Palau BFF

Back from Germany, and back at my laptop. I traveled to Germany with just an iPad (and iPhone for camera – data roaming is stupid expensive, so I kept it in airplane mode for the duration). The iPhone camera pretty much rocks (except in high contrast light). And I seriously love the pano function. But no can shoot manual settings with a point and shoot phone…

I sometimes take my big 17 inch Mac laptop and my trusty Nikon d300 when I go to Germany, but on this trip, as I shared in a recent blog, we were moving around quite a bit in a rental car, and sometimes had other passengers (and their luggage) with us. So it just seemed like too much stuff to schlep, especially as we planned to take carry on baggage only on this trip.

In the end I regretted not having the Nikon. We toured Weimar and Erfurt, both beautiful, interesting locations, plus we went to Buchenwald Concentration Camp (located very near Weimar) – a very haunting place. And the light in Berlin on the weekend was really wonderful – although it’s not like I don’t already have mucho pix of the Reichstag etc  ;^). If I ever get my arse in gear, I’ll write a blog or two about these places and experiences.

And yes, I managed to cram 8 days worth of clothing (casual daytime and biz evening outfits, plus some workout wear/runners), toiletries, umbrella and a couple of pairs of dress shoes, all in a regulation-sized carry on bag. Miraculous. I wore my boots, and carried my coat onto the plane, which helped with the bulk.

And am thrilled to report I did not get seated next to a flatulent 250 pound frau in the back of the bus on a Lufthansa 747 on this trip. Instead, happily, my seat mates were modestly-sized twenty-somethings – an Egyptian/Dubaian fellow on the way to Frankfurt, and a German girl on the way home – both of whom were very polite and un-obnoxious. Hallelujah!

I’ve been sharing a few pix from the recent Palau trip as I wade through them, on my Facebook – but figured I might as well mirror them here, for those readers who don’t do FB.

So above is a shot of my new best friend – one of two Palauan “tame” Napoleon Wrasses. These are very big fish – several hundred pounds I would guess. They clearly knew our dive guides and went right up to them as soon as they saw them. For the rest of us, we had to work our way into their good graces. There was a third of these tamed fishes – the largest – that was poached several years back and sold as seafood to a local Palau restaurant. The dive community mourned.

It is believed that these fish became comfortable with divers (they are normally quite reclusive) because some people fed them hard-boiled eggs. Our guides did not feed them, just scritched under their chins and hugged the fish, who seemed to love it and kept coming back for more cuddles.

Fish are friends…

About Judy G Diver

Born and raised on the west coast of Canada, I have always felt a strong connection to the sea. But for many years, I stayed on the surface, afraid of what lurked down deep. When I was in my early 30's, with three young children (aka the P's), my husband (aka Mr G) signed us up for a SCUBA certification course, as a surprise. Although I had my fears, my stubbornness prevailed, and somehow I made it through four murky, frigid, cold water dives in Vancouver to successfully pass the course. Soon after we went diving off the west coast of Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez, where my eyes were opened to the beauty and other-worldliness of the life down under. And the rest, as they say, is history. I currently have well over 2000 dives under the belt, and I have been fortunate to travel and dive in Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Fiji, Palau, Philippines, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Hawaii, California, Egypt, Mexico, several islands in the Caribbean, and here in British Columbia. In addition to this blog and my personal website (, which is linked at the top of the blog, my stuff has been published in a variety of magazines and websites, including a regular monthly feature for Scubadiving Magazine for several years. All links to this work can be found in this blog.
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