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Dive Review of Sams/West Plaza Malakai in
Micronesia/Palau

Sams/West Plaza Malakai, Mar, 2005,

by Scott Johnson, ca, usa (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports). Report 1613.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions About 55 to 65 minutes max
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 budge..so 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 www.bentprop.org 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 men!!

What a trip!
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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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