The German Channel in Palau

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After the Spanish-American War (at the end of the 19th Century), Palau passed from Spain to German possession.  With the discovery of bauxite and phosphate and the abundance of copra (coconut flesh), the Germans were eager to find a way to their riches.  German miners blasted a channel from through the barrier reef between Ngemelis and Ngercheu, creating one of the most plentiful communities of manta rays in the world.

The German Channel is a component of the wall running the entire length of Ngemelis Island.  The wall makes home to other dives, Turtle Wall, Big Drop-Off and New Drop-Off.

“We were told that the likelihood of
spotting manta rays was best at the
German Channel.  We weren’t disappointed. 
It’s a little eerie the way eye you as they
swim by.
Oh, and if you see a trigger fish,
Give it a wide berth.  Calling them territorial
doesn’t do them justice.”
Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach CA

The German Channel teams with other life.  Grey reef and black tip sharks are on patrol.  Schools of Jacks, snappers and barracudas add to their presence.  In between the rocks or in sandy holes nest the triton triggerfish.  Any fish or diver encroaching too close to a trigger’s nest will be quickly met with a responding attack.

Along the wall, mantas and sharks take turns at the cleaning station provided by the wrasses.

Photos by Jim Caldwell


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Next Dive Site – Jellyfish Lake >>