The first order of business this morning was making sure we were able to check out of the Carolines and secure better accommodations. Especially since we woke up with a new spate of bug bites all over the parts of our bodies that touched the sheets. Wayne found and killed a bug in the bed. He thinks it was fleas. I think I am dousing the luggage with anti bed bug juice when we get home, and washing all our clothes in hot water. Thank goodness we didn’t really unpack our bags.
Blessedly, the staff at Fish ’n Fins responded to my voice mail as soon as they were in, and we had reservations secured at the Sea Passion before 8:30 am. Our bags were packed and ready to go, and we checked out following breakfast. We had another divemaster join us, Loreen, who regaled us of tales from the 2d ID. She was a 75B, so she immediately won my allegiance, as my 75B when I was a company commander was the sizzle fashizzle.
Although the breakfasts were good, they have been somewhat small for diving days. I think we are in calorie deficit right now despite all our best efforts at the Taj last night. And the bentos that are made by the staff at FnF. I am planning on trying a different bento each day in order to figure out which I like the best!
I really am quite impressed with this dive operation. Can’t wait to see the liveaboards when they are back in, which should be this Saturday.
Our first dive today (997!) was Big Drop Off. We found two of the pipefish that inhabit the red wire coral, but alas, no longnose hawkfish. Those guys have been in short supply over the past year, I am hoping they were not wiped out by Bopha several years ago. Given the amount of destruction inflicted upon Peleliu, I can only imagine that it is possible. We also saw a turtle with a very healthy shell, dozens of rainbow runners, blue and gold fusiliers, and a few square spot anthias. Nice drift along the wall once we turned around. I really think Wayne and I could become Palau Ping Pong Dive Instructors at this point.
Our second dive was at Ngerchong Outside. I had never been there before. Speaking to the damage Bopha wreaked on Peleliu’s eastern shores, Ngerchong suffered a similar fate. The dive took us out on a wild ride in the deep blue, where we encountered a few grey reef sharks, and an eagle ray just begging to be photographed. There was enough out in the blue to make you forget the condition of the reef behind you. A very enjoyable dive, and the ride in the current was quick and fun.
Two of our fellow divers were interested in a third tank, but we needed to make sure we were checked in at the Sea Passion, so we passed until tomorrow. But there will be three dives tomorrow, and very possibly on Thursday. Lupin, the dive cat, agrees with that assessment, provided we furnish her sashimi.
We got to the Sea Passion, and were checked into a Deluxe Ocean View room on the newly renovated second floor. I have to remember to ask for room 201 in the future - laminate flooring, an organized, efficient bathroom, and a desk! Of course, the wifi from 3G plus was not working, but they now have an internet lounge. You hand them your device, they enter the password, and it’s smooth (albeit slow) sailing from there. It’s frustrating to not have the better, faster 3G Plus wifi network, but it’s a Taiwanese satellite issue. C’est la vie.
We went to the Fuji restaurant for dinner, first time for me, because the Japanese restaurant under Sam’s was closed. It was completely empty when we entered, but shortly afterwards a group of 35 came in (Japanese students) and the joint was hopping. The sashimi was absolutely wonderful, fresh, and tasty. And the service, despite the large group, was great. A place to come again.