Log Date: Sunday, Jun 14, 2015
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew
Palau Aggressor Charter June 14 - 21
Water Temp: 82-86 deg F
Air Temp: 78-86 deg F
Crew: Zach, Allan, Scott, Christy, Editha, Ernan, Joe
On Sunday afternoon we welcomed 10 guests onto the Palau Aggressor. After being assigned their cabins the guests set up their gear and checked that everything worked properly. Shortly after, everyone met in the salon for the Captains Briefing. Guests were informed of what we would be doing this week, where we would be going and most importantly the vessel safety procedures. Once this was complete a welcome dinner was presented by Chef Christy. After dinner we pulled out from the dock and headed out toward Ulong so we catch the Bump head parrot fish spawning early Monday morning.
Early Monday morning at around 5:30am our guests woke up to find themselves at Ulong Island and without skipping a beat we hopped on the skiff and made our way to sandy paradise were we encounter a massive school of bump head parrot fish spawning. This only happens on the few days leading up to a new moon. Our 2nd dive brought us to Siaes tunnel where we explored the huge tunnel. We entered the tunnel at 90ft and exited at 80. Inside the tunnel we found some rare fish that can only be found at this site, the decorated dart fish and helfrichs dart fish. Our third dive was our 1st hook in dive and it did not disappoint we cruised down the wall and approached a certain point at the corner then put our hooks to use. Once we hooked in, the show kept getting better and better. The longer we stayed hooked in the closer all the marine life got. Sharks, snappers, jacks, barracudas, and a baby eagle ray to name a few. For the fourth dive we dove the famous Ulong channel, this site is my personal favorite because it’s a three part dive. We started off with a beautiful wall dive then hooked in to enjoy the shark show, after we flew down the channel to view a massive patch of lettuce coral and two 100 year old Tridacna. Monday evening during dinner the Captain got off the mooring and brought the big boat down south to the German channel area.
Tuesday we kicked off with a morning dive at Blue Holes. Dropping in to one of four large holes on the reef top which all open up into one large cavern, where photographers can get some great shots of the light pouring in from above. Inside the cavern Disco Clams, Moray Eels and Nudibranchs are among some of the critters that we found hiding in the corners. Blue Corner for number two, we saw Clown Trigger fish, Red Tooth Trigger fish, Grey Reef Sharks and Barracuda at the hook in, along with two large Napoleon Wrasse that crave attention. Canyons for our 3rd dive, a very pretty reef slope with shallow cuts along the wall where one can find Nudibranchs, Moray Eels and Crocodile fish. Dive 4 was at German Channel where we were lucky enough to encounter Manta Rays at the cleaning station! Then two more near the surface and another as we drifted down the channel.
Wednesday morning. The engines fired up early and we motored south in the gentle swell towards Camp Beck, on Peleliu Island. With the Palau Aggressor safely anchored inside camp beck we headed out for dive number one, Peleliu cut. The current was ripping which brought a lot of marine action. As we hooked in, Grey Reef Sharks and White Tips rested in the current. After we un-hooked, we drifted across the plateau with schooling Snapper, Trigger fish and Palette Surgeon fish. Orange Beach was the site for dive two and three, more Clown Trigger fish, Moorish Idols, and buried in the corals, some .50 Caliber rounds, and Mortar and Artillery shells. Dive four was at Barracks Point, where we found some more Turtles and some large Giant Clams.
On Thursday morning we headed to Turtle Cove for our first dive, which starts with a swim down through a hole in the reef top and opens out on the reef wall. We drifted along in the lazy current finding all sorts of tiny creatures. A few turtles were spotted. For dive two we just had to go back to Blue corner to enjoy what it has to offer. On dive three we went to New Drop Off, a mini version of Blue Corner, where we found more Sharks and Barracuda. For dive four we tried our luck at German channel again, unfortunately no mantas were around but we managed to find a feather tail ray, eagle ray and an octopus.
On Friday we were back to Ulong because our guest really loved it and wanted to do it again. The first dive was a nice incoming current so we did the channel and to our surprise we spotted a Manta. For dive two our guests requested we do sandy paradise were we spotted most likely the same Manta shortly after descending. After the Manta sighting we cruised to the sandy bottom where we came to a coral head that harbored four leaf fish and two Mantis Shrimps. For dive three we came back towards Koror to do some wrecks. The first wreck was a 472 foot cargo ship named the Iro Maru. We swam down the mooring to 45 feet to find a wreck sitting upright at the bottom, as we explored the wreck we found a cuttle fish and some nudis. Our fourth dive was another victim of the war named the Helmet Wreck. We dropped in and explored the decks and holds of the ship. Moving slowly we examined WWII artifacts that ranged from the Japanese helmets to the airplane engines in the forward hold. A variety of cool critters were found including many Signal Gobies and two juvenile Six-Banded Angel fish. Later that evening we enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Chef Christy then watched a movie that Ernan put together.
On Saturday morning we went for a swim and a snorkel at Jellyfish Lake where we swam with the millions of mesmerizing jellyfish. Upon returning to the skiff, Joe took us on a tour through the Rock Islands. Our last dive was at nearby Chandelier Caves where we explored the four chambers and interesting stalactite formations inside surfacing for a breath or two in the air pockets along the way. On the reef just outside the cave entrance we watched Mandarin fish scurrying around along with Pajama Cardinal fish between the shallow corals for the rest of the dive. After that, it was back for lunch and time to assist our guests with rinsing their gear. Later that evening, we all met for a few cocktails to look back on the week in the slideshow and shared some diving stories before heading out to dinner at the nearby local restaurants.
We said farewell on Sunday morning and helped our guests with transfers to their hotels and flights. It was yet another wonderful week aboard the Palau Aggressor II with fantastic guests that we look forward to diving again with soon!