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

Sam's, Neco/Cliffside Inn, Aug, 2005,

by NEAL LANGERMAN, CA, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 2621.

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

Weather windy Seas surge
Water Temp 82 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Nitrox Limits or Sport Diving Limits
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments UNDERCURRENT COMMENTS
(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 www.sharneal.com)
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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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