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Log Date: Sunday, Mar 08, 2015
Entry By: Tropic Dancer Crew









 



 

     At 4pm on Sunday, we started our pickups, in total we welcomed on board 18 guests, a group of 11 people from Sea Paradise in Thailand, 6 people from Belgium, and 1 from the US. We are happy to see our friends from Sea Paradise, Rani, Oak, and Cat back with us for another charter. We started with a quick introduction to their cabins. Then on the dive deck, everyone set up their dive gear. We sat down to dinner and after we covered the safety briefing and vessel orientation. We handed out the nautilus lifelines and watched a documentary on Palau.    

 

     Early Monday morning we started up the big boat early headed into Malakal Harbor. After breakfast we covered the general dive briefing. Our first dive was at the Helmet Wreck or also known as the Depth Charge Wreck. This wreck is named due to the couple stacks of WWII helmets found in the first cargo hold as well as the depth charges in the first two cargo holds. We entered the water and everyone did a weight check and soon started their descent. We stopped in the first cargo hold, saw the helmets, and continued down towards the bow of the wreck. In the middle cargo hold we saw more depth charges we swam through the cargo hold to the forward cargo hold and saw the airplane motors. At the bow of the wreck we found the banded messmate pipefish around the anchor wench. On the way back to the stern we found a couple of signal gobies on the deck of the wreck. We then spent the rest of the dive looking over the artifacts that have been collected and placed out on the stern. After the dive the big boat headed out of pinchers and into the rock islands. Our second dive was at the Iro. We entered the water and soon saw the large bow gun, continued along past the wheelhouse and dropped down into the engine room. We turned around at the stern gun and circled up the three kings post that come together at the top. We spent some time with the red anemones and the tomato anemone fish. We then swam from king post to king post back to the mooring line to do our safety stop. During lunch, the big boat moved straight to Ulong. After lunch we covered the last power point presentation on how to use the reef hooks and our nest dive was at Siaes Corner. We entered the water and drifted towards the hook in area. We made it to the hook in area and hooked in. We stayed there for a while and had several sharks in the blue. We unhooked and spent the rest of the dive exploring the plateau. For dive four we headed out to Ulong Channel. We started the dive from the mooring and drifted along the wall. We had some sharks in the blue and a couple beautiful anemones that were balled up feeding. We hooked in at the mouth of the channel and watched as several more sharks in front of all the guests. We unhooked and drifted into the channel. We passed by the large formation of lettuce coral and ended our dive at the giant clams. Dinner was soon ready when we arrived at the big boat, after we watched a fish ID presentation on the most common fish we see here in Palau.

     Tuesday morning we had an incoming current and went back to Ulong Channel. We entered the water and drifted along towards the hook in area. We hooked in at the mouth and again had several grey reef sharks pass by in front of us. The current was getting weak so we unhooked and drifted into the channel, before we made it to the lettuce coral the current switched and we turned around and drifted towards the mouth of the channel. For dive two we headed out to Sandy Paradise. We found the three leaf scorpion fish and saw a large school of barracuda and the big eyed crescent tail fish. Also at the cleaning station some of the guests were able to get their hands cleaned by the cleaner wrasse. We stopped to photo the large school of big-eyed crescent tails and they made great photo subjects. After the dive, during lunch, we moved the big boat to the German Channel area. Dive three was at New Drop Off. The current was out going and we entered the water and drifted along the wall to the hook in area. We hooked in around the big cut in the reef and enjoyed the show. There were several grey reef sharks and about 10 little baby sharks. They were about the size of footballs. They were fun to watch because they really didn’t know how to maneuver in the current. We then unhooked and explored the plateau. For the forth dive we had an incoming current and went to German Channel. We started from the Peleliu side of the channel and stopped at the Peleliu side cleaning station, but nothing was happening. We then swam across the mouth of the channel to the Koror side cleaning station. We sat down and waited. After 15 minutes a big manta came in to be cleaned. It stayed at the cleaning station for about 20 minutes then took off. We ended our dive drifting into the channel. After dinner we went to German Coral Garden for the night dive. The current was still incoming so we started from the Koror side of the channel and drifted into the channel. We saw the red anemone and some cone shells.

 

     Wednesday morning we started the day with German Channel. The current was incoming, we entered the water on the Koror side of the channel. We stopped at the red anemone for photos then sat down around the cleaning station. No mantas came in to be cleaned, so we headed across the mouth of the channel we then saw that 2 mantas were up feeding. We left the bottom and ascended to the shallow to be with the mantas. We spent the rest of the dive with the mantas swimming in and around us. For dive two we went to Blue Holes. We entered the water for on top the plateau, and descended down into the chamber. We took photos, saw the disco clam, then exited and made it down to Blue Corner. Once we passed through the eddy current, the outgoing pushed us down the hook in area. Some of the guests were able to hook in and see some sharks in the blue, others just drifted across the plateau. After lunch we headed to Big Drop Off. All the guests enjoyed the drift along the wall; we saw a lot of macro life. For the fourth dive we headed to Turtle Cove. We started the dive by descending down the chimney and out to the wall. We drifted along the beautiful wall and found the square spot anthias and some turtles. At the corner we came up on top the plateau and checked out the schools of fish. The current on top the corner was the other way so we turned around and headed the other way. After dinner we went back to Turtle Cove for the night dive. During the dive we saw a turtles, nudi’s, and some basket stars out filter feeding in the mild current, also a white tip reef shark cruising along the wall.

 

     Thursday morning we woke up early and moved the big boat down to Peleliu. After we tied up the big boat in South Dock, our first dive was at Peleliu Corner. We checked the current and it was an incoming current. So we did the “Express.” We entered the water and went wall on the right to the hook in area. We hooked in and the current was moving. We saw some sharks in front of us. We then unhooked and rode the current all the way to the corner. We then started ascending to do our safety stop, below us a large ornate eagle ray swam along in the current. None of the guests wanted to go on the Peleliu WWII land tour so dive two we went back to Peleliu Corner. This time we had a mild outgoing current, and did the “D’Cut” side of the corner. When we arrived at the cut the current switched back to incoming so we turned around and went back the way we came. After lunch dive three was at West Wall. We entered the water at the red anemone and then checked out the swim through, the ghost pipefish from last week were gone. We drifted along the beautiful wall finding some macro life, and had a close encounter with two large dogtooth tuna. After the dive the big boat left south dock and slowly headed back to German Channel. We dropped the skiff for one last dive in Peleliu at Barracks Point. We started the dive along the wall and when we arrived at the sloping coral garden, we saw a large spotted eagle ray. We came up on top the coral garden and the current switched so we had to turn around and drift with it. We found some turtles and another dogtooth tuna. The night dive was at Big Drop Off. We found several shrimp, a small scorpion fish and other macro life.

 

     On Friday morning we woke up and started the day with Blue Corner. The current was nice and incoming. We hooked in at the 45-foot hook in area and enjoyed the show. There were sharks in front of us; the napoleons swam in and out of the group. We then unhooked and went down to the 60-foot hook in area. We had more sharks in front of us while we were hook in there. We then unhooked and explored the plateau seeing some turtles and blue lined snapper. Most of the guests said that this was the best dive of the charter. For dive two we headed Virgin Blue Hole. We descended down the hole on top the reef all the way down to 100 feet, posed for photos and slowly made our way out the tunnel to the wall. To end the dive we swam through the canyons, under the archway and found the resident crocodile fish in that area. After lunch for dive three, we went back to Blue Corner. We hooked in on the outgoing side and had several sharks in the blue. We then unhooked and explored the top of the plateau; the napoleons soon joined us and posed for photos. We also found a beautiful anemone balled up feeding. For dive four we headed out to Dexter’s Wall. We drifted along the wall and saw several turtles, and in some cracks in the reef we spotted a couple of lobster. When we returned to the big boat we started moving into the rock islands to get closer to Jellyfish Lake for tomorrow. Soon after we sat down to chef Mani’s final supper of turkey, honey baked ham, mashed potatoes, and more. After dinner Andy showed his video of the charter and we watched a short documentary on Jelly Fish Lake and most of the guests were soon off to bed.

 

   We woke up Saturday morning with the big boat in the rock islands. We were totally surrounded by the islands and could hear all the birds chirping as they too were waking up. Our first excursion was Jelly Fish Lake. We tied the skiff up on the outside and started our hike over the hill to the lake. We entered the water and after a short swim into the middle of the lake we were surrounded by millions of jellyfish. Everyone enjoyed this time in the lake, with an estimated 13 million jellyfish. After the lake we traveled by skiff to the Milky Way. We pulled up a bucket of sand and the guests rubbed it on their skin. Even though there is no scientific proof, People say it’s good for your skin, also its fun to have all the guests covered in a white mud. We then continued up the east side of Palau and arrived back to the big boat. We did a quick turnaround and headed out to Chandelier Cave. We surfaced in all four air chambers to take photos of the stalactites and outside the cave we found the mandarin fish. After the cave we went over to do a quick dive at the Jake Sea Plane. We spent 20 minutes photographing the plane that sits at 40 feet deep. After an afternoon of cleaning, drying and packing scuba gear, we gathered in the salon at 6pm for the cocktail party and watch a photo slideshow of the week and soon after all the guests headed off into town for dinner. After dinner the guests came back to the boat, and most of them started packing and soon went to bed.  

 

     Sunday morning at 2am we said our goodbyes to our group of guests from Thailand as they headed to the airport to fly home. The rest of the guests woke up to continental breakfast and at 8am we said our goodbyes as they headed off to their hotel. We would like to thank all of our guests for joining us this week aboard the Tropic Dancer, and a very special thank you to Sea Paradise from Thailand, hope to see you all again soon…

 

         -Tropic Dancer Crew