Experience Spawning and Blackwater in Micronesia

Palau Diving
May 15 to 26, 2024

Cost: $5,775
Leader: Richard Barnden and Macstyl Sasao
Group Size: 16
Days: 12

Safari Overview

Learn more on the Trip Itinerary page.

Snorkel, paddle, sail, and dive among awe-inspiring tropical islands in the western Pacific Ocean on our scientific exploration of the Palau National Marine Reserve. Seek hidden pockets of pristine beauty around West Ngeruktabel Island and Risong Bay before the Palau Siren beckons you to join her in an exploration of Palau’s most mythical dive sites. With multiple daily dives from dawn through nightfall, you will join the early morning world of snapper spawning rituals as well as the nighttime abyss illuminated by hanging lights on blackwater dives. In between, explore and photograph blue holes, drop-offs, caverns, caves, and channels. Science and art are truly one on this journey.


  • Discover seahorses and a myriad of other dazzling fish after snorkeling through a coral-filled tunnel.
  • Experience the offshore on the Palau Siren.
  • Dive at sunrise to view the rhythmic dance of thousands of snappers.
  • Behold 100 million tons of biomass rise to feed at night.


  • Continue your journey on our Palau Snorkeling trip from May 24 to June 4, 2024. Snorkel and kayak amid the bounty of this extensive archipelago.

Itinerary Updated: October 2022

Our Trip Leaders

Richard Barnden

Richard has been guiding and photographing marine life in the Pacific Ocean for nearly 20 years. His passion is in unique underwater imagery, specializing in spawning aggregations and blackwater night diving. Richard moved to Palau in his early twenties as a video pro then cruise director of multiple liveaboards where he continued filming. He has spent the last ten years researching spawning aggregations and their predictabilities. Richard’s specialty is leading spawning expeditions timed around lunar phases to observe fish reproduction.

Macstyl Sasao

Macs grew up in Palau and the Pacific Northwest of the US. His relatives taught him the advanced arts of Micronesian hunting and fishing. He quickly adapted to a lifestyle that revolves around the moon and the tides, which  requires an intimate knowledge of fish behavior and the ability to free dive under the full moon to find masses of spawning fish. As ecotourism developed in Palau, finding that his knowledge translated well into photography, Macs traded his spear gun for an underwater camera. He now shares his passion for Palau's environment as a guide and photographer.


Sail tropical islands in the western Pacific Ocean on our scientific exploration of the Palau National Marine Reserve.

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Cost & Payments


Not Included


Fitness Level