Day 0 and 1: Arrivals and Orientation

Today we have officially kicked off the Oregon State University 2024 Ridge to Reef course! But before class started, some of our students have already had adventures in Palau. 

Myles arrived a few days early and thus had some extra time to go diving. Booking two days with Sam’s Tours, a diving company recommended by Scott, he dove the Sandbar, Ulong Channel, and the Hafa Adei wreck the first day, then met up with Scott the second day to dive Blue Holes, Blue Corner, and German Channel. Blue Corner in particular was stunning, with enormous schools of Red-Tooth Triggerfish, various fusilier, and three different kinds of reef shark. 

Grey reef shark surrounded by red toothed triggerfish at Blue Corner
School of black barred barracudas at Blue Corner

Iris, Megan and Katie hitched a ride with Bryan and Garrett around Palau where they saw the capitol building. They also stopped at Kuabes park, a beach in Ulimang, where they went hunting for shells. There were so many Hermit crabs and Ghost crabs! 

Palau Capitol Building
Kuabes Park Beachcombing with Iris, Megan and Katie

Finally, Alaina and Donika started their trip with a snorkeling and kayaking trip through Nikko Bay with Paddling Palau, visiting amazing coral reefs, cathedral cave, and a marine lake!

Nikko Bay Kayaking with Paddling Palau

After all our preclass adventures, it was time for the course to start. Our first outing was to the Belau National Museum. The museum gave an extensive history of Palau from first settlement, through years of colonization, to Palau today as an sovereign country.  

Bai at Belau National Museum
Close up of the Art on the Bai

We finished off the day with a lovely dinner from Chef Alina and presentation from Senior Naturalist Guide Mac with Paddling Palau, learning all about the ecotourism, conservation and research that Paddling Palau facilitates in the Rock Islands and beyond. 

Dinner with Paddling Palau at their amazing shop in Koror
Scott picking out food made by Chef Alina and Paddling Palau

Today’s blog post was written by: Katie Matsuoka, Myles Tallmadge and Alaina Houser

Iris enjoying the sunny weather in Palau during rainy season
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