Eclipse is a Cal 48 sloop, designed by William Lapworth.�The largest ocean racing boat produced by California boats, it is a stretch version of the famous Cal 40, the design that revolutionized ocean racing forty years ago.�Eclipse has two cabins for guests, both with double berths.�The forward cabin offers a larger berth and more privacy with an attached head (toilet).�The aft cabin has a small double berth plus a single berth if needed, but shares the other head with the crew, just two in number.�There are electric fans and reading lights over each berth and an excellent reference library for identifying fish, corals, birds, shells, and invertebrates. Sun warmed showers are taken on the foredeck and meals served in the cockpit under a large protective awning. Deliberately kept simple, Eclipse nonetheless has all the essentials for dive expeditions, with generator, dive compressor, inflatable launch with outboard, charging stations for cameras and laptops, sea kayaks, and trolling gear for catching fish under way.
While not as luxurious as Safari or the large liveaboards, Eclipse is quite comfortable, and much more an outdoor experience. Not surprisingly, Eclipse's heritage can also produce a really fun day of sailing, with everyone having the opportunity to take the wheel and feel the power of the Pacific Trade winds coursing through her sleek hull. That is, of course, if guests choose to pass up some dive opportunities for this rare experience.
John McCready, a past resident of California and Hawaii, has been sailing and diving throughout the tropical Pacific since 1981, and has been based in Palau for more than fifteen years. John's love of sailing, diving, paddling, and cycling is matched by his passion to share this opportunity to explore the greatest marine wonderland most of us will ever experience, Palau.
Chef and Dive Master
Amei “Charlie” McCready, originally from China, is a talented chef with cuisine rooted in her native Manchuria, the far northern part of the country.
Distinctively spicier than the more familiar fare of Southern China, Charlie’s culinary artistry also includes specialties from Thailand, India, and Mexico She is a master preparing the fresh fish Eclipse catches on almost every trip. Charlie is also one of the most experienced dive guides in Palau. Gifted with eyesight that can pick out the best camouflaged creatures inhabiting coral reefs, she has assisted many photographers in finding unusual and exotic subjects.
Charlie is also especially good at assisting less experienced divers in gaining the skills that result in greater confidence underwater, enabling even novice divers to dive Palau’s most celebrated dives safely.
Safari is a 40 foot trawler style power yacht designed by Edwin Monk.�Trawler yachts were inspired by the rugged fishing boats designed for the north east US and southern Canada that evolved over years of fishing in the North Atlantic and the Grand Banks.�As form follows function, these later adaptations are timeless beauties that retain the good sea keeping ability and toughness of their ancestors. Trawler yachts are also the most efficient of modern power boats with big slow turning single diesels, making it possible to cover long distances at sea without refueling.�The interior of Safari was designed with a large “owner’s stateroom” aft, with king size bed with private bath and toilet, now reserved for our guests. The crew quarters are up forward.�The center cabin contains the dining area, galley and the lower helm station. Safari is quite spacious with comfortable places to relax between dives, particularly in main salon and the top deck under the bimini top.
Safari is fully air conditioned and has been extensively modified for Scuba diving. A platform with tank racks and seating for suiting up and compartments for dive gear stretches clear across the stern just inches above the water. Integral fill whips and a fresh water shower are incorporated right at hand and the ladder for re boarding extends well under water for an easy climb out.
Safari’s captain, Jason Hopcus, is another long distance sailor who arrived in Palau several years ago. Formally from Las Vegas, Jason was a charter captain in the Caribbean, then spent years island hopping and diving through the Pacific in his sailing catamaran before arriving in Palau. Enchanted by more than diving and island life, Jason has swallowed the anchor and married a local beauty and recording artist. Now starting his third season aboard Safari, Jason is a treasure trove of ability and local knowledge.
Rene Menz, originally from Cologne, Germany, arrived in Palau in 1996 to manage a small resort and restaurant. Finding this job lacking in bottom time, Rene became chief of dive operations aboard Palau Aggressor as well as executive chef. Not content with that, Rene moved on to create one of Palau’s best restaurants, Kramer’s, celebrated for it’s Asian/Pacific Fusion cuisine and a superb harbor side location. Now with the restaurant running smoothly in the capable hands of Rene’s wife, Jane, Rene has returned to diving and cooking, but now aboard Palau’s smallest liveaboard, Safari. Overqualified though he may be, Rene can now get in some sportfishing on the side, one of his other passions in life.