurants that could be worthwhile.
- The package we got from Sam’s Tours didn’t include Chandelier Cave but it is something definitely worthwhile if you’re looking to book with Sam’s Tours. Not end of the world if you didn’t buy it beforehand as it can be easily arranged during your trip to Palau since it’s right by the shop.
- Drop off laundry at Orrekim
- Walk over to Sam’s Tours for breakfast
- Dive 1 – Blue Corner
- Lunch and snorkeling
- Dive 2 – Turtle Cove
- Dive 3 – Chandelier Cave
- Dive 4 – Sam’s Tours Micro Wall
- Pick up laundry
- Dinner at Longshoremen
- Walk to Sea Passion
- Walk to Palau Royal Resort for dessert
Check out the Next Day
Keep reading to find out how the rest of the Palau trip went: Day 71 – Palau – Ending With A Big Scrape.
Curious what else I did on my trip to Asia? See the full itinerary and all 89 days.