Fish 'n Fins - Dive Sites - Blue Holes

(deutsche Beschreibung ganz unten)
Location: Northwest of Ngemelis Island and north of Blue Corner.
Distance from Koror: 30 miles (48 kilometers) Northwest of Koror, 50 to 70 minutes by speedboat.
Visibility: 45 to 120 feet (15 to 40 meters).
Level of Diving Experience: Novice to Intermediate.
Diving Depth Summary: The four holes, on top of the reef, open at a depth of 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters). The floor of the cavern is at approximately 120 feet (40 meters).
Currents: Moderate to strong.

General Information: The Blue Holes are one of the popular ways to start your dive to Blue Corner. The holes form the top of a very large cavern. On the face of the reef there are two (2) exits. One is a small 15-foot (5 meter) diameter window at 45 feet (15 meters). The other is a large opening starting at 85 feet (27 meters). The bottom of the cavern is at 120 feet (40 meters). In the north end of the cavern, at 85 feet (27 meters), is a narrow entrance that leads to another cave. This cave is appropriately named The TemplePhoto by Peter Lange of Doom. Several people have perished in this cave, it not for inexperienced divers. Only divers with a Cave Diver rating and special gear should enter this area. Please stay out!!! Important notice: Blue holes are a popular dive site. Many dive boats are usually circling around the site waiting for divers. On ascent, use a Safety Sausage and keep your eyes and ears open for boats. Currents: The current that runs along the west coast of the Palau Islands hits the reef wall at Blue Corner and flows up and over the plateau bringing with an abundance of clean water, plankton and algae. This phenomenon occasionally creates very strong currents and down drafts. The currents change with the tides and reverse direction approximately every 6 hours. As a rule of thumb the incoming tide will flow from south to north and the outgoing tide from north to south. The current at Blue Corner and Blue Holes are strongest and hardest to predict during the half- moon. When swimming from Blue Holes to Blue corner you may have to swim against the current for about 150 feet (50 meters). When you pass the second buoy, the current will reverse and carry you to the corner. The ambient light coming into the cavern from the large opening appears dark blue; this is an excellent backdrop for award-winning photos.

Reef Formation: The reef is a vertical wall that runs from north to south and merges with Ngemelis Wall at Blue Corner. There are four (4) holes on top the shallow reef at 3-6 feet deep (1 to 2 meters) that mark the entrance to a very large cavern. There are two (2) exits from the cavern on the face of the reef. One is a small window and the other is a huge opening.

Marine life: Inside of the cavern you can find many soft corals and Tubastraea decorating the walls. Many species of nudibranchs and shells can be found along the sandy bottom. Large schools of barracuda, tuna and snapper patrol the cavern opening. The reef wall is vertical and offers just about every type of tropical fish and species of coral that you can imagine! The 20-25 minute swim along the reef to Blue Corner will reward the observant diver.

Diving: The Blue Holes are probably the next most popular site in Palau, after Blue Corner. The dive at the Blue Holes usually starts by swimming over the shallow reef and descending through one of the four holes on top of the reef. Occasionally if the tide is very low or the swell is high the dive will commence down along the wall in through the small window into the cavern. The cavern is large and is usually flooded with rays of light…. a spectacular sight. Each hole on the ceiling appears as if it was painted light blue and the very large opening to the west is a deep dark blue. Spend some time in the cave and enjoy the sight of it before swimming out toward Blue Corner. Do not attempt to enter Temple of Doom unless you are prepared for cave diving and accompanied by a guide. On your way out of the cavern, keep the wall to your left; you will pass beautiful canyons and crevices full of color and rich with marine life. At the corner hook yourself on to the reef and watch the sharks playing in the current.

Fascinating Facts: The Blue Holes, in the late 1950s, were among the first important dive sites in Palau. Divers used to descend through the holes, then follow the reef to the right. Since the discovery of the Blue Corner divers now exit to the left, rarely visiting the reef to the right.

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Deutsche Beschreibung:
Die „Blue Holes“ sind drei senkrecht abfallende Kamine in einem Riff, dessen Oberkante sich im brusttiefen Wasser befindet. In den Kaminen findet man wunderschöne Gorgonien und schwarze Korallen. Gobies fungieren als flinke Wächter am Eingang. Lässt sich der Taucher hinab in die Tiefen der „Blue Holes“ erwartet ihn in 80 Fuß, ca. 24 m eine große Unterwasser-Höhle, die sich zum Außenriff hin öffnet. Wie in einer Kathedrale strahlt das Sonnenlicht durch die drei Kamine herein. Inspiriert durch diesen großartigen Anblick erforscht der Taucher den riesigen Höhlenraum. Legt man sich auf den Sandboden, kann man seine Luftblasen beobachten, wie sie in Bahnen türkisen Lichtes und Strömen von Dunkelblau an die Oberfläche blubbern. Ein großer Bogen markiert den Ausgang der Höhle, der Sie entlässt an einer Riffwand an der sie entlangdriftend zur „Blue Corner“ gelangen, während Sie den Karneval des Unterwasserlebens dort genießen.

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