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Dive Review of Sams/West Plaza Malakai in

March, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Scott Johnson, ca, usa
Sr. Contributor   (20 reports)
Report Number 1613
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Red Sea, Cozumel, Galapagos, Catalina, Sipadan, Australia, Truk etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
About 55 to 65 minutes max  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
This was my fifth trip to Palau, my fourth with Sams and my third Diving
with Keith Santillano. In the three years diving with Keith he has taken
half the weight off my weight belt a doubled my bottom time. 

 My first day, water like glass and temp 82 degrees. The first dive was the
Blue Holes. Simply a Beautiful dive. Looking up at divers descending
through the Blue Holes is incredible. We descend down to the Disco Clam and
then drift down the wall. You will see Hard and Soft corals, schools of
Black Snapper, Yellowbacks, Trevally, Butterflyfish and so on. Then the
surface interval. Now where? Why not the Blue Corner? This was probably the
20th time I have dove the Blue Corner. Almost every time seems to be the
best. This day the current was ripping at about 3 knots with 5-knot surges.
You hook up to the Reef and watch the underwater Zoo! Barracuda, Eagle
rays, Jacks, White tips, Dog Tooth Tuna etc.This day about 50 to 70 Grey
Reef Sharks large and small. The females were cut and scratched.mating
season..looks a little rough. Then off the Corner and into the flats. Now
you encounter the Triggerfish, which are hanging around their nests, and
they do not want you around. One bumped the lens of my camera, and then I
felt a tug on my fin. Just a Triggerfish biting and it would not
I decided to leave them alone. Actually I was running out of Air.

This type of Action or beauty typified the majority of my dives. Whether on
not it was the German Channel, Peleliu, Big Drop Off, Turtle Cove etc. The
diving was simply the best! 

Of all the encounters I had under the ocean nothing compared to the one I
had on land. I met Flip and Mike on a dive boat, they said they were
getting one day off in thirty days and this was their day off. I asked them
what they did. They work for Bent Prop their job was to
search for WWII, MIAs. Bent Props job is to interview people in Palau that
lived during WWII. Search out wrecks and try to identify MIAs to bring
them home. This trip they found remains of two planes and now trying find
if the person(s) is an MIA.  Bent Prop is voluntary organization. They are
Airline pilots, Students, Doctors etc. They held a presentation at Sams one
night in which Bent Prop discussed their findings this year. What a great
group! And a Couple of big pluses, I met a veteran who came in the first
wave of the invasion in Peleliu.  Also met a Medal of Honor winner who was
on one of the first boats landing for the invasion of Iwo Jima he told me
he remembered it was 9:30 AM! What stories. I am in awe of all these brave

What a trip!
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