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Reveling in Palau

2010 April 30

reveling-in-PalauEach dive in Palau was magnificent. It’s not every day you come eyeball to eyeball with creatures appearing to wonder; ‘just what are you doing with that funny contraption on your back?’ Such was the case when my dive instructor signaled me to turn around on our safety stop. To my surprise and glee, there was an enormous manta ray staring right at me. I could have touched him, but out of respect I held back as we gazed at one another. That is, after spinning my head around motioning and gurgling “HOLY MOLY!” My instructor proved that you can in fact laugh while scuba diving. I’m hooked.

The biodiversity above and underwater was captivating. Kayaking was a perfect way to catch both along the craggy limestone. Before departing on our carefully planned, 7 night kayaking, camping expedition, we took a day to paddle out for some snorkeling, and practice navigating with the waterproof expedition maps that Planet Blue provided. With countless, similar-looking, uninhabited islands you would too!

Putting our kayaks into the deep turquoise water, surrounded by jungly trees and mangroves, it occurred to me that if I were a salt water crocodile, this would be top notch. So I asked our friend who helped us launch, ‘just out of curiosity – should we keep an eye out for those wily reptiles?’ He grinned, “In Palau? Always Crocodile!”


Reveling-in-Palau-2Vines swooping to the water provided kayak parking as we snorkeled, and I looked behind, below, all around us for croc eyeballs – at which point it would be too late anyway, so why bother? The corals were a vast array of colors, shapes and textures appearing preserved since the dawn of time.

I’ll never forget though, the eerie feeling that also hung in the air that day. It was especially prominent, listening as our paddles interrupted the buzzing, ringing sounds of the birds and insects. I couldn’t help but wonder what it must have been like for soldiers surviving in hiding for years, or decades in the caves. What it must have been like not knowing if the war was over, if it was safe to come out at all. How explosions must have shattered the stillness that now hung in the air. You could feel it, you could just feel the suffering and fear that had once dominated this beautiful place.

About the author: Jeanethe Falvey, EPA New England, on detail, EPA’s Office of Web Communications.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    April 30, 2010

    Wow–that sounds like the vacation of a lifetime!

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    April 30, 2010

    The future, The people rather go to explore the sea and the space. Automatically we don’t just interest only to air pollution problem, acid rain, climate change, pesticides,emission,…
    Jeanethe Falvey is to show to us, that we also must be to save the sea and next, the space. Actually, She is a futuristic !!!

  3. Romona permalink
    May 1, 2010

    Reading this sent my imagination to the coral reefs. I believe the sea, not space is man’s next to explore.

    Thank you for writing a beautiful word picture for me!!


  4. Tom Morley permalink
    May 2, 2010

    “In Palau? Always Crocodile!” haha, so funny. Can I repost this on my Web Design Surrey website?

  5. Sarah permalink
    May 28, 2010

    Great article. There are plenty of great dive sites in Palau – my favorite is the German Channel. It was built during the German administration of Palau to allow ships to pass from the southern island of Peleliu and Angaur to Koror. Today it is used by dive operators as passage through the southwestern barrier reef to many of the outside dive sites. It makes a great night dive as it comes alive with nudibranch, octopus, and tiny critters.

  6. Accelerated Learning permalink
    May 11, 2011

    I love travelling. Palau would definitely the perfect place. Thanks for this great article. It helps me a lot. I will surely bookmark this one.
    Super Learning

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