Joedyn’s older son, Fonzie, was sick this morning, so he was not able to make it out to Peleliu with us this morning. Instead, we were with Bernard, who led dives on Peleliu for about 8 years before coming to Sam’s.
The ride out was the smoothest I have ever had, we were there in about an hour and 10 minutes rather than 1 1/2 hours. And it was sunny!
Our first dive was supposed to be Peleliu Wall to Cut, unfortunately, the current was against us, so we turned around and drifted along the wall almost to Orange Beach. At the very beginning, I was looking for long nosed hawkfish, but found a pipefish instead. It was neat to be able to find it, but boy did I miss using my camera.
All along the way, we were followed by bumphead parrotfish that were hunting and feeding. They were interesting, and apparently interested in us!
Dive two was supposed to be the Peleliu Express, taking it down to the corner. Unfortunately, we worked against the current the entire time, and the dive was extremely depressing, despite being my 950th. There were two sections in the reef that were totally torn out, and the soft corals were stripped away. I cried to myself, inside. The effect of Typhoon Bopha was an absolute devastation of the eastern side of the island, to include the reef below the surface. There is some life coming back, but I think it will be 5-10 years before the east wall is really diveable again.
Our final dive was Orange Beach. At last a dive site with a lot of coral and life again! It was nice to see, especially after the second dive. We had a gentle current drift dive, we saw giant clams and a very small anemonefish, and finished up with, if not a good feeling, at least a better one.
We were back early, and went to Mog Mog for dinner after a little rest. It’s an interesting local/Japanese/seafood restaurant, and we had some excellent clams, tempura, grilled calamari, and garlic shrimp. All quite excellent. The staff was one that was more attentive to male guests than female, so I had to flag people down to get service for me. Oh well. The food was great, and we will be back some day! A good way to end a fairly sad day.