Location: Eastern reefs Palau Islands. Ngerchong Wall is east of Ngerchong Island.
Distance from Koror: 21 miles (34 kilometers) southeast of Koror, 35 minutes by speedboat.
Visibility: During an incoming tide: 90 to 120 feet (30 to 40 meters). During the outgoing tide: 30 to 90 feet (10 to 30 meters).
Level of Diving Experience: Novice to intermediate, depending on the direction of the tide.
Diving Depth Summary: Shallow reef with large coral heads: 10-18' (3-6m). Steep slop with crevices and canyons: 25-120' (8-40 meters).
Currents: The incoming tidal current around Ngerchong flows from south to north. If the diver approaches the shallow entrance to Denges Channel during the incoming tide, the current will push the diver to the west by the incoming tidal current. During the outgoing tide the diver will be swept gently toward the open ocean. If the diver stays close to the reef wall the outgoing current will not have any affect. For more information regarding the tidal patterns of Palau, check the Blue Corner tide and current section.
General Information: This dive site usually offers the best visibility in Palau. Ngerchong dive sites are very popular when the wind shifts to the west.
Reef Formation: The reef is a steep drop-off that runs south to north, and then turns northeast toward Chudel Reef. The reef wall is shallow and wide at the entrance to Denges Channel (known also as Ngerchong Channel). There is a shallow area at the top of the reef to the south (close to Ngerchong Island) that is decorated with table corals. The shallow area to the north is a sandy plateau (channel entrance) littered with huge coral heads.
Marine life: Ngerchong wall is covered with a large variety of soft and hard corals. Look for Gray Reef Sharks, Black Tip Sharks, sleeping White Tip Sharks and turtles. Other pelagics you may see are Rays, Leopards Shark and, on occasion, a migrating Whale Shark. During the months of September through November Ngerchong Wall is a nursery for baby Gray Reef Sharks. At 40 to 80 feet (13 to 27 m) look for large schools of juvenile sharks 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) long, patrolling the water, accompanied by an adult female. Occasionally the school will approach the sandy shallow entrance of Denges Channel in search for food. This is a great area for opportunities to shoot photos and video.
Diving: The dive boat will be tie-off to a mooring off Ngerchong Island. Descend to the bottom along the mooring line to the bottom at 18 feet (6 m). Swim east above the slope and toward open water for approximately 45 feet (15 m) here you will approach the wall. Keep the wall to your left. Deep canyons and crevices that cut through the reef wall run from the top of the reef at 15 feet (5 m) down to over 100 feet (33 m). Continue along the wall the reef wall until it turns into a sandy bottom. This is the entrance to Denges Channel. If the current is flowing in, this is the place to be! Hook yourself to the reef and watch the show.
Fascinating Facts: Cleaning stations can be found along the face of the reef wall between the 50 and 70-foot (17 and 23 m) level. Cleaning stations are easy to identify; there are usually numerous fish waiting for the cleaner wrasses to do their job. Take time to observe the action at the cleaning stations, you will find it fascinating.