Palau, the end of the rainbow

Palau is awesome!
And expensive, but i suppose thats what you get when you have to import everything from the US.

I feel like i have been captured in a travel catalogue.
The sea is crystal clear and bright blue.
Corals are growing everywhere, even in the channel of the capitol.
Parrotfish, pufferfish, sharks, turtles, little Nemos, and basically everything you think they normally make up so the movie looks more colorful.

I started my SCUBA-Course and have been diving to 30m depth, and emerging an element that we are not made for is pretty insane.
Yet amazingly beautiful!
A turtle can look right into you. No wonder every culture considers them wise.
Sharks are like the lions of the sea.
It is like discovering an alien world…well actually it is discovering an alien world.

Although this group of islands has an almost untouched wildlife, one can see coral bleaching, invasive species destoying the reefs.
If you see the masses of fish that are around at some of the sites, and you know 100 years ago it looked like this or even more alive all over the world,
it makes me sad a little. This last fortress of conservation is attacked by global pollution and climate change.
They say in about 20 years there will probably not be any coral left.
I feel like an ambassador, and in a couple of decades i would probably considered to be a eye witness.

 

I love freediving, i like it more than SCUBA.
It is quiet and peaceful, you don’t have all this gear with you and you don’t get headaches from compressed nitrogen 🙂
The air bubbles next to my ears are very annoying when breathing out.
But at the same time both sports have different advantages, with scuba you can actually interact with the animals.
Get the attention of a Napoleon Wrasse that then nibbles your fins and lets you pet its tail.
Look a turtle in the eye, get close to a sleeping shark….


i enjoy every last bit of it.
so long Ole

Riders on the Storm

We had a big ocean passage.
One week not seeing land, a rolling boat, seasickness (which also comes in headache and lethargy, for all of you who think dizzyness is not enough 🙂 ), Dolphins and a big storm…like big big (our sail ripped while going 10 knots)

The internet here is really bad and limited so you have to be satisfied with many smaller pictures and a lot of less text 😉

I really enjoy being on a sailboat, it is a little commune with its own microcosmos, children and everything you can imagine.
Selfmade bread and granola for the win!

Ok lets get some pictures shall we 😉

leaving port

We are on the way, away from the sloppedy slob of the dry dock, towards cleaner clearer waters.

So far we haven’t had a chance to sail but that is surely to come.

Even though it has only been 6 days we already had a small storm, saw luminescent dolphins (at night time they leave a trail of activated algae which looks amazing..also it was the first time that i saw dolphins this close), went free-diving ( i saw a manta ray and the shadow of a thresher shark…it was so exiting) had nice jam sessions, changed my sleeping pattern to 3 naps a day, was pulled on a rope at 5-6 knots through the water and had my first time breathing underwater in a SCUBA gear.
I am having a great time.

Tomorrow we will go to Surgao and i will try to go surfing for the first time in my life, and then we make a six day passage to the diving heaven of Palau…to see big manta rays.

I feel like i am caught in a dream.
Why is not everybody doing this?
so long
Ole
p.s. I feel so healthy, yoga in the morning, push-ups during the day, standing and sitting straight, vegetarian food, warm weather…great
p.p.s. now i just need my instruments back that somebody forgot in a bus and everything would be perfect…but maybe its good that they are not there, because if so something else would probably have been messed up 🙂

Shale Warks

Oh Wow!
After 2 weeks of straight work (more or less) we got a few days off.
If you are working on a boat in dirty water, swimming is the biggest temptation.
And swimming we went…with aliens.
The locals call them gentle giants.
I am still completely spiked by my SECOND ever diving experience, so please excuse my completely exaggerated description of these calm creatures.

Everybody probably knows that i am talking about whale sharks, if not, well you do now 😀

The Place is Osob, the time some where after 4h of bus ride with 3 babies, we are happy to see clean sea.
There is some minor trouble with finding a place to seep but everything turns out fine.
We do some afternoon diving, to get some water on our dirty, dust encrusted skin.
Plans are made to get up before the ticket office opens… we don’t want to pay 1000 Piso (25$) for diving with the sharks.
It turns out we don’t stand a chance against the wakeup-skills of the workers.
So we have buy tickets for a 30min dive (in the end we were granted a full hour, so basically until we were exhausted 🙂 )

And it is indescribable!
See for yourself!

I really enjoyed this trip.
It was very nice, because even though there were many people in boats only a few were snorkeling and none except for us were free diving. So the 8m of water were basically left to us and the amazing animals. Whale sharks, Turtles and Fishes who also wanted to be fed.
Obviously one has to weigh the negative consequences this feeding spot has.  We had a short briefing about how we should behave around them, and there is a fine for actively touching them.
I guess they are doing what they can to support and protect the (whale) sharks, as you can still get shark-fin-soup in the Philippines.
But Whale Sharks are normally migrating animals which don’t stay stationary in the same territory.
Here they are domesticated and harvested as a tourist attraction.
The feeding ground attracts more sharks each year, so i hope it doesn’t have a bad ecological influence.
But like in all places that attract many people, i can completely understand every single person who came here!
Because I really enjoyed it.

I am exited what else is there to come!
So long
Ole