Crystal was not feeling well, between ear problems and sunburns, so she decided to take an off day, rather than just go snorkeling. We went through the usual breakfast routine, then separated at the dock. We can't remember the last time we spent separate days on holiday - probably back in Cuzco or Bangkok, almost 10 years ago.


Crystal's day was pretty relaxed. After Justin left for Sam's, Crystal went to the dive shop at the hotel and picked out a map of the country with dive sites listed on it. Then she went back to the room and checked out her collection of GoPro videos from the previous couple of days, figuring out what she actually captured. The GoPro doesn't have a viewfinder, so you just aim your best and hope what you wanted to record ends up in the frame. She was especially happy she got the Manta Ray video flying overhead. After watching videos, she wandered around the resort and made a spa appointment for the early afternoon. She had a leisurely lunch and the pool bar and read a bit. Then she walked over to the spa and got her spa treatment. They were careful to avoid irritating the sunburned areas. After the spa treatment, she came back to the room and read until Justin got back from Sam's.

Justin's day was pretty similar to the day before. He was on the ship with lots of people from day before, plus Torsten, Del, and Leon. He did get the early pickup, and got to Sam's early. At Sam's, Torsten already had the boat loaded with everyone's gear. Despite Torsten's best efforts to get us to leave for Ulong Channel early, he failed. While most everyone was the same as the day before, there was a new Chinese guy, and he forgot his permit, so he had to go back to the hotel to grab it. Then, when testing his equipment, it failed, so the equipment had to be swapped out before the group could leave. Then, just as we were about to leave, he had to go to bathroom. While he was off the boat, Justin whispered to Torsten "We can't throw him overboard, right?"

Leon and Torsten were in bad shape, particularly Leon, who slept on the front of the boat on the way out to Ulong, and sat out the first dive (Torsten and Del were on the dive). Once again, it was nice sunny weather. At Ulong, Torsten decided to try Ulong Channel (very obvious in the aerial photo at the top of the page), hoping the current was still going the correct direction. We saw a couple sharks right when we went down. At the bottom, however, Torsten realized the channel was unfortunately outgoing rather than incoming, so Torsten turned around and we enjoyed the colorful coral instead.

There was a nice lunch at the beach on Ulong (aerial photo above left). After lunch, we went to area near a small sand island, called, appropriately, "Big Sandy Bottom" (bottom of the above right aerial picture, with Ulong in the background). This time Torsten sat out the dive. There wasn't much to this dive - nice coral, but frankly kind of boring compared to the last couple days. There were some unicornfish, but nothing else of note. The ride back was uneventful as well.

After getting back to Sam's, Justin and two other of the guests went on a third dive, to a wreck right near Sam's. The wreck was very cool, and sort of eerie. Having the boat made it much easier to orient, with something with a defined shape - it was easier to know whether you were going up or down, how fast you were moving, etc. Around the wreck there were some tight quarters - a couple of small hallways - but nothing too dangerous. Justin banged his head, but probably beause he was focusing too much on the camera and the sights. Finally, at the end of 11 dives in six days, he was finally getting the hang of it.


Back at Sam's - again - Justin grabbed a drink and some french fries, then went back to PPR and met up with Crystal. At PPR, we went down to the bar, enjoyed a gorgeous sunset, and hung out with Chris again and some company, a couple from Germany. They told us about some good dive spots in Komodo and Raja Ampat. All told, the day was more of same old, same old. We could get used to this.