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Dive Review of Sam's, Neco/Cliffside Inn in

August, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by NEAL LANGERMAN, CA, United States
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 2621
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Around the world; see related reports on Palau Aggressor, Yap and Pohnepei
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Limits or Sport Diving Limits  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The boats had a semi-secure location for cameras, but I would up
lap-holding my housing to prevent damage during the long rough rides out to
the outer reefs
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
(Note: This is the first part of four entries covering a five week trip to
Micronesia in July of 2006)

Palau  Land-based

My wife and I have more than 65 years of diving experience between us
around the world on live-aboard and land-based operations.  We dived Palau
on a land-based basis for three days before and four days after a week on
the Palau Aggressor II.  During the seven days we dove with both Sams and
Neco Marine.  In general both operations were good, though our Sams guide
 Daniel  connected with us and really provided an exceptional experience
on the three days we dove with him. Both operators picked us up at our
hotel and provided lunch, along with the diving.  The rides out to the
outer reef  Blue Corner, New Drop-off and Blue Holes was long and
often bumpy, but well worth the ride.  The large pelagics and the soft
corals were spectacular.  Visibility was good, but milky.  This caused low
contrast which contributed to difficult photography.  The overall quality
of the dive experience was totally dependent on the guide, not the
operator.  Once we met Daniel, we stayed with him and had excellent dives.

Neco provided a guide named Marcel who did a great job of showing us the
reef walls.  The next day, Neco provided a guide named Greg who was on
his last day of employment as a guide.  Conditions were rough and we could
not go to the outer reefs.  He insisted we do a live-prop entry along a
wall called Short Drop-off.  I refused to allow my wife and me to do a
back-roll entry off of a skiff with the prop engaged and turning.  After an
ugly confrontation, Greg agreed to have the engine killed just before we
entered the water.  While Greg was leading the dives, he lost the group
immediately, and never looked back.  He is an example of the type of dive
guide one never should dive with.

We stayed at Cliffhouse, a rustic inn outside of Koror.  The
accommodations were very comfortable and the staff was extremely helpful. 
The location looks out over a lovely lagoon, and the poolside bar  if open
 is a beautiful place to relax.  This was a really nice place to stay
while visiting Palau.

All in all  a week of land-based diving in Palau gave us some superb dives
and excellent photography. (see
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Diving Guide to Micronesia
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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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