Log Date: Sunday, May 24, 2015
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew
Palau Aggressor Charter May 24th - May 31st, 2015
Water Temp: 79-84 deg F
Air Temp: 78-86 deg F
Crew: Scott, Conor, Dan, Jay, Hector, Ripon and Joe
On Sunday afternoon 16 new guests arrived from across the USA, mostly from Texas with a few Californians. Once they were welcomed aboard the Vessel and helped to set up their gear, the guests were given a safety briefing from the Captain followed by a delicious dinner, prepared and served by Chief Dan. Afterwards Conor did the diving briefing for the guest to prepare them for the fun week of Palau diving. It was then time to get a good night’s sleep.
For the first dive on Monday morning for an easy check out dive we made a short departure from the dock to the Helmet wreck, one of the casualties of WWII. Unlike many wrecks in Palau, which had been salvaged after the war, the Helmet wreck wasn’t discovered until the eighties. As a result the divers can find many artifacts like sake bottles, weapons, cooking pots, rifles and gas masks on the wreck. Dive two was at yet another famous wreck in Palau the much large Iro Maru, meeting its fate in the outer lagoon after heavy fire from both US submarine and airstrike attacks. Upon this massive five hundred foot tanker divers found nudi’s, two beautiful octopi huddled close together and on top of the massive trip tower a large colony of tomato anemones and clown fish. During lunch the Palau Aggressor II out to German Channel area and did a dive at Canyons. Where divers were able to explore in and out of large cuts in the in the reef wall spotting several turtles, gray reef sharks and some great macro live as well. The last dive of the day at Ferns Wall, with a strong current divers cruised swiftly along the wall and even snuck up on a large nurse shark. After dinner divers listened to the reef hook briefing to prepare for their first hook in dives the following morning followed a presentation on the battle of Peleliu.
Tuesday morning we dived Blue Corner for the first time, saw some Sharks, Barracuda, Jacks, Napoleon Wrasse, and so much more, easy to understand why this dive site has the reputation it does as it never disappoints! For dive two we headed back out this time going a little bit further to Blue Holes. Inside we got some great pictures, found the disco clams and a tiny pigmy seahorse. New Drop Off was our third dive, a mini version of Blue Corner and often just as exciting, produced more sharks including six baby gray reefs. The Plateau on Turtle cove, our fourth dive is particularly beautiful in the sunlight with Anthias and Basselets and other reef fish so concentrated it is like a huge aquarium. Turtle cove was such a traffic dive we headed back out for our first night dive. The wall exploded with color as the yellow soft corals were in full bloom filter feeding.
On Wednesday we moved the big boat down to Peleliu Island in the gentle swell and did the first dive on Peleliu express. Dive Three was on the very beautiful coral garden at Orange beach. The name is not referencing a colorful spot on the island, but rather it was one of the code names for a landing area during the invasion of Peleliu by the US Marines. Peleliu was one of the fiercest battles in the Pacific, and evidence of the fighting can be found on the Island and also at this dive site. Some of our guests decided to explore the Island via the land tour instead of doing the second dive. Dive four was at Barracks Point, which is home to some giant clams and also many Turtles! Our night dive was on Ngemelis Wall were we found lots of great macro life as well as a large crab.
Thursday morning it was back of Blue Corner for another great dive, playing with our napoleon wrasses and multiple sharks. Dive three with an incoming current we made way to German Channel and it most certainly did not disappoint. Along with two octopus, turtle, red anemones and shark we had the large mantas cruse by the cleaning station. Then the fourth dive was at Barnum’s Wall for some more excellent macro life and several turtles. After dinner the night dive was at German Coral Garden for a nice relaxing dive.
Friday morning the Palau Aggressor moved out to the world famous Ulong Island. Our first dive was at Siaes Tunnel were divers found several rare fish for recreational diving; pigmy blue-back angelfish, black & white butterfly fish and the decorated dart fish. Several of the guest had a large tiger shark swim right bye them as well. After breakfast we headed back out to Siaes Corner for an excellent hook-in diver with lots of sharks and two eagle rays passing bye. Then for the third dive we were off for Ulong Channel where we had tons of sharks. After unhooking divers cruised down the channel seeing tons of groupers, a giant patch of lettuce coral and ending the dive at two giant clams sitting side by side. The last dive of the day was Sandy Paradise along with seeing several leaf scorpion fish divers had a baby manta pass back and forth right in front of them. After an amazing final dinner by Dan, we gathered in the saloon to watch the video of the week’s highlights.
On Saturday morning we went to Jellyfish Lake where we swam with the millions of mesmerizing stingless jellies plus checked out the predacious anemones along the shoreline. After a relaxing hour in the tranquil lake, we boarded the skiff and did a spectacular tour of the Rock Island courtesy of Joe. We then went for our last dive at Chandelier Cave, a must do as it is so different from anything else we dived throughout the week. With a patient eye you can find Mandarin fish, two large nudi’s and razor fish amongst the rubble at the cave entrance. A slide show was prepared by Hector and included all of the sights from this week’s trip which we watched at the cocktail party that evening, after which the guests enjoyed dinner in one of the restaurants in Koror.
Sunday morning and we helped the guests load the luggage onto the bus and said our goodbyes as they left for their hotels. It’s been a fun week and we hope to see you all again soon aboard the Palau Aggressor II.
……… down to Ulong Island, recently famous for being the host of Survivor Palau. The guests had their first taste of the outer reef with a dive Sandy Paradise after lunch. Seeing some cool creatures like Leaf Scorpion fish, had everyone excited for more. Dive four was at Ulong Channel, hooking in at the mouth of the channel was very exciting with lots of Grey Reef and White tip Sharks putting on a good show!
Tuesday morning our first dive was on Siaes Corner, my personal favorite site in Palau. We hooked in and saw a few Sharks, but didn’t stay long as there was not a lot of current, so we unhooked and drifted along the wall, checking out the Pygmy Seahorses, a Crinoids’ shrimp and some cool nudibranchs along the way. Dive two was in Siaes Tunnel, where one can find Decorated Dart fish and Blue back pygmy angel fish.