Today we awoke to beautiful blue skies, and we were happy about that!
We wound up diving with a new divemaster today, Matsuo, who is perhaps the longest standing dive guide at Sam’s. It felt a little stilted today, and frustrating. We were a large group, in a new boat. We were fortunate to have Matsu realize that we didn’t need a checkout dive, which it seemed where we were likely headed.
Our first dive was at Ulong Channel. Unlike most other times, there was no current there this morning, so we swam well past the entry into the channel attempting to find sharks. There were none, but we spent over 30 minutes trying to find them, so we just swam a little bit into the channel, not even 1/4 of the way, and then we were chasing some sort of yellow boxfish, to no avail.
Then it was back to Blue Corner - truly the signature dive here in Palau, and worthy of multiple visits per trip. There was no current here today, so we traversed the entire corner, and didn’t hook in. There was not a lot of big life, but the Napoleon wrasses were just as friendly as yesterday, and Matsu found a giant moray, so I smiled and took more pictures. The turtles shells here are all looking wonderfully clean, even with all the typhoons hitting. It’s wonderful to see them so healthy, as opposed to all of ours on Oahu that have FP tumors. We wound up going to a side of the corner we typically do not see, and it reminded me of Kosrae. Nice location.
For our final dive, we returned to the Teshio Maru, where 8 years before we took our engagement photos. Sadly, the tower where we took the photos suffered from storms and fell, but, for the first time today, I appreciated Matsu keeping us close at hand as he led us through some very narrow swim thrus in the ship.
Dinner was at Kramer’s - where, although I was sorely tempted by a bacon burger with blue cheese, I ate a cajun chicken sandwich. We met a Danish gentleman who was without a valid passport, and we listened to his tale of woe about being stuck in Palau because the airlines failed to point out that he had did not have six months remaining on his passport. Ah well, to be forced to stay and dive in Palau and take photographs while waiting on the Danish embassy in the Philippines to renew my passport would not kill me...yet.
We left and a downpour started, so we searched in a local store for a thermos for warm drinks between dives. The rain stayed away long enough for us to make it home before another torrent began. Very lucky.