Palau’s New Drop-Off

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Located west of Ngemelis Island and German Channel, the New Drop-Off is part of the wall running the entire length of the Ngemelis.  (The dive is also known as the West Ngemelis Wall.)  The wall starts off at the German Channel, continues through southwest as the Big Drop-Off, changing names to the Turtle Wall.  As the reef continues north, the wall again changes names to the New Drop-Off.

The ocean’s current changes the dive’s challenge level.  With not much current, Palau’s New Drop-Off is well suited for novice scuba divers.  Strong currents make this suitable for more experienced divers.  Two buoys, one north and south, mark the dive site.

A dive starting on the northern buoy starts above a reef.  At very low tides, the dive’s reef is often exposed.  The two walls meet at the New Drop-Off,  giving formation to its reef.  The reef sits as a table down about 30 feet creating one of the most picturesque points of the dive.  Continuing to the end of the reef, the wall makes an extreme drop of 300 to 500 feet.  As divers continue north the wall loses much of the verticality, taking a more gradual slope.  Redtooth triggerfish, fusileirs and butterfish swim hugging close to the wall, making home to the bountifully amounts of sea fans, vibrant colored hard and soft corals and large anemones adorning the wall.  This, again, makes for one of the vacation’s best photo opportunities.

The dive, itself, is made up of three corners, each corner with its own congregation of sharks and other fish.  Coming to the first corner, scuba divers are met with the gray reef sharks.  Continuing to follow the wall, the wall turns from a sheer to one with a more gradual slope.  Passing from the first corner to the second, scuba divers swim through huge schools of barracudas, blue tripe and yellow tailed snappers.  Napoleon wrasses are known to habitat this area.  Meeting the second corner, with its sharper angle, the current will generally pick up significantly.  Schools of fish surround.  Barracudas, emperor and regal angelfish, sergeant majors, hawkbill and green turtles.  This is also a home to the spotted eagle ray.  Reaching the final corner, divers swim above a large canyon and its adjacent cavern.

The combination of the reef formation, its multiple corners, the wall itself, the currents and congregating marine life make this one of Palau’s best dives.

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<< Return to Palau’s Top Dive Sites
Next Dive Site –
Ngemelis Wall – Big Drop-Off >>
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