My daydreams of Palau included gleaming turquoise water, blinding white sand beaches, Crayola-colored fish, coral landscapes to rival Butchart Gardens, dulcet tones of palm trees swaying, gentle waves tugging at the shore as I slumbered.

Here the needle claws at the vinyl as nature’s music comes to a screeching halt. Did the itinerary mention rain? It arrived in earnest. Two hours after launching our kayaks, darkness rolled in and swollen clouds burst open with a tropical shower, the drenching type that Kohler would love to sell you. Tucked beneath an undercut of Rock Island limestone, our group was mildly subdued, possibly engaged in a mental redesign of our camping itinerary—to include a hotel.

Little did we know, halcyon days had been banked for us. The rain lifted, the sun blazed; our kayaks carved paths through glass panes of water. The rain continued to flirt with us, but sunshine prevailed. The perfect balance: cool showers, warm sun, smooth water, delightful snorkeling, mesmerizing jellyfish (the non-stinging kind).  Beautiful sunsets painted our evening skies. Later on, the stars twinkled above . . . and gentle waves tugged at the shore.

Palau delivered the dream.

–Photos and text by eight-time WT adventurer Iwalani Carr, Palau Snorkeling and Sea Kayaking

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