My interest in the sea was sparked when I was a young child. My parents used
to take me to the tidepools in San Diego, where I would poke anemones with my
finger to watch them close up. In 1995, I happened to see "The Living Sea,"
which was one of the first IMAX movies I had ever seen. I experienced it in
all of its splendor at the Omnimax theater at Balboa Park's Reuben H. Fleet
Science Center, and have been fascinated with aquatic life ever since. During
the summer of 1995, I became scuba certified as a 'Sport Diver' through BSAC
(British Sub-Aqua Club), whose course includes rescue, navigation, and decompression
diving. Later on, I crossed over to PADI as an 'Advanced Diver' because many
people in the States had no idea what BSAC was (including people working at
dive centers). "The Living Sea" spoke of a wonderful reef paradise
called Palau, located just east of the Philippines. Palau consists of roughly
300 small rock islands, and has previously been occupied by Germany, Japan,
and the United States. Consequently, the local currency is the U.S. dollar,
and everybody speaks English. It was the location of several important battles
in World War II, and memorials (both above and below the water) can be found
on Koror and Peleliu Islands. In "The Living Sea," I saw footage of
Jellyfish Lake, an inland saltwater lake where evolution had taken its own unique
path after being cut off from the world ocean a long time ago. I was fascinated,
but didn't think much about Palau again until planning a vacation between jobs
a couple of months ago. I roped Kenny
into getting scuba certified, and a week after he finished his certification,
we were aboard the Big Blue Explorer, anchored in a port in Koror, Palau. Everybody
on board thought Kenny was crazy for showing up to dive in Palau after logging
only five dives, but he is a natural diver, so there were no problems. This
site contains about 300 photographs taken during the trip, both above and below
the water. All of the underwater photos were taken by me, but some of the land
photos of the boat were taken by Kenny.
Technical note: I'm sorry, sorry, sorry (!!!) but I use a cookie on this site if you toggle image size to "big" (first choice in the left-hand menu). This will let you access larger images (they fit in an 800x800 bounding box) when you click on the thumbnails in this site. I couldn't figure out an easier way to do it without duplicating code. Any suggestions? :)
Enjoy! Please contact me, or sign my guestbook if you have any feedback, suggestions, or impressions!
May 9, 2001 - The response I've been getting from this site has been overwhelming! It has received more than 4000 visitors in just two weeks. Thanks to all of you out there who have written -- it really does make putting the site up worth the effort.
Copyright © 2001 Eric Cheng. All Rights Reserved.
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