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Dive Review of Sams Tours/Lhens Motel in

February, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Steve Belmont, AK, USA
Report Number 3331
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Roatan Honduras, Manzanillo Mexico, Ohahu/Maui Hi. Various Carribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay within sight of the group and a mandatory 3 minute safety stop.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
 Russelle Carig of Sams Tours assisted me in putting together a dive stay
package. She works with all of the hotel operations and can take care of
everything from 3 star to 5 star accomodations. I chose Lhens Motel. This
is a working mans apartment/motel with large simple rooms with cable tv and
efficiency kitchens. The rooms are very clean and all of the staff are very
friendly, just remember that this is a 3 star hotel. My price per night was
$64.00 with tax and air port transfers included. We opted to dine out and
the most expensive meal was $15.00. Most evenings we ate in local
establishments for 5 to 7 dollar per meal.
   Sams dive operation was the best that I have ever seen. Sams offers 12
dive boats that can handle up to 12 divers. They are covered for protection
from the elements but have no bathroom facilities. The shop is very well
equipped with free Nitrox (32%). Boat dives run $119 for a two tank dive
with lunch and refreshments included. My cost was $107 for two tank dives
since I dove for 14 days. The boats offer no photographic wash tubs or
tables however there is a professional photography shop attached to Sams.
Sams boat captains are very knowledgeable and they will give you wonderful
tours through the Rock Islands to and from the dives. 
   My Dive Master was Daniel and I consider him to be one of the finest
DM's that I have ever dove with. He taught me how to dive the extream
currents of Blue Corner and the Peleliu Express using a reef hook and
neutral bouyancy. His knowledge of the marine life was tremendous. He
showed me how to detect current changes by watching the smaller reef fish.
The drifts in the Palau waters are strong so be prepared to change dive
direction if you encounter a current change.
   Daniel's dive plan was wall on the left, Sharks on the right or Wall on
the right and sharks on the left. Using a white board he would profile the
dive with depths and times. He sent up his safety sausage to signal the
boat and did a count after each dive. I suggest that each diver have his
own sausage just in case. 
   Blue Corner has been a dream for 22 years. Once there I was mesmerized
by the number of White Tips, Grays, Dog Tooth Tuna, Giant Trevally, and a
giant school of Barricuda that completly engulfed me. Once the group is
together you begin your drift to the Corner. Once there you hook off to the
reef and watch the show. It is like an IMAX movie with the sharks just
hovering in the current. When it is time to leave, you drift to the elbow
and cross over to a shallow plateau. Here you will find more sharks,
turtles, and a Napoleon Wrasse who will swim right up to your mask. This
became my number one dive out of 769 life time dives.
   That lasted all of two days and then we dove the German Channel. The
start of the dive was dissappointing with a sandy bottom and poor
visibility. All of a sudden a 12 foot Black Manta came on the scene. He
stopped at a cleaning station to get worked on. Then the most wonderful
dive experience of my life happened. Mr. Manta swam over to me and we spent
two minutes just swimming together and playing. He liked my bubbles when
they tickeled his under side. He stayed directly above me and just about
encircled me with his wings. The rest of the group got some great photos of
this event and I had a new number one dive. The next day we had some new
divers on board and they wanted to do the Channel to see the Manta. Would
you believe that my friend again came over and we did an encore performance
of our swim together. Only in Palau.
   Most dives had an additional DM along and he would trail the group and
stay with photographers while they completed their pictures. When in a
drift the dive keeps going. The extra DM would also take air challenged
divers to the surface for pick up. I personaly averaged 57 minutes per dive
out of 28 dives. Daniel would get the group together once a diver reached
750 psi and we would surface after completing a mandatory 3 minute safety
stop. Be prepared to do live boat entries and exits. The captain always
goes to neutral when the divers are near the boat and there is a line
attached to the boat that divers hang on to while individuals climb
   Don't overlook the history of the area especially Peleliu. This Island
saw one of the bloodiest battles of WW2 in 1944/45. Dive the Express,
Yellow wall and also do the shore tour. Put yourself in the shoes of an 18
year old Marine fresh out of Kansas and making a landing on Orange Beach.
It gave me shivers and made me extra proud to be a free American.
   Diving Palau gave me my first international dive experience since I dove
with Brits, French, German and Belgium divers. There was a Japanese diver
but none of the large Asian groups that one would expect. One will get more
bang for your dollar by doing a live aboard, but I enjoy the comradary of a
local dive shop. Sams has a bar and grill and we all sat around and watched
the sun set after logging our dives. After two days everyone will know your
name and you will be considered another local diver. I hope to someday
return to my new friends Daniel and Mr. Manta and Sams Tours. 
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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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