December 28, 2003 - December 29, 2003 - December 30, 2003 - January 1, 2004 - January 2, 2004

December 31, 2003: Palau - Big Blue Explorer

A D2D New Years 2004: Palau dive
"Peleliu Wall" - "Peleliu Express" - "White Beach Corner" - "German Channel"

The halarity of the group I dive with never seems to surprise me. Even the newer folks to the group tend to have a twisted sense of humor ...
Diving from the Big Blue into the Big Blue:
  • Directions from Tampa: Get ahold of Ultimate Dive Travel ( or someone else who can book you passage.
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Good enough for New Years.

  • Personal Notes: A portion of this day was spent on the island of Peleliu, the site of a bloody World War II battle. If memory serves, somewhere around 20,000 Japanese, effectively told "Your position is not strategic, but the Americans are coming anyway, so don't surrender and kill as many as possible." From what I recall, Nimitz said "We don't need to take that island." Halsey and McAurthur disagreed. 3,000 Americans lost their lives in a battle that was to take 3 days, but raged on for over 2 months.

    However, Peleliu also has some kicking diving. The BBE doesn't anchor here yet either - they "idle", which can make getting onto the skiffs a little tricky.

    For the New Years Eve Dive, we were back a German Channel. A new member of our community of divers, Bill, has a tattoo of a Viking on his chest that resembles him a bit - Bill says he has Viking blood in him, and after dinner inducted all of the guys into the brotherhood! I am Eric the Red!

    As part of the initiation Bill showed up with a bunch of plastic Viking hats (horns and all, which brought about questions of "How did you get these through customs!?). They were properly modified (air holes cut in the horns) and we dove in them. Unfortunately, sometime during the night I lost track of mine. :(


Peleliu Wall
Again, not sure what this is - either a soft coral, or some kind of basket star. It was, however, *bright* yellow.
German Channel
When telling us how to get to where we were going to ring in the New Year, they told us "Do you remember the brain coral? Hang a left at the brain coral." Nobody remembered the brain coral but there it was.
Not sure what lives in this shell but it was cool looking so I got a picture of it.
Some kind of star.
Plurobranch are a relative of nudibranch. However, this one reaches eight inches across (at least).
And there was another not too far away.

Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
236 Peleliu Wall 85 feet 51 min. 82 F
237 Peleliu Express 98 feet 48 min. 84 F
238 White Beach Corner 70 feet 53 min. 84 F
239 German Channel 69 feet 37 min. 82 F
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