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debersole

Back from a fabuouls trip to Palau and Yap

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Carol and I just returned from a fabulous two week vacation to Palau and Yap -- a week on the luxury liveaboard Ocean Hunter III (www.oceanhunter.com) in Palau and then a week at Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers (www.mantaray.com) in Yap. My business sponsored the trip so our group of 16 friends had the whole liveaboard to ourselves and two of our own boats in Yap. Truly a trip of a lifetime. Thanks go out to Tova and Navot Bornovski of Fish N Fins & Ocean Hunter and to Bill Ackers at Manta Ray Bay for such a great vacation. Thanks, also, to Mike Veitch who, a couple of years ago when I was setting this trip up, told me to schedule Yap around the full moon in Feb thru April for the best manta action. He nailed it!!! We had up to 7 mantas on the cleaning station at one time. And the new cleaning station they found is in only 15-20 feet of water so 75 min dives were common. Thanks, Mike.

 

Here are a few photos:

 

PALAU

 

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Jellyfish Lake

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Chandelier Cave

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Yap -- Of mantas and mandarin fish!

 

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And, finally, one for this year's Christmas card ............

 

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Lots more images at www.debersole.com

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awesome! and you even got the schooling orange banded surgeons in Palau! did you also get the moorish idols schooling? Perfect timing alright

 

Great stuff

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Moorish idols were rocking in Jan aswell Mike with huge school of Orangespine surgeons at Saeis corner. I found the Moorish hanging out at 24 to 50 mtrs right on BC instead of at the cut down from Blue holes.....maybe too many divers forcing them there instead of their usual haunts?

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Very nice images!!!!

Love the schooling orange banded surgeons shot...

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Thanks, everyone. And thanks again, Mike, for your assistance in helping me plan the trip. Yes, we had "schooling" moorish idols, but not in the huge numbers as the surgeonfish. I got a couple of images of the moorish idols with sharks patrolling the wall in the background but they are "marginal" images at best.

 

Doug

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Very nice images!!!!

Love the schooling orange banded surgeons shot...

 

Ditto!!! Well done.

 

~ G

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All great images! #3 is the "wall hanger" for me!

 

Lee

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Enjoyed your images very much but your Christmas card shot looks like the diver is pretty close if not holding on to the Acropora corals? :swimmingfish:

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She is actually in a "cut-out" in the coral which is where our dive guides positioned her. The guides at Yap Divers were very aware of the coral and positioned everyone in specific areas to try to limit damage to the area. This is a new cleaning station on Yap and everyone, especially a marine biologist in our group, was very concerned as we saw lots of Japanese tourists all over the coral head. There is a thought to put in permanent poles and to rope off the area in hopes of protecting the coral.

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Hi Mike :

 

Great manta diving, have you been Palau peleliu island diving, it is the best dive spot in Palau, esp. dive sites : peleliu express, wall, yellow wall...., amazing big fish action .

 

Regards

 

Perry Kuo

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Great shots. love the schooling of orange banded sergeonfish. stunning image. :)

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