Today, back at home in Burien, I was going through all of the photos and videos from our Palau trip and wanted to share some of our scuba diving pictures and video. Just because you are diving doesn’t mean you can’t include some yoga. I think I may have invented Scuba Yoga as a new sport…
Palau has many different types of dives to choose ranging from novice to advanced diving. Many of the dive maps of Palau on the web are not very detailed, but I though this one was really good: Dive Map. There are also many books available to learn about the dive sites, such as Palau and videos such as Dive Travel Palau.
Most curated lists of the best recreational diving available on the internet list at least one site in Palau. For example, CNN’s 50 best dive sites has Palau in the fourth slot for the Blue Corner.
4. Blue Corner Wall, Palau, Micronesia
This spot is what screensavers are made of; and in reality a swim here does actually feel like you’re in a computer game. Reef sharks will hover above you as schools of bigeye jacks work their way through the strong current.
Below you’ll find a sizable colony of soft coral and gorgonian sea whips growing in a canyon — there’s a good chance you’ll see spotted eagle rays, huge tuna, snapper, wrasse and bass and even hawks bill and green turtles too.
The electric blue red-toothed triggerfish can reach up to half a meter in size in this spot, while the pyramid butterfly fish, with their yellow outer bodies and white bellies, gather in their hundreds.
Depth: 8-30 meters.
Visibility: Up to 40 meters.
Location: One hour from Koror by boat.
On our first day of diving, we dove Peleliu Cut and Wall. The next day we dove Peleliu Express which had pretty daunting currents and a lot of different sharks. Palau is a shark sanctuary and has 17 different species of sharks and 10 species of rays. We only saw 3 different species of sharks: white tip reef sharks, gray reef sharks, and a thresher shark (which was totally amazing to see – our grainy photo is further down in the article) and one species of ray.
In between dives, we were taking a break and I started to teach fellow diver Kiyomi Shimada a few yoga poses. It felt so good to stretch after removing all of the cumbersome dive equipment. Considering it was her first time doing yoga, I think she did an amazing job!
That afternoon we dove Orange Beach, which was one of the main landing sites for American forces during the Battle of Peleliu during WWII. The diversity of coral was astounding. Palau has over 400 species of hard corals and 150 species of soft corals in its waters. They also have 4 species of turtles, 2 species of sea snake, 11 species of dolphins and 15 species of whales have been sighted. The diversity we saw in every dive was just amazing!
The next day we did a land tour of the WWII sites, which I will save for another post, and the following day we dove Blue Hole and Blue Corner.
The Blue Hole is where I took some time to work on my scuba yoga. If it weren’t for the bad hair day, these pics would be awesome! Maintaining any type of alignment underwater is extremely challenging because I would just start to float with the current.
We also saw the thresher shark at 100ft. During the Blue Corner dive, we saw an amazing number of reef sharks and large schools (more like moving walls) of barracuda and other species.
The last day of diving was a very full day. Two dives at German Channel and Clam City followed by snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake and a dip in the Milky Way.
The German Channel is known for the manta rays, and we were able to see three lone rays swimming around even though the visibility was terrible. There was so much particulate matter in the water and so little current that I felt like I was swimming in soup.
Clam City is also a well known as a snorkeling destination, and we were excited to get to dive it to get close to the beautiful Giant Tridacnas Clams. These clams were brought to Mecherchar Island for protection against poachers and they are located across the coral slopes and sandy bottom on the south side of the island. Some of the clams weigh as much as 250 lb. and are estimated to be over 100 years old. The clams synthesize solar energy through small “black-eye” pores located on their mantle. A diver, snorkeler or other object blocking the sunlight will cause the clam to close, sometimes very quickly.
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I also got to get up close to a cuttlefish! It was so cool! I hoped it would swim so I could watch it move, but it was determined to stay where it was.
We moved on to Jellyfish Lake late in the afternoon. By this time, very little sunlight was directly on the lake due to the high cliffs around it. The lake is a saltwater lake that is essentially cut off from the surrounding water sources. The species have evolved separately. The golden jellyfish are quite abundant and the strength of their stings has been greatly reduced to not be much of a concern. Even with the limited sunlight on the water, which is where the jellyfish like to congregate, we were still able to jump in and swim with the little creatures.
The last stop on our diving adventures was the Milky Way. A natural mudbath is a must-do on any visitor’s list. The white limestone mud on the floor bed is known for therapeutic and anti-aging properties. The water is only about 10 feet deep and you just dive down to get a bucket full of mud to wash your skin with. The water color of this area is absolutely unreal.
Steve and I hoped in get in some night dives while we were there, but was unable to get any scheduled during our stay. We are already fantasizing about going back and spending a month in Palau so that we can hit all of the dive sites we missed. Perhaps by that time, I can perfect the art of scuba yoga and be able to complete a whole sequence on film!
P.S. My husband Steve would like me to point out that he took many of these photos! 📸