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Dive Review of Eclipse in

March, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Mike Binnard, CA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 4709
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Tonga, Maldives, Kona, Bermuda
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy, dry  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
return to boat ~500psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Power for chargers & laptops on board.  Bucket for rinse.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
All the travel to, from, and in Palau was no problem.  We were worried
about having a short layover in Honolulu on the outbound journey, but since
the LAX-HNL flight was on time, we had no problems there.  On the return,
we only had about 1 hour layover in Guam, which was a little tight since we
had to go through US Immigration, security, and then Immigration a second
time at the gate.  

Transfers within Palau were easy: West Plaza met us at the airport; we
walked to Sam's to meet Eclipse; Peleliu Divers picked us up from Eclipse
at German Channel as planned; Godwin and Carp Island Resort got us back to
Koror, where were met by a rental car; and we drove ourselves to the
airport.  The rental car turned out to be a great idea.  $30 cash, no
paperwork, and we had a place to keep our gear during our last evening in

The West Plaza Malakal was like a no-frills US motel.  Nothing fancy, but
also no problems.

We ate dinner at the Taj both nights we were in Koror.  The food was really
excellent, and we had a good time talking to Robert, the owner.  There's a
big picture window between the restaurant and the kitchen, so you can watch
the chef cooking in the Tandoor oven.  The chilli crab was an experience. 
We ordered the small crab, which was huge, delicious, and very messy to
eat.  The waitresses provided aprons for us to wear, and replaced our
plates with clean ones about 10 times during the meal.

We have no doubt that Eclipse is the best way to visit Palau.  It's not the
cheapest option, nor the most luxurious (no A/C, showers are on deck using
hot freshwater out of a bag, etc.).  But you can't beat it for great
diving, great food, variety of activities, and maximum catering to exactly
what you want to do.  Many times (while we were doing something else) we
could see 10 or more boats at Blue Corner.  When we dove there, it was just
the two of us and Charlie, Eclipse's divemaster. 

John and Charlie really tried to make sure we had a good time and got to do
the things we wanted.  John really loves Palau, and he does a good job
showing his guests why.  Charlie is a good dive guide, often pointing out
little critters we would never see on our own.  On the first day, she asked
if it was OK with us for her to bring her underwater camera.  We said
"Sure," so she brought it and took great pictures on every dive. 
Both her camera and photography skill are better than ours, so we're
looking forward to receiving the CD that's now in the mail.

The diving was superb.  The coral looked healthier than we remember from
2001, when it was still recovering from the big El Nino.  We saw
tremendously more fish than we did diving in Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, or
Bermuda.  Of course nothing compares to hooking in at Blue Corner and
watching 25 sharks cruise back and forth through huge schools of fish.  We
also really enjoyed the wall dives because of the variety of hard coral,
soft coral, fans, and all the bizarre creatures we don't know the names of.
 We saw turtles on every dive, lots of curious Napoleon and bat fish, 2
stingrays, 2 eagle rays, 4 mantas, uncountable sharks, several tuna,
Spanish mackerel, bluefin trevally, and swarms of snapper, jacks,
triggerfish, parrotfish, and sweetlips.  We saw one pod of pilot whales
from the boat.  We have no doubt that Palau's diving is some of the best in
the world.  Currents were noticeable, but never a problem.  

Sailing and kayaking through the Rock Islands were also activities we were
looking forward to.  Blasting through on one of the speedboats from town is
just not the same experience.  We really enjoyed cruising through the
islands slowly and quietly.  That's one of the big advantages Eclipse has
over staying in Koror and commuting to the dive sites.   Being able to
snorkel and kayak from the boat at any time is also really great.

One thing that has totally changed since our prior trip in 2001 is the food
on Eclipse.  Charlie does an amazing job cooking really great food in a
tiny galley.  Every meal was delicious, and we always ate more than we had

We were very comfortable living on the boat for 6 days.  The water was very
flat almost all the time; we only had rolling waves on one night.  There's
not a lot of extra room, and the overall feel is more like camping than a
5-star hotel, but that's the way we prefer to travel. 

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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