Palau - May 5 to May 12

We left Chuuk via the Chuuk international Airport. ttop1.jpg (65342 bytes) This airport is supported by the US marines as can be seen by the hardware present. ttop2.jpg (28270 bytes)  ttop3.jpg (63285 bytes)One of those F-18's gave us a good show earlier in the week and some of the marines stopped by for a tour of the Odyssey.  Seems they were "stuck" there waiting parts which would take at least a week to arrive.  Tough duty!

We started our diving in Palau on Sunday, 5/6/01, and although there are a lot of WWII wrecks in Palau we focused mostly on the reef diving with its incredible array of marine life.  Our lunches were hot and served usually on a pristine beach but the fare was Asian with lots of rice.  However, good old western style sandwiches was available.  I stuck with the rice and chopsticks fare.  One of the islands where we lunched PalauLunch2.jpg (40892 bytes)at was named two dog island PalauLunch1.jpg (59158 bytes)but this year it was down to one dog and judging by the condition of that dog it will probably be no dog island by next year! PalauLunch3.jpg (41681 bytes)

The reef diving was great and some of the best pictures are on the video that Bill and I shot on Friday.  Here are a couple of thumbnails you can click on to get the flavor: PalauReef1.jpg (20156 bytes) PalauReef2.jpg (45594 bytes) PalauReef3.jpg (45691 bytes) PalauReef4.jpg (39486 bytes) PalauReef5.jpg (21583 bytes) PalauReef6.jpg (63916 bytes) PalauReef9.jpg (35941 bytes)  And here is a sleeping shark that I cruised by PalauReef7.jpg (18900 bytes) while Bill K directed the shark traffic!PalauReef10.jpg (12333 bytes)

Another interesting spot was Chandelier Cavern. chandelier1.jpg (21738 bytes)  I guess it qualifies as a cavern since one can still see light from the entrance - barely! Here is the entrance to the cavern chandelier3.jpg (23238 bytes)

There were four caverns that you can surface in and since we were at low tide no danger of banging your head! chandelier4.jpg (54823 bytes)

We visited Jellyfish Lake which is a landlocked sea where only the jellyfish live.  Paul had been there before so he went fishing instead jellyfish2.jpg (19690 bytes)  I checked out what he was fishing for - jellyfish3.jpg (30363 bytes) no sharks! 

Yes, it does rain in Palau but only occasionally and who cares when you have delightful friends like this monkey at Fish & Fins! jellyfish4.jpg (28758 bytes)  Linda was especially fond of this little fella- NOT:)

By the end of the week our dive computers said we had better not dive on Saturday our flight day, so we took a land tour with Fish & Fins.  Yes, they do that as well, but I think their boats are better maintained than the 4 wd they rented for the tour!  The drive shaft fell out before we even got out of town.  No problem as Lenny took his personnel car and we were on our way.  

The bad news was it rained but the good news was we had 4wd, however, we did manage to get sideways on the greasy clay road on the way back. PalauLand15.jpg (55726 bytes) They are doing road "improvements" and in two years have made little visible progress.  Not sure why they are bothering but I guess it provides employment and they are finding lots of WWII ordinance in the process. PalauLand5.jpg (35523 bytes) PalauLand6.jpg (72224 bytes)

Lenny, our guide did think the bridge might get done however. PalauLand7.jpg (52133 bytes)

Yes, we did reach our objective (see map) of the water falls but with the rain the snorkels were a bit of an overkill.  For some reason I don't have any pictures but I managed to get a colorful ding on my shin playing around in the falls.

Lots of evidence of WWII -->

PalauLand11.jpg (21166 bytes) PalauLand4.jpg (69036 bytes) PalauLand12.jpg (62646 bytes)

But there was a time before when Palau was unknown to most of the world and sad to say we can't go back!

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But at least some of the early history is preserved.