Trip Report Palau trip report late May/early June 2022

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OP
cozcharlie

cozcharlie

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Honestly I am not the best judge of bleaching (I am more focused on the fish than the coral ). Overall I would say things were quite healthy. The plateaus on top of the high current areas like blue corner and Peliliu express/corner are not that great but they have never been that great (think the current blasting away at the plateaus isn’t that great for corals) The walls on the sides all look healthy. The walls on Peleliu looked fine. I think I had seen a blurb somewhere where some marine biologists were studying Palau because it has been able to recover from bleaching better than other areas.

Bottom line is I thought the corals were similar to prior trips (maybe slightly healthier ), for my friends from Cozumel who hadn’t been to Palau before the corals knocked their socks off. Ulong channel was probably their favorite
Great write-up Charlie,

How were the corals looking, generally speaking? My last trip to Palau was a couple of years after your first, and was during a warming cycle, so there was a lot of bleaching at the time, particularly at the wall at Peleliu. I've heard they've recovered pretty well over the past couple of warming cycles, but curious what someone who's been going since the early 2000s thinks.

I'm dying to get back out there!
 

poseident

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DrRich2:

When I started going to Palau (first trip was '95), reef hooks were all the rage at Blue Corner, but seldom used on any other site. Over the next 10 years, I saw them used less overall...meaning not every diver at Blue Corner was hooked in....but people were using them occasionally at other sites where it made sense, like in the German Channel or Uulong Channel. They work well there and Blue Corner because of three factors: Stiff Current, you're "on top" of the reef (or bottom), and there's a reason to stay put. Most of the diving in Palau is (or at least was) drifting along the walls, where hooking in doesn't work very well and tends to make you just bash into the pretty things you are there to appreciate.

I don't think I used mine the last few times at Blue Corner. The area where people usually hook in (towards the end where the barracuda tend to school) was getting pretty stripped of coral and there were plenty of "finger holes" to keep yourself stationary for a bit until time to do the final drift.

If you're there for photography or video, hooking in for long periods of time would make a lot of sense. I wasn't, so it was usually a "few minutes of my Blue Corner" dive thing.
 

poseident

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149
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Location
Charlotte, NC
# of dives
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Honestly I am not the best judge of bleaching (I am more focused on the fish than the coral ). Overall I would say things were quite healthy. The plateaus on top of the high current areas like blue corner and Peliliu express/corner are not that great but they have never been that great (think the current blasting away at the plateaus isn’t that great for corals) The walls on the sides all look healthy. The walls on Peleliu looked fine. I think I had seen a blurb somewhere where some marine biologists were studying Palau because it has been able to recover from bleaching better than other areas.

Bottom line is I thought the corals were similar to prior trips (maybe slightly healthier ), for my friends from Cozumel who hadn’t been to Palau before the corals knocked their socks off. Ulong channel was probably their favorite
That's great to hear, thank you. And I'll add a vote for Ulong. It's definitely a favorite of mine!
 

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