Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Palau - The Kayak Trip, Part Three

Waking up with the sun became the norm for me on the trip, perhaps because we usually went to bed by 10pm. I walked over to the sunrise side of the island (one minute from the sunset side of the island) and watched this shark hunt in shallow waters. I was awed, so only after his third strike did I think to raise the camera. It was amazing to watch because he almost beached himself to get at whatever prey he was chasing. He actually flipped and flopped a little to get back in the water:

[If you're not fickle about sleeping, hammocks are the best!]

[Why would we shave on a camping trip? My mask leaks if I don't. Took me a few frustrating dive trips back in the day to figure that one out]

[Most fish have latin names for proper classification. These fish are so common worldwide that they are officially referred to as "little blue fish." (I'm joking, I think)]

[clam and coral]

In the afternoon we kayaked to Jellyfish Lake. Palau is renowned for many things, but this is up on the list. Jellyfish Lake is a marine lake that, at some point many thousands of years ago, became cut off from the ocean. When it did this it isolated a population of jellyfish. Those jellyfish continued evolving, except they no longer had predators (which begs the question: what eats a jellyfish in the unprotected ocean?). So they gradually lost their ability to sting. Now there's millions (for real) of them in this small lake and everyday they migrate across it, following the sun's rays. In the afternoon they are close to the trail, so many people venture out to 'swim with the stingless jellyfish.' (For full disclosure they have actually retained a little of their sting, but most of us don't notice it.)

[Vaughn found this little guy]

When you get to the right spot there are clouds of these jellyfish. You can't hardly move without bumping into them. Unfortunately my lens was not very wide so I only got close-ups of individuals.


Mom said...

Wow, great photos. Are the hammocks on someone's private property, or are they on a public beach available for anyone's use?

Dave said...

The hammocks were ours that we brought along, but the places where we camped were public property (well, mostly, but we'll get to that shortly). There are 6-8 beaches in the Rock Islands where the Koror State Rangers have built structures with bbq pits and places to sit and eat. Every day the dive operators go to these beaches to either take a surface interval break between dives or to have lunch. Many of the Asian companies actually do barbeques every day. Vaughn and I showed up at a popular spot on the last day hoping to skim some food off a bbq, but alas, nobody was barbequing that day..