Coral Walls & A Shark Nursery!
The wall dives are gorgeous and completely covered in hard and soft coral. They make it difficult for a photo lover like me because you have a wealth of both macro and wide angle to shoot. Before every dive I was in a constant loop of ‘hmm do I shoot wide angle or switch to my macro lens…’ and I’m pretty sure the cruise director, Sebastian, was ready to strangle me by the end of the week from asking him so many questions! But he was always extremely helpful and filled with insight. On the walls we spotted lots of turtles, white tip sharks, schools of barracuda & jacks, bumphead parrotfish, grey reef sharks and so much more. But my favorite highlight of the week was when we found a grey reef shark nursery. Cruising below us over the white sand were over a hundred tiny shark pups with one large adult keeping watch.
Another highlight came on a dive at one of the most southern points in the itinerary – the Express. As you can probably guess, this site gets its name from the high speed currents that run through it. It’s an area known for big pelagics as well as bull sharks and more. But this day we hit the Express and it was in warp drive! The dive guides made the wise decision that it was unsafe to hook in and called the dive (we blew across the entire site in about 7 minutes). But as we made our way up into the blue to safety stop depth we were greeted by 2 incredible encounters – first a huge sailfish circling our group and then followed by a big oceanic black tip coming to see what all the commotion was about. Even ending a dive short in Palau was incredible!