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Diving Palau From the Luxurious Black Pearl Day 5


Diving Palau From the Luxurious Black Pearl Day 5

Day 5 of my Palau Diving Adventure onboard the Black Pearl: Blue Corner, Virgin Blue Hole, Ulong Channel, Jellyfish Lake.

Day 5 was going to be a busy day with three action-packed dives planned and a visit to the jellyfish lake.

First up was a return to Blue Corner. This is one of those dive sites where you can dive repeatedly, and each time, it will be different. We had a mid-strength current on this occasion, so on arrival at the plateau, we hooked onto the reef and waited for the show to start. It did not take long.

Day 6 | Day 4 | Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1

Diving Palau From the Luxurious Black Pearl Day 5

Along with the jacks, barracuda and snapper schools, we witnessed some interesting animal behaviour. First, a large Napoleon wrasse took exception to a grey reef shark getting too close and harried the shark out of the area. Then later in the dive, two marble groupers had a stand-off, presumably over territory. The action kept coming for the entire dive, with plenty of sharks, turtles and schooling fish smothering the reef.

Dive Two was at a site called Virgin Blue Hole. A smallish hole on the top of the reef led to a wide tunnel that exited on the reef wall. This dive site offered a topography of ridges and canyons, swim throughs and small caves, all decorated with hard corals of every description. About halfway through the dive, and school of Bump head parrot fish hurried by, and plenty of small reef fish hid in the labyrinth of corals.

Diving Palau From the Luxurious Black Pearl Day 5

After lunch, the Black Pearl relocated close to the jellyfish lake on Eli Malk's island. The lake was once full of millions of Golden Jelly Fish. Unfortunately, numbers have declined in recent years, and almost none are left.

The good news is the numbers seem to be on the rise again. The lake is about a ten-minute hike over a rainforest-covered ridge. No diving is allowed, only snorkelling. The recovering population of jellies seems to hang out in the middle of the lake, and I did manage to see one of these harmless creatures, but I spent most of my time around the mangroves on the lake's edge. There is a thriving ecosystem of colourful sponges, cardinal fish, anemones and other little critters.

Diving Palau From the Luxurious Black Pearl Day 5

The final dive of the day was at Ulong Channel. This is another of Palau's signature dive sites, and it did not disappoint. A sloping plateau drops to around 17 meters, then a wall drops into the depths. After careful placing our reef hooks, we enjoyed a procession of grey reef and Blacktip Reef sharks going by.

Also, at the drop-off were schools of fusiliers, Big eyed trevallies, barracuda and batfish. Plus, an eagle ray flies by. After watching this show for around 20 minutes, we made our way to a channel that cuts through the reef. The channel is about 10 meters deep and is flanked by impress walls of hard coral; about halfway along this gouge in the reef is a colossal Cabbage coral. Apparently, it is the second largest in the world.

Diving Palau From the Luxurious Black Pearl Day 5

This was another day of excellent diving, and even though there were hardly any jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake I really enjoyed snorkelling around the mangroves.

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Picture of Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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