Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Episode 27 Palau Part 4

Lorelei’s Sailing Adventures

Welcome to Episode 27


PALAU - Part 4


At the end of Episode 26 we had just had 10 fantastic days exploring and diving the Southern Rock Islands.
The Diving had been fantastic but our 10 day permit had expired and so we had returned to Malakal Harbour.

Malakal Harbour 

Well it was back to Malakal Harbour again – hot, zero wind and lots of Mossies – Not fun!! We were a sweaty mess again for another 4 days.

One night we went out for dinner with Pete and Daria from Downtime to say farewell to Daria. She was heading back home to Russia that evening.

We also were invited to a farewell lunch at the Taj Indian Restaurant for Lis who was returning to Australia after her AVI contract had finished.
For the small Aussie community in Palau it was sad to see her leave.

Lisa (who had been studying for 2 weeks) sat and passed her HAM exams, giving her a HAM Radio operators license. Selina off Westward 2 and Peter off Kokomo also sat and passed their exams.
(Dave off Limelight – you would be proud…..)

Our last time in Malakal we did a lot of online ordering and this time we were able to go to the Post Office and get our parcels – and there were a lot. It was like Christmas on Lorelei.

We had placed a large order with US online marine store Defender for some much needed parts and spares for Lorelei. Some we installed straight away and some are for the slipping/maintenance time in the Philippines.

When we were ordering online we were on Ebay we managed to find an underwater camera system identical to Pauls. We couldn’t believe it as the Nikon DSLR used is not an overly common one to put into a housing. It had exactly the same housing, dome and lens ports but no lenses and only 1 strobe. We already had the exact lens required and another strobe would be an easy add on. The price was right so we made the only bid and won.

Lisa made contact with the owner who turned out to be a friendly and very helpful lady in the US and she kindly sent it well packaged to Palau for us.

It is in perfect condition and Lisa is very happy. It has been nick-named Tiffany after the original owner. Lisa brought a 60mm Macro set-up as well and took Paul’s 12-24mm Nikon wide angle lens. Paul swapped to a Tokina 10-17mm wide angle and also has a 60mm macro so we both can now do either wide angle or macro at the same time. All that is left is to get Lisa a second DS161 strobe and she is thinking of a 105mm macro lens too.

Once Lisa is up to speed, we will have all bases covered for an average dive. Paul will mainly do the wide angle and Lisa will concentrate on the macro on the same dive. Perfect…
The only downside now is for Paul who already spends hours each week sorting through the 100’s of photos and editing the better ones. His work load is now about to double…. 

Also our new alternators had arrived – well sort-off….

We blew up another when we first arrived in Palau (no. 4 since leaving Australia…) and Jim the local marine guru ordered two more. The post office dropped the first ones breaking one casing and damaging the other so he ordered 2 more. They turned up 2 weeks later and were the wrong ones. He then ordered 2 more and they showed up but where still not the same serial no. but Jim said they would work. So he bolted 1 in but we were not so confident…

Before we left for the southern Rock Islands, we went for a dusk/night dive over near the Chandelier Cave and only 50m from Lorelei’s mooring. We just wanted to check Lisa’s new camera all worked OK.

Here’s the results of her first time with it.

We saw some Mandarin Fish but they were not nearly as friendly as the ones in Yap


This was a large Decorator Crab about 15cm (6”) across.
We nearly swam over it until it started walking.
Its legs looked like someone had threaded square tiles of coral onto pieces of string. Very Weird…




Double Decker Crabs!

South to Quiet Time

After 4 days in the hot harbour we had refuelled and re-provisioned so we took off to a little anchorage called Quiet Time that was very close to a series of wrecks we wanted to dive.
It is away from the tourist route to the Rock Islands so we had the place all to ourselves.

The 1st dive we did was the Iro Maru. We had dived it once before but the viz was not so good and we wanted to try again with just the 2 of us on the wreck so we could get closer to the spiralling Trevally (Jacks) that live on the wreck.  Paul took his new Tokina 10-17mm wide angle lens for the 1st time to try.

A 3D image of what the Iro Maru looks like on the sea floor

The Iro Maru on fire in 1944 after being torpedoed




Above and Below - Notice Lisa high up on the masts 


Lisa with her new camera “Tiffany” set up with 60mm macro


Lisa found this little fish on the mooring line during our deco stop

The second dive was the Sata Maru which is the sister ship to the Iro and less than ½ mile from the Iro wreck. The only issue with the Sata is that it is completely upside down and deeper. There is no buoy on the wreck and it is rarely dived. We managed to get a GPS co-ordinate and put the RIB’s sounder over it confirming the location. It was the first wreck we have had to anchor on in Palau.
Being completely inverted, penetration was impossible unless you go in through the 2 bomb/torpedo blast holes in the side of the hulls. The issue though is it’s a twisted mess inside and quite silty and dangerous. We had a quick look in one hold and the engine room but elected to go no further. 

sata maru

There is some amazing coral growth on the top of the wreck


Lisa and the massive propeller

The huge crank shaft inside the engine room

In between dives we paddled and explored the anchorage. It had loads of amazing sea caves all around the shoreline. Some were big enough to paddle into and explore the multiple entry/exits.









Back to #@$&!*ng Malakal Harbour

When we went to move anchorages in Lorelei, we got 15 minutes out and smelt an acrid smell and opened the engine room to find our new alternator glowing red hot and smoke pouring out. It was toast and had lasted less than 1 hour. We were not impressed. We called Jim and 1 hour later we were back in Malakal with him trying to work out the problem. We were so frustrated, so we put the old casing back in (which also didn’t work but at least we could still motor) and gave him back the 2 incorrect ones.

When we arrived in the harbour there was Downtime on the mooring next to us. Pete’s crew member Maya had returned after a 4 week super yacht delivery from Palau to the Philippines. They were supposed to be in the Rock Islands and we were heading south to meet them before the alternator issue.
As it turns out Pete had injector issues on both engines and was also trying to fix the problem.

The weather was perfect and every yacht had left except us 2. It was pretty funny really, the 2 biggest cruising yachts in Palau were broken down in the Harbour while everyone else was out and having fun.
Pete managed to swap some injectors over to get one engine going.

While Pete was having injector fun and games we loaded up our RIB, grabbed Maya (who is a Dive Master and a very competent diver) and went out to dive the Teshio Maru in the perfect flat glassy conditions. The Teshio was a Japanese Army Cargo Ship that was 98m/321ft long. The wreck is in a out-of-the-way location and over 7nm from Malakal. The upside is it has the best viz of any wreck in Palau.

We managed to find the mooring and it was a sensational dive and certainly Paul’s favourite in Palau. Being almost completely intact and on its starboard side in only 21m/70ft max. depth, it made for a fun long dive.


Maya going down the mooring line to the wreck



Lisa with the large bow gun

The massive anchor winch on the bow



One of the large deck/cargo winches


Super glassy flat – amazing considering the remote location…

Ulong Islands

Both boats took off the next day (Downtime with one motor and Lorelei with no engine charging) to head down to Swiftlet’s anchorage at the Ulong Islands and Ulong Channel.

Lorelei crossing the super shallow bar into Swiftlet’s Lagoon

Downtime arriving a few minutes later 

Paul was taking photos of the birds in the anchorage and somehow got this wacky photo. It looks like the bird is caught in a tractor beam…

That evening we had a Mexican dinner party on Downtime. We were the only 2 boats in the area so we broke out the grog, cranked up the music and by 10pm were all completely plastered and dancing around Downtime’s front deck like crazy drunken idiots.
It was our way of putting our boat dramas behind us for a while…

Our engine issues didn’t stop us from diving though (but the alcohol did for a day…) and the glassy conditions allowed us to travel long distances to dive the outer dive sites easily and safely.

On the morning of the New Moon we went to Shark City to see the fish spawning. We didn’t really know the spawning time but took a hunch that it would be at the tide turn at 5:30am. So we left at 4:30am and ventured the 6nm but it didn’t happen. Oh well – it was a fun dive anyway and we got to see some big Barracuda schools off the wall in the deep water. 



After Shark City Paul decided to pack his camera away and concentrate on helping Lisa with her underwater photography.
While she is not shooting full manual yet, she is using aperture priority and getting used to the other functions.
She took one of Paul’s strobes so she had a twin set-up.

Most nights we would get together and share a meal, alternating between the 2 boats. The themes were fun - Mexican, Japanese and Italian just to name a few.

Pizza night on Downtime. We all made a different one each…

The deepest dives we did in Palau was Siaes Tunnel, Corner and Wall which are over 5nm from the Ulong Islands.

All 3 sites are close together but the tunnel was the best. The tunnel entrance roof started at 30m/100ft and the floor went  from 42m/140ft to well over 50m/165ft deep. The currents push nutrients through the cave system feeding the many large gorgonian fans on the cave floor. There are schooling Trevally and mangrove Jack inside, large Grouper (we saw one over 600lb) and Sharks cruising around too. It was a terrific dive and topped off by the amazing macro life on the gorgonian fans. They are beyond sport diving depths and with the Palau diving operators strictly enforcing the 39m/130ft maximum dive depth, the dive tourists would never get to see them. We felt very privileged.

The amazing Ovulid’s we saw on the fans.
These are Spindle Cowrie’s and are less than 5cm (2 inches) long




A Tassled Scorpionfish


Lisa found this colourful Sea Hare caught up in weed on the mooring line. She managed to untangle it and put it on the reef.
Lisa was happy she had helped it until a large Triggerfish came along and ate it in one gulp….

We dived the cave twice it was so good….











At Siaes Wall, Lisa swapped to wide angle and for the first time and used the 12-24mm Nikon.

Paul having a go with Tiffany and testing the new wide angle set-up.


Schooling Rainbow Runners

Late one afternoon we went out and dived the deeper entrance to Ulong Channel right on the top of the tide when the current was static. The coral and fish life was amazing.

Emperor Shrimp Lisa found on the Leopard Sea Cucumbers


Garden Eels



Goby and Shrimp

The 11 Islands


From Ulong we ventured south to our favourite anchorage, The 11 Islands.
The sunrises and sunsets from here are magic.

A 6am sunrise
Above and below - Sunsets


The 11 Islands are also an unusual place to go wakeboarding. It gave a nice backdrop to the photos….





Opps – Lisa falling after not quite landing a jump 

From the 11 Islands we could access German Channel and the dive sites between there and Blue Corner.
We wanted to dive German Channel again a few times but after diving it once more we decided it wasn’t worth it again. It is supposed to be a Manta Hot Spot but we didn’t see any – again.
Pete has dived it 9 times and saw Mantas at a distance once.






Our beautiful beach and surface interval/lunch spot – that was until a very angry and irate Palauan came in a boat and told us to leave immediately.

The outer mooring at New Drop-Off was the only dive site in the area that we hadn’t dived yet. It was OK and a one-time-only.
Paul got to play “Model for Lisa” which is actually harder than it looks.
He will never take Lisa’s underwater modelling skills for granted again…








Malakal Harbour….again

After 10 days our rock island permit had expired so we reluctantly returned to Malakal harbour again to face the terrible heat.
Overall the diving for the last week was good but the viz and fish life was not nearly as good as our last 10 day sortie (see Episode 26).
The above water conditions though were fantastic – although a little too hot and humid.

When we returned we jumped on the net and downloaded a weather map.
With only 2 weeks before we must leave the country, we started looking for a weather window to sail to the Philippines. 

We are where the Red arrow is. Our clearance port in Philippines is in Yellow.

If you can read a weather map you will understand the windless hole we were sitting in. Not a breath of wind and none forecasted for at least 10 days. There were a lot of cruising boats in Palau scratching their heads about what to do. 600nm is a long way to motor….

So we could do the only thing to do in the hot, glassy flat and windless conditions – GO WAKEBOARDING!!!

Each arvo we would load up Super Dink, head up past M Dock and into Nikko Bay. Pete and Paul wanted to take their riding to the next level and with nobody around, just practiced and practiced new manoeuvres and riding techniques. They would even ride whole sessions switch (right foot forward instead of their normal left foot forward). But if you don’t stack it you are not trying hard enough and for a couple of blokes closer to 50 than 40, the stacks certainly took their toll. Sore ear drums, water up the nose that didn’t return for days, sore necks, tweaked backs and the best one – a big gash in Paul’s hand from a fin smashing into it. It should have had stitches but we settled for a couple of Jenny’s
(Off Sharkface) industrial strength adhesive butterfly clips.
Pete spent every second day on the Massage table getting worked on.

But it was awesome fun and at the end we were riding very well and doing some crazy tricks with Paul’s favourite being a blind side 540 handle-pass spin.
The only downside was the water in the bay was over 32c/95F and it was so hot. You couldn’t fall in and cool off!






This shot is part of the sequence below….

Note the starting in switch….


The stacks were sometimes very funny….


A milli-second after this shot, the board smashed into Paul’s left hand causing the large gash. Luckily he had his hand up for protection or it would have hit his head (which happened in the 90’s causing 10 stitches to his forehead and nose and he’s put his hand up ever since…)

At night the temperature was still so hot and muggy. It never got below 34 inside the boat… One night we were up at 2am just resting in the screened-in cockpit trying to escape the heat, so Paul got the camera and took some time exposure shots.

A 13 second exposure with the camera sitting on our BBQ. Sam’s on the left, Carina in the centre and the Palau Siren Dive Live-aboard to the right

Even talking to the locals in town and the cabbies and they were all complaining about the heat. It was however peak summer and the hottest month of the year.


The last chapter in our Alternator Woes Saga
Finally we managed to get a great outcome from our ongoing alternator woes that have plagued us since installing the new engine.
Ironically it was the one single item that David and his team at Baddiley’s Engineering in Brisbane could not do so we outsourced it – twice!
So we were just sick of throwing thousands away on repairing and replacing the existing system which just wasn’t ever going to function properly.
So with the help of Jim the local marine guru, we ripped out the old system, contacted John Deere in the US and brought a new set of brackets to hold a large frame alternator.
We then ordered a new Leece Neville 200amp large frame industrial alternator and some new longer belts.
The frame and alt arrived but the belts didn’t… No dramas - the Dive Liveaboard Palau Aggressor was in port and Jim does all their servicing and knew they had the same engine and alternator as a genset so he went and “borrowed” 2 from them and will replace them if/when ours finally arrive.
Finally we have some decent and reliable charging. It puts out 100amps when just clicked into gear (1000rpm) so it’s great.
We really hope this is the final chapter in our alternator woes.

Jim with the temperature gun checking the operational levels

Out with the old (dead actually) and in with the new.
There is a big difference in size…

To top it all off, Jim managed to source as some much needed Scuba Compressor Spares and 2 new Scuba Tank valves so we were very happy.
Philippines and Indo Diving – bring it on….

Farewell to Downtime

After a week in Malakal Harbour we were ready to leave and so was Downtime.

Pete and Maya were ready but Pete really felt he needed 1 more crew member to assist in getting the very big downtime across to the Philippines. For a week he searched but with no success.
Then it dawned on us (well Lisa actually) that our Aussie friend Nathan (a Sams dive guide and the one who took the aerial photos in our previous Palau blog posts) would be the perfect candidate. Sams had gone quiet as the peak dive season was over so he jumped at the chance. We had a farewell get together at the Drop Off Bar on Wednesday 11th June.

After much consideration we decided to stay until the following Wednesday as there was still no wind but some forecast for mid-week. Pete, Maya and Nath all had flights booked from the Philippines so they had to go but we chose to wait for a bit more wind and less stormy conditions.

Lisa and Sam at Drop Off Bar



On our last weekend we had a few of the ex-pat Aussies onboard Lorelei for a Sunday arvo BBQ. Amanda (Nathan’s wife) and Marc & Shelly.

Going on a Road Trip.

On the Monday Mark took us for a “Road Trip” up north the see the Nation’s Capital. We had never even heard of it but Mark assured us it was a must visit…

We drove nearly an hour north on the Big Island and were basically in the middle of nowhere. We came over a ridge to find this massive complex sitting amongst dense bushland – welcome to Palau’s National Capital.



It was opened by Ronald and Nancy Reagan during their term in the Oval Office.
Sadly now it is a huge “White Elephant”.
The whole complex is basically empty and not being used.
It is just too hard to get to and too far for workers to travel.
That combined with a dodgy Air-Con system that many people got sick from, and all the departments were moved to Koror.
A few officials including the President are trying to revive the Capital but it appears to be a major uphill battle.

We were able to have a walk around the grounds.





 We managed to find an open door into the main foyer of the central building.


Not a soul in sight…..

After leaving the Capital (and just shaking our heads in disbelief…), we went down to a lovely sea-side village and walked out along a pier that had a small channel and right hand surf break off the shallow coral point at the end of the channel. The surfers could simply jump off the break wall and paddle less than 50m to the line-up. Sadly it’s more suited to lids than stand-ups.




As we drove through the state of Airai we visited a large resort to have a look at their Water Park and timber Storyboard in the foyer.



On the way home we stopped and had a look at the new Good-Will Bridge.
The bridge was built by the Japanese for the people of Palau after the old one collapsed and tragically a few people were killed.



Overall we had a fantastic time with Mark and were stoked to get out and about on the land for a change.


At 7am and 7pm daily we talked to Downtime on the HF during their crossing. For them the wind was very light and they basically motor sailed the entire way. Early Tuesday morning we received a crazy story about a chance encounter.
They were over 160nm (that’s around 300klm…) from the PI coastline when a small runabout came up alongside asking to trade a fish for some water.
They ended up trading the fisherman water, OJ, and a pair of sunnies for a large fish and sent him on his way. Amazing!!


By Tuesday the weather forecast had changed again.
We just couldn’t believe it. The storms were still around, the SW wind half way to PI was ugly and we just couldn’t work out what to do.
But with our Visa expiring in just 7 days time, we had to make a decision real fast. We also downloaded the currents for the area (after downtime’s recommendation) and that proved to be a major consideration about the route we were to take.

Out likely route from Palau to Philippines marked in white.
We should have the currents with us and not against us.

So the decision was made for a Thursday arvo (19th June) departure from Palau.

The plan is to head north to pick up more wind and  west-setting currents before turning close to PI and running southwards in the 3 knot south setting current, all the while avoiding the heavy maritime traffic, FAD’s and local fisherman’s nets.
Sounds like fun – not…
It’s a 550nm run direct but we will more likely travel 650-700nm.
It should take 5-6 days.

So that’s a wrap from Palau, Micronesia and our Northern Pacific Adventure. It has been a blast but it’s time to move onto Asia.  
For us (and our loyal blog followers) it will be a nice change to a lot of things but in particular food, language, culture. more land based activities, and just a couple of 100 million extra people in the cities! The word culture shock might be appropriate.


Look out for Episode 28 from Davao, Mindanao in the Philippines late July to early August.

We have also posted a page in the top tabs labelled "Palau's top 50 underwater Photos."
If you are interested look in the top tabs or here is the link:
  
 
Below is our Palau summary on the Diving, the People and the Fees if you are interested.

Cheers for now
Paul and Lisa Hogger
Yacht Lorelei

 

THE PALAU SUM - UP


So overall Palau has been a very interesting experience. It exceeded expectations in some areas and didn’t even come close in others.
Come to Palau as a diving tourist and stay for a week or two and you will leave buzzing and wanting to return for more.
Stay a little longer, delve a little deeper and you will soon discover the country has some flaws, particularly with social issues and reliance on overseas funding.
We did meet some fantastic Palauan’s though – particularly the staff at our favourite shopping centre WCTC. Most of them knew as and we would get big smiles and waves each time we walked through the door.
There are now toy Kangaroo’s and Koala’s over most of the cash registers.
Most of the manual labour in the country is conducted by the huge population of migrants (particularly Filipino and Bangladeshi) and whilst we thought they were mostly smiling happy people, the treatment of them by the Palauans is unfortunately not good.
It was very interesting that not one of the live aboard dive vessels we spoke to employ Palauan’s. The vessel and dive staff where mostly loyal Filipino’s or Bangladeshi’s.
We had seen firsthand multiple times the hard tactics from the local Police towards other Aussies and fellow US yachts people. It wasn’t nice….

But as far as personal safety and vessel security go, we felt very safe. We never locked our boat up once (or even closed the companionway door) in the entire time irrespective of where we were going or for how long.

The Diving

Overall we did nearly 50 dives in Palau and feel we got a pretty good cross section of what the Diving is all about here.
If you include the Jelly Fish Lake, we took over 9000 underwater photos.

Palau has a reputation the world over of having “The World’s Best Diving”.
That’s a big call and can be taken a number of ways.
What defines “World’s Best”?

What we think is unique in Palau is the HUGE amount of diversity for ease of access.

DIVERSITY:

You name it in the underwater world and the chances are you may be able to see it in Palau.
Hard Coral, Soft Coral, Pelagics, Schooling Fish, Tropical Fish, Sharks, Mantas, Caves, Wrecks (WW2 and Post WW2), Planes, Big Walls, Blue Water, Coral Gardens, Macro, Muck Dives, Mandarin Fish and some quirky dives like Drift Dives with reef hooks, Nautilus Dives, Spawning Dives, The Jellyfish Lake and the list goes on and on and on….
For sure with most of the things listed above, you can definitely find better examples and experiences in other parts of the world.
For instance the Mantas and Mandarin Fish are better in Yap, The wrecks are better in Chuuk (Truk), Hard Corals – Kosrae, Sort Corals – The Solomons, Sharks and Pelagics – The Coral Sea, Macro - Indonesia, etc…

But what you won’t find anywhere else on the planet is that level of diversity with such a high quality, all in one place.

EASE OF ACCESS:

Then there is also the ease of access.
For sure Palau is expensive and takes a long time to get to from Australia, Europe and the US but once here, diving is super easy.

Where else can you get picked up from one of 30+ accommodation options ranging from 2 to 6 star, jump in a high powered boat, buzz across a glassy flat lagoon marvelling at the amazing rock islands and aqua blue water, do 2 or 3 amazing dives (in boardies or a bikini if you wish) and be home in time for an arvo drink from a multitude of water side bars and a meal of your choice from one of over 50 restaurants?

Additionally there are dive companies that specifically target certain nationalities so you know you will have operators, dive guides and other divers speaking your language.
Then there is also the dozen or so liveaboard options ranging from 4 to 34 people.

So it is those 2 factors that we feel gives Palau the right to say “The World’s Best Diving”.
If they claimed “The World’s Most Diverse Diving with Easy Access” then we would most certainly agree.

For the average mainland diver looking for a lot of new experiences and wanting to see lots of new things – Palau will certainly tick a lot of boxes.
The Fees 

In our view the fees in Palau are very expensive and getting worse every year.
There is a lot of talk of the fees on the dive forums but most tourists who fly in/fly out just accept the fact that their $5000 holiday is now $5250 due to this year’s fees increase and get on with it.
But for a cruising yacht who also has to pay customs, quarantine, immigration, visas and all the other permits then it gets really expensive.

In our 3 month stay we paid over $1600US in fees to the Palau Government and the Koror State for Rock Island Permits. And that didn’t include mooring fees at Sams and yacht club memberships, etc…
That is more than all the fees for all the other countries that we have visited combined!
And we even skimped at that. We couldn’t justify or afford the fishing permits so we didn’t fish or spear for the entire time.

And to think we only took Lorelei to 1 of the 29 states (just Koror) in Palau. With fees up to $500 for Lorelei for a single visit to some states, we simply could not justify the money.
Peleliu for instance was $125 to take Lorelei into their waters, $35 each for a diving permit and $10 each to step foot on the land.
Angaur, just below Peleliu is $500 for a vessel permit.

It’s also interesting to note that the fees stated in the latest cruising guide (which was only published last year) is now incorrect and well below the current asking amount.
We have an awesome book which is a Lonely Planet Diving Guide for Palau which was published in 2002.  The fees stated in the book have risen over 1200% between then and now!

Opinions are that they will continue to rise.

Think about the Jellyfish Lake - it receives a whopping 120 000 visitors a year. Each tourist stays in the lake for around 30-45 minutes and the charge for a Jellyfish Permit is $100 (which in its defence also includes the $50 rock islands permit) Aside from a small trail to keep clean, one little Rangers booth and a small floating wharf, there is little else to maintain. There is no Rangers briefing or any other benefit - just to take the permit and stamp it. You do the math….and take into consideration an average weekly wage in Palau is roughly $200.

The permits are also pretty strict towards yachts. Whilst you can anchor at many places and dive or snorkel all the top spots, there are only 3 small spots in the whole of the rock islands where you can legally go ashore.
This rule does not apply to Palauan’s or residents who have been here for more than 3 months.

Unlike us, the US yachties are fortunate that they can stay indefinitely and after 3 months can apply for the residency status which allows them to be exempt from most of the fees and the above rule.

At the end of the day though we stayed for 85 days and the $1600 in fees equates to just $20 a day for both of us. When you consider we have our own accommodation, ability to dive all the sites (on our own, at any time, to any depth and for any length of time) and free to explore and paddle the Rock Islands whenever we felt – it’s not so bad….

When you consider a 10 day Dive Holiday with a 16 dive package is over $5K, then we are doing OK.

So all in all a lot of ups and downs, goods and bads  - but hey, that’s cruising and that’s the way it is in the Pacific Island Nations.


So would we come back again?    
Yeah definitely - If we saved up for it…
 





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