Sunday, September 16, 2007

Discover Palau’s under water wonders this summer

Tourists from all over the world troop to Palau for its famous diving spots and spectacular sites for diving or snorkeling, yet a lot of locals don’t take the chance to explore the whole new wonderful world beneath the surface of the sea seriously.
If you’re one of these, it’s time to take some time off and get a feel of what tourists from all over the world came here for- Palau’s super-abundance and diversity of coral life renowned for having no parallel anywhere else on earth.

Palau has world-class dive spots but for the non-divers, snorkeling is the next choice. It provides one a chance to see an explosion of spectacular underwater wonders. When you don on a life vest, put on a protective face mask and dip your head below the surface of the water, WHEW! With the flick of a finger you’ll see a stunning world of brilliantly colored fish of all shapes and sizes as they swim amidst a spread of coral gardens.

Last Saturday I went with a group of divers to the dive sites in Ngemelis Island. When the boat tied its anchor to a floating bouy, I gazed at the crystal-clear bottom of the sea near the New Drop Off, which I estimated to be about seven feet deep and voiced out loud.
“Are they going to dive here? But it’s too shallow!” I commented to Malsol, the boat operator. Malsol’s laugh rumbled as he said that it’s not that shallow but I didn’t believe him because I can see right into the bottom. He proved me wrong. When I dipped my head underwater I saw that the bottom was way, way down some 15 feet below and a few meters away. It was a palace down there! It felt like swimming in an aquarium and have fish swim all over and around you!

For first timers, snorkeling over vertical walls that descend to depths of over a thousand feet like the Big Drop Off, still in Ngemelis Island, is an unforgettable experience. Palau has been blessed with so many wonderful sites that it would be a shame to live here and not to explore it.

It’s summer! Take time off and shrug the “we’re just here anyway and the sea won’t run away” attitude, and hurry on to discover the wonders underneath the sea. You won’t know what you’re missing until you’re there!
Fish n’ Fins offers diving courses for locals and kids this summer. Grab this chance now. You can also check other dive tour operators for access to these wonderful discoveries- right under the tip of our noses.

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