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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Saving the Sharks of Palau

Palau is one of those locales, like Fiji and the Red Sea, discussed only in clandestine conversations between avid scuba divers. To reach it, you have to travel five hours from the West Coast to Hawaii, another seven hours to Guam and yet another 90 minutes to this cluster of 200 sparsely populated islands, which Jacques Cousteau called the best scuba diving site in the world. From your home base on the capital isle of Koror, head to the Big Drop-Off, considered the best wall dive on Earth. It starts in knee-deep water and then abruptly plummets almost 1,500 feet into an abyss. Nearly as mind-boggling is Blue Corner, a large coral cavity where three ocean currents meet. Hunker down and watch schools of tuna, white-tip sharks and 3-foot-tall giant clams (where’s the melted butter when you need it?). Those white-tip sharks are protected, along with hammerheads, leopard sharks, and more than 130 other species fighting extinction in the Pacific Ocean now that Palau has created the world’s first shark sanctuary. The country has banned shark fishing on more than 237,000 square miles of ocean, so divers can expect more up close views of those pearly whites. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/05/12 at 01:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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