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introduction
getting there
boat: big blue
photo gear
scenery
diving
  turtle cove
  ngemelis wall
  virgin blue hole
  german channel
  night dive
  blue hole
  big drop off
  unknown
  turtle cove (2)
  blue corner
  purple beach
  orange beach
  blue corner (2)
  big drop off (2)
  iro maru wreck
  helmet wreck
  chandelier cave
  jellyfish lake
rebreather
people
  underwater pics
sashimi
farewell dinner
closing words
 
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echeng.com

INTRODUCTION
April, 2001

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!

Author: Eric H Cheng, April 2001
Contact: email | web | guestbook

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.

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Copyright © 2001 Eric Cheng. All Rights Reserved.

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