Can I get four more?

We headed out early again this  morning for three tanks.  Today we were joined by Martin, the duly proclaimed “Mayor” since he has been here 7 times in the last 6 years, and has accrued over 300 dives in Palau.  Not hard when you stay here four weeks at a clip!

Our first dive was Virgin Blue Corner, whose exit is at about 103 feet.  Not a lot of life within, but the cathedral effects are stunning.  We drifted to the right after exiting, the opposite direction that we took when Dexter was our guide.  A very pleasant drift for an hour along a busy wall.

Then it was Blue Corner for a third dive.  It was amazing.  We came up the incoming side, and there were some aggressively circling sharks.  It turns out they were attacking and killing a smaller shark - Joedyn seems to think there was something already wrong with it.  The natural circle of life.

We then hooked in and watched the show, which was very active.  Jacks, sharks, barracuda, snapper.  Three very attentive Napoleon wrasse.  And we migrated over to the outgoing side, where Joedyn was searching in the distance for the chevron barracuda. I am proud to say that I am the one who spotted them, and I got a big “OK” from Joedyn as we swam out.

Dive three was Barnum’s Wall.  Pleasant, quiet, and I finally saw a hawkfish in the coral.  Quite a few honu, too!  We were joking with Joedyn about getting  a ping pong specialty during the dive briefing, as the currents have been so variable during the dives on this trip.

After a scenic ride home through the Rock Islands, we geared up for dive four.  I went through five tanks before we got an 80 with a DIN for me.  That, and we had to replace my air pressure gauge, which cracked after 10 years of use (bought it here at Sam’s when my Vytec transmitter died years ago).  Oh well.  Down to Sam’s Wall we went, and we saw tons and tons of mandarin fish, and even a few successful matings.  We ascended after a little over an hour as it really started to darken.  I guess that marks the last muck dive of the trip!

I would have inserted a picture of the mandarin fish here, but there has been a challenge with this web design program.  I’m definitely noticing some serious limitations here with regards to iWeb. I have taken quite a number of photos, and not all of them are showing up in the media bar.  And the pages aren’t very fun, and inserting a new style for each trip is painful, so everything stays the same.  Plus, you can’t create templates that copy over to the headings/footers of every page.

Looks like I really need to be serious about watching Don’s lesson on migrating from iWeb when I get home.

Dinner tonight was the two of us solo at the Taj, where I had their incomparable chilli crab.  It was magnificent, and the largest medium order of mangrove crab I have ever had!  They brought out appropriately sized bibs to wear for me as well, so I didn’t ruin my shirt this time.  =]

Alas, only one more trip to the Taj this time, but we are thinking about December.

Napoleon at Blue Corner