Of all the places I have been, no place has captivated me more than Palau. After the tourists crowded into rural Hawaii, many fled to find the peace in Palau. Owning my own sailboat has meant I have been able to experience Palau without a single sole for miles around.
Palau is the first Country East of the Philippines and separated by over 400 nautical miles of open sea.
I have sailed twice to Palau and intend to return February 2020. That trip will include a stop at Yap.
As a former Hawaii resident, one of the things that strikes you the most about Palau, is it is almost like being in Hawaii except there are no tourists. Well, there are certainly dive tourists, however, these people are staying in the hotels or on a few dive boats that are far away from the places like like to go. Have a look at a few photos of my morning kayak trip.
Miles and miles of uninhabited coast line. Not a single piece of evidence that man exists on this planet. Well, almost no evidence. If you look closely you will see HOT BuOYS SV moored in one of the photos. That mooring is attached to a huge Japanese feighter that was torpedoed during WWII.
However, that evidence of man is only present if you decide to go diving and take a look. To me, it is pleasure enough just to jump of the end of the boat and swim to the shallow area and look at the reefs and fish. I spotted the largest lobster I ever saw in the wild on one of those morning swims.
The other odd thing to take notice of is the birds. I kid you not, there is a bird in this area that sounds like an old steam shovel that needs to have more grease in the grease bearings. I can't claim the sound is exactly musical, however, it is certainly memorable.
Frequently, I am asked if we do diving directly from HOT BuOYS SV. The short answer is no. The more detailed answer is our vessel will never compete with the local dive operators. They would not be happy with a group arrived that didn't use their services. Further, since they dive the area every day, they know the best way to safely go inside the giant wrecks that most tourists want to see.
Our 2020 trip will depart from Palawan, travel through the Philippines to Palau, and then go on to Yap and up to Taiwan. I have not yet decided to call on Guam or not.
See you aboard!
Captain Philip and Noli