April 16, 2013
After another full breakfast (there is no shortage of food), the crew of Michael, Wilter, and Hamilton, loaded our kayaks onto the boat, and Bax transported us to our paddling disembarkation at Long Lake. Long Lake is the longest lake in Palau, a mile long. It was a very rainy start to our morning, and the rain drops which were quite cooling required most of us to wear a rain coat simply for warmth.
We paddled the mangroves of Long Lake, weaving through narrow areas and then coming out into open expanses. We tried to spot some eagle rays, but we were unsuccessful. We did see a lovely fish poisoning tree flower. Lazy fisherman can smash the seed of the flower with a volcanic rock and drop it into the water. It takes away the oxygen from the nearby fish.
After a few hours of paddling, definitely not at blazing speed, we retraced our path and stopped at a small beach for lunch. The locals sometimes use this beach, so it was equipped with a water tank, shelter, and a BBQ pit. Jayden and Bruce started a fire.
There was not a dry part on our body and our hands were shriveled like we’d been in the bathtub for hours. Fortunately, the rain stopped in time for us to nibble on our sandwiches and scour the sandbar for shells. We aren’t allowed to take the shells with us, and I’m not much of a shell person anyway, but it gave me something to do while we were resting and there was quite a variety.
Bax picked us up and took us to two snorkeling spots, Fantasy Island and Honeymoon Beach. From the boat we saw a turtle, and under water was another delight. The reefs changed so much in such a small area. In some places, the coral was dead from the recent typhoon and from the crown of thorns starfish the locals pick off the reefs and kill in order to save the coral. It’s too bad the crown of thorns starfish are so damaging because they are pretty…a variety of color and designs with “thorns” protruding out. I also saw a pipefish, regal angelfish, a bi-color angel for the first time, a giant lobster, a giant puffer, lots of chromis, grouper and the list goes on.
Box waited for us with the boat and took us back to “Survivor Island” camp or Margie’s Beach. I walked to beach and checked out the American Dive Bomber from WWII and found a fresh piece of coral that had broken off a barrel. It was multi-color blue and green…so pretty. We enjoyed an absolutely magnificent sunset that changed an array of colors…oranges, pinks, purples. The sky reflected orange in the tranquil waters and everyone ran to get their cameras…definitely a picturesque moment. A little bit later…another gourmet dinner was served! ETB
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