Solar Eclipse Cruise 2016 – Dive & Snorkle Info

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Solar Eclipse Cruise 2016 – Dive & Snorkle Info 2015-11-09T16:45:42+00:00

Solar Eclipse Cruise 2016

Dive and Snorkle Info

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[button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Basic Info[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-itinerary/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Itinerary[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-pricing/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Pricing[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-tour-guides/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Speakers[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-ship-info/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Ship Info[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-dive-snorkle-info/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Dive Info[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-eclipse-viewing/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Eclipse Viewing[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-registration/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Register Now[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-terms-conditions/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]Terms[/button][button link=”http://eclipsetours.com/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016/solar-eclipse-cruise-2016-faq/” color=”blue” size=”small” target=”_self” icon=”” lightbox=”false”]FAQ[/button]

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Dive and Snorkel Info for Solar Eclipse Cruise 2016

On the Solar Eclipse Cruise there are 9 locations in the itinerary where either diving and/or snorkeling are available.  Members of the Silversea Expedition Team are experienced snorkellers and some of them are qualified scuba dive masters. They will be available to assist beginner snorkellers with any questions and guidance. If you are an advanced Scuba diver you will need:

  • To be fully certified.
  • Provide proof of Advanced Open Water Certification before embarking the Silver Discoverer.
  • Provide proof of medical dive travel insurance.
  • Bring your own gear like Scuba BCDs and regulators (we will provide weight belts and tanks). The Dive Program has limited participation.
  • We recommend you buy a separate DIVE INSURANCE policy as it is not covered in the Cruise insurance.
  • Complete a Silversea SCUBA form

For snorkeling Silversea Discoverer provides mask, fins and snorkel.  Please note: fin sizes cannot be guaranteed. Should guests need prescription glasses in their mask, it is recommended they bring their own. For diving they provide air tank, weight belt, mask, fins and snorkel. Dive program – Gratuities are included, usually there is no additional charges, except where we have to use outside operators in places such as Chuuk Lagoon and Koror. Then guests will have to pay around USD$150. for a two tank dive. All other dives, when operated by our staff are free of charge. We do limit the amount of divers to 16 per trip. IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT SOME DIVE SITES MAY HAVE AN ASSOCIATED FEE.

NOTE: SNORKELING IS AVAILABLE FOR EVERYONE. THE SCUBA DIVER LIST IS NOW FULL!  HOWEVER, YOU CAN DIVE AFTER THE CRUISE ENDS IN PALAU. THIS WOULD BE AT EXTRA COST.

The following is a listing of some of the diving areas and features associated with many of our stops.  These are examples of those popular locations and may not be the specific sites where the ship will stop for snorkel/SCUBA.

UIPI ISLAND, SOLOMON ISLANDS (also spelled “Uepi”)

UEPI DIVE SITES Uepi Point: The passage meets The Slot at Uepi Point, where a near vertical reef corner is coated profusely with corals – especially gorgonian fans and colorful spiky soft corals. At 30m a coral peninsula juts out into the deep blue, and the walls plunge into the abyss. This provides the stage for a spectacular procession of pelagics including schooling barracuda, jacks, runner, rays and sharks. At various times and tides the point area becomes a hunting/feeding ground. As a result the underwater action can be very exciting.

Many varied and large schools of feeding fish swarm across the reef-face of the deep point and into the shallows. The predators, giant trevally, mackerel, wahoo, rainbow runner, big-eye jacks, dogtooth and smaller tuna, sharks, barracuda and others cruise relentlessly back & forth waiting for pre-occupied inattentive fish to become their next meal. The explosive sounds and sights of large number of fish all taking evasive action at the same time fill the water. Families of garden eels, arrays of colorful gobies and a diverse collection of invertebrate life inhabit the sand patches of the shallows. The coral garden stretching from Uepi Point back to Uepi pier is festooned with anemones, mantis shrimps, coral shrimps, hard and soft corals and of course a myriad of associated reef-fish of all colors and sizes.

Uepi Point Drift: From Uepi Point back to the Dive Shop pier, allow yourself the courtesy ride of the incoming tide. The passage wall meets the floor at about 50m. Large gorgonians, huge amphora basket sponge, soft coral trees and small hard corals cram the slope. You’ll encounter schools of trevally, rainbow runner, barracuda and other pelagics like mackerel, tuna and sharks, along with an abundance of reef fish including butterfly-fish, basselets, angelfish, unicornfish, surgeons, fusiliers, wrasses, the resident scorpion ‘firefish’ and clown-trigger fish. Inside Point: A sloping walled point at the Marovo Lagoon end of the passage, just in front of the resorts dining-room deck. The resident gang of whaler sharks parade past and circle this point when the incoming or outgoing current is running. The adjacent richly coral covered walls have an endless supply of small overhangs and picture caverns to peer into. A small cove in the wall attracts very high concentrations of barracuda. Finish the dive on the reef top to spot large grouper, octopus, mollusks, tubeworms, nudibranchs and holothurians and watch the colorful reef fish.

Uepi Welcome Jetty: From flashing ‘scallops’ in a cave directly below the pier, to the base of ‘Shark Bombie’ in just over 30m. If time allows hunt for a pygmy seahorse, spotlight a colorful cave as you ascend to a 15m wall clustered with fans. Rated as one of the best shore dives yet, you’ll see a variety of fish such as mangrove jack, greasy rock cods and stingrays resting on the sand, whilst under continual surveillance by the resident grey whalers, white-tips & black-tip sharks. The jetty always has dense schools of smaller fish & is home to a garden of tridacna ‘giant’ clams. The wall is great for an easy entry night dive with common sightings of sponge decorator crabs, hingeback shrimp, spindle cowries, basket stars, hawkfish, slipper lobster and more!

B O T C H (Bottom of the Channel): This is a sensational dive directly off the Uepi dive jetty. The dive starts by entering the water at the dive jetty and descending to around 30m on the wall. Then head out into the passage and imagine being confronted with an underwater sand dune that rises about 2m off the bottom! The sand dune runs along the channel, following the current line, to the Deep Bombies at maximum depth of around 40m. Visibility at the bottom is often in excess of 40m. There are many interesting creatures to be found on the sandy bottom including thousands of garden eels waving in the current, sea pens and other sand dwelling species. The 360-degree panorama is spectacular! Often blue-spotted reef-rays and bull rays can be seen gliding over the sand and white-tips sharks ‘sleeping’ as eagle rays & sharks glide overhead. Continue on to ‘Shark Bombie’ Then back to the wall and continue drifting, either to Inside Point or Uepi Jetty, direction depending on the current.

The Elbow: An outside corner of Uepi Island where the wall is covered with luxuriant gorgonian fans. “Hanging out” at Elbow Point gives the diver a chance to see the pelagics of the area. Grey whaler sharks, schools of trevally and barracuda are common. Often sighted are spotted eagle rays, turtles, tuna, kingfish and white tip reef sharks. Seasonally common are the scalloped hammerhead sharks or maybe a great hammerhead. They come with the cold water, usually from June to November, but can appear anytime. Less common are manta-rays & dolphins. Uncommon are sailfish, marlin and even Orcas. After spending some time at the point the rest of the dive is spent exploring the numerous overhangs, cracks, crevices and swim-throughs of the area. “Flashing scallops” or file shells can be seen and easily photographed and it is not unusual to find a cuttlefish along the wall. For those who want to stop and look the walls have many nudibranch, sponges, cleaner stations manned by shrimp, diverse fish-life and a huge array of other invertebrates.

Elbow Caves: Deep gutters through the reef wall, almost totally enclosed in some sections, make this dive memorable. Columns of sunlight radiate through cathedral like caverns. A large school of diamond-fish disguises the entrance to one cavern, often with barracuda flying through for a meal. Between the gutters, the upper wall overhang forms ledges with abundant fans and dripping webs of sponges. Again, keep one eye seaward for those travelling pelagics, but be sure you don’t miss the resting turtle commonly found here.

North Log and South Log: At times the walls are so steep they overhang the island. North Log is a series of overhang areas with sandy bottoms. The invertebrate life is prolific and the dive is most suited to people who want to spend time looking for small critters. Many goby shrimp combos, twin spot goby, coral shrimps, nudibranch and invertebrates are common. Ghost pipefish, sea moth and exotic nudis have been found. For divers who like to just look at the wall and not go deep, this dive is very beautiful because of the topography, seafans, hard coral and fish life. Cuttlefish are often found and have been recorded laying eggs in this area. Pygmy seahorses colonize specific sea fans.

Divers Bay: Take a tour of the upper reef wall and swim through the various gutters to a lagoon garden of hard corals. A variety of anemones and associated clown fish, damsels and cleaning shrimps to delight the photographer. Giant tridacna clams and bullnose rays, along with small reef sharks, cod, trout, flutemouths, down to the smaller coral inhabitants like damsels and pullers, nudibranchs, flatworms and other invertebrates. Explore the deeper lagoon basin, a site for small manta rays. The inner reef has interesting topography with many overhangs, tunnels and caverns to explore. The outer reef area has hard corals, snapper, surgeon and unicorn fish, huge bumphead parrotfish and wrasses. Look for the cleaning stations. The ocean side of the outer reef drops off into endless depths and the possibility of sighting large pelagics, dolphins and turtles exists as for all the wall areas at Uepi. Point to Point: This is an advanced dive. It commences on the opposite side of the channel to Uepi Point at Charapoanna Point (see below). Divers descend quickly then navigate across the passage towards Uepi Point. During this dive schools of fish numbering in the thousands may be seen, mingling with sharks & rays. The deep bottom edge of the channel where it enters The Slot is called the “Amphi-theatre”. Outstanding visibility often offers panoramic views in all directions. Divers must be experienced in currents, deep diving, maintaining a planned depth in mid-water & the use of computers. Once across the divers safety stop at Uepi Point or drift back to the dive-shop.

Night Diving: The several jetties house many critters. At night a profusion of echinoderms and other invertebrates as well as crustaceans abound in this area. For more advance night diving Uepi Point is a very exciting site with many, many fish, crayfish, shells, eels, rays shrimps, crabs & more. Inside Point is also handy for a great night dive. The site chosen for a night-dive will depend on the divers experience, weather and diving conditions. It is a good idea to bring your personal dive-torch. The premier night diving site is Uepi Point. Enjoy close-up encounters with masses of resting fish, exotic crustaceans, crayfish, basket stars, decorator crabs, shells such as the deadly Conus Geographus, flounder & crocodilefish, turtles.

NUKUORO ATOLL, POHNPEI

Divers and snorkellers alike may see a hawksbill turtle, schools of barracuda, moray eels and many cowrie shells.

OROLUK LAGOON, CHUUK

The water here is amazingly clear for inside a lagoon (where the water is usually a bit murky) and the colours are amazing. Turquoise over the sand in the shallows, a richer blue further out and the white of the waves breaking on the reef. The lagoon is about 15 miles across with just one small island.

With the white sand and colourful fish, it’s a bit like diving in a fish-tank. There is also a wreck of an old fishing boat, which is now a nesting site for white terns. The eggs appear to be laid rather precariously on top of the wreck.  Oroluk Atoll is well known as an important nesting site for the green turtle.

CHUUK LAGOON, CHUUK (also called Truk lagoon)

Diving in Truk Lagoon is an adventure you will never forget. WWII wrecks are scattered across 77 square miles. The wrecks are covered with life. There are over 300 varieties of hard and soft corals. On the outer reef you’ll find mountains of coral that stretch as far as the eye can see, and drops off into the abyss. Here it is not unusual to see pelagic sharks. The water temperature ranges from 82 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Visability ranges from 30′ to 100′ depending on where you are in the lagoon and there is little current.

The following are some of the commonly visited wreck and reef sites.  It will be up to the DISCOVERER Expedition Team to determine which if any might be visited.  This information is simply provided as an indicator of the diverse sights that might be seen.

Ship Name
Highlights
Length
Depth Range
Fujikawa Maru Lush coral growth. Zero airplane fuselages and wing sections.
439’
0’-120’
Yamagiri Maru 18″ diameter artillery shells of Battleship Musashi.
437’
60’-120’
Nippo Maru 2 man tank and artillery guns on deck. Photogenic wheelhouse.
353’
50’-150’
Heian Maru Torpedoes and submarine telescopes. Massive size.
510’
35’-100’
Sankisan Maru Lush soft coral growth on mast. Machine gun ammunition in hold.
200’
0’-100’
Hoki Maru Trucks, bulldozer and tractor in hold. Massive destruction of bow.
250’
45’-150’
Unkai Maru Photogenic bow gun. Good coral growth on masts.
360’
30’-130’
Rio de Janiero Maru Awesome size. Photogenic propellers. Large engine room.
461’
40’-120’
Hanakawa Maru Lush soft and hard coral growth.
363’
10’-100’
Fumitzuki Destroyer Bow and stern guns, torpedo launcher.
320’
80’-120’
Betty Bomber Japanese small twin engine bomber.
60’
50’-60’
Momokawa Maru Aircraft parts, truck frames and artillery shells.
380’
80’-150’
Shinkoku Maru Lush coral growth. Fantastic marine life. Excellent engine room.
500’
30’-130’
Aikoku Maru Massive destruction of bow. Photogenic stern gun.
270’
100’-200’
San Francisco Maru Tanks on deck. Trucks, mines, bombs and ammunition in holds.
375’
100’-200’
Pizion Reef Wall dive. Large coral heads in the shallows. Sharks
15’-200’+

SATAWAL ISLAND, MICRONESIA

Satawal is a solitary coral island in the Caroline Islands in the Federated States of Micronesia, the easternmost island in the Yap island group. It is 2 km long northeast-southwest, and up to 800 m wide. As there are no anchorages for large boats, Satawal is seldom visited by outsiders. The Satawalese primarily subsist on fishing and some agriculture (coconuts, breadfruit, taro). They build small thatch houses for sleeping and use the trunks of breadfruit trees for boat-building. Cultural forms primarily revolve around dance and story-telling, and an alcoholic beverage known as tuba is brewed from fermented coconut milk. The island is best known for its preservation of traditional navigational techniques without the use of instruments, based on indigenous astronomical and maritime concepts. Despite its small population, Satawal has continued to produce ocean-going canoes and expert navigators versed in these traditions.

COLONIA ISLAND, YAP

Situated in the Western Caroline Islands between Guam and Palau this lush tropical island is just 9 degrees north of the equator. Yap is one of the most intriguing and traditional islands in Micronesia.

The people of Yap are warm, shy and proud of their culture, ancient traditions and fascinating legends. Yap is known as the “Land of Stone Money”, due to the ancient currency of huge disks of stone. The huge coins, some over 12 feet (3.5 meters) in diameter, are still used today in local and traditional customs. Dance is an art form on Yap through which legends are passed down through this form of entertainment.

The town of Colonia on Yap Proper is the capital and is slightly more urbanised than the village areas. Snorkelling and diving are popular in the crystal clear waters, where giant manta rays are known to school all year round.

MALAKAL ISLAND, PALAU

Palau is world renown for marine bio-diversity and an abundance of large pelagic animals that includes schools of sharks and lots of manta rays. The warm clear tropical waters are legendary amongst divers for dramatic coral encrusted walls rising from the depths to within inches of the surface. Home to over 1,300 species of fish and more than 700 species of coral, Palau also offers exciting wreck diving with one of the Pacific’s largest collection of intact WWII shipwrecks and plane wrecks.

Palau is a divers dream! A true “one stop shop” when it comes to diving! From sheltered coral gardens filled with colorful reef fishes and lots of turtles to current swept plateaus patrolled by schools of sharks and barracudas, Palau offers a wide and wonderful range of diving for divers of every interest and skill level. Healthy reefs, stunning walls, beautiful hard corals and soft corals, lots of sharks, huge mantas, turtles on every dive and huge schools of fish, tiny seahorses, elusive mandarinfish and lots and lots of tiny critters, all topped off with an amazing collection of WWII wrecks!  Whatever your diving pleasure, level of interest or experience level, Palau diving is sure to please!

Palau’s richly abundant waters also provide wonderful leisurely snorkeling and free-diving too!  See turtles, sharks, barracuda and multitudes of colorful reef fish as you glide over dazzling coral reefs.

The majority of diving in Palau consists of drift diving along the beautiful walls, plateaus and coral gardens of the outer barrier reef.