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Dive Review of Sam's Tours/Palau Pacific Resort in

Sam's Tours/Palau Pacific Resort: "Sharks, Mantas, and spawning Bumphead wrasse, oh my!", Dec, 2015,

by Elise O Lovell, IL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8779 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Just finished 6 days of diving with Sam's, including 4 days of " New Moon Unique Expedition", with the first dive of the day watching the spawning of the Bumphead wrasse. This was like watching a lovely dance, augmented by the expert commentary provided by marine biologist Paul, and his partner in discovering and studying this phenomenon, Richard. Both were terrific divemasters, as were all the staff at this top-notch operation. This is a shop perfect for more advanced divers who are comfortable with their gear and don't require a lot of hand-holding, although everyone is super friendly and ready to answer questions and help out. The reefs are just spectacular, with an inkling of how oceans must have looked prior to humans, ecosystem destruction, and over-fishing. Dive sites are 45 minutes to one hour boat rides, but the beautiful Rock Islands, with their prehistoric appearance (was that a pterodactyl?!), make for some of the most scenic boat trips I've encountered. You'll see tons of sharks, probably mantas (we saw at least 6 at German Channel), and incredibly fishy reefs. With over 1500 coral species, there's also something fascinating to look at. Oh yeah, and dolphins on our last dive day! What's special about Sam's is their dive masters and thoughtfulness when choosing sites and leading dives (shout outs to Micky, Bernard, Ally). Examples-going to German Channel in the morning when it's a manta cleaning station rather than in the afternoon when incoming currents turn it into a manta feeding station. The difference? Maybe fewer mantas in the am, but also many many fewer divers. We had the manta ballet all to ourselves. Diving the Iro wreck, we enjoyed the huge anemone collection at the top of the refueling pod. Another group on the wreck at the same time just blew by this beautiful feature. Perfect timing at the Blue Corner-up over the top and into the jet stream of current, hooked in, and watched the "shark airport." Transfers to your hotel pre/post dive makes the whole day hassle free, and Sam's will store your equipment. Usual rinse tanks, and tasty restaurant on site.
Yes, do Jellyfish lake-a swimming meditation-surpassed expectations. Wished we had built in a day of diving at Peleliu Island-both for the significant historical importance (land excursion possible with the diving) and supposed to increase chances of seeing pelagics. Stayed at Palau Pacific Resort-review on Trip Advisor.
We've done hundreds of dives around the world, and Sam's will be our easy choice when we return to Palau..and we'll dive the Full Moon Snapper spawning-supposed to be even more exciting-mixes in some hungry sharks...
Websites Sam's Tours   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Belize, Cayman, Hawaii, Red Sea, Australia/Coral Sea, Galapagos
Closest Airport Getting There it's a groaner, but worth it

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas currents
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40-90 Ft/ 12-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions excellent dive briefings, but we followed our own computers, and good deal of trust on the Unique Expedition days-these are marketed for more advanced divers, and it was a pleasure to be in a small group of reasonable, competent folks every day.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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