Log Date: Sunday, Mar 13, 2016
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew
Palau Aggressor II
March 13-20, 2016
2nd Capt/Video Pro: Casey
Video pro/Divemaster: Ripon
Skiff Driver/Divemaster: Joe
Sunday March 13 we had fifteen guests from various nations board the boat for a week of fun filled diving. After a through boat briefing and dinner, everyone got settled in and had a good night’s sleep.
On Monday March 14 we began our first 2 dives on the wrecks of the Teshio Maru and the Iro. Both of these wrecks went down during WWII and make for interesting dives where the group saw a few WWII artifacts and a great deal of marine life that now call these ships home. For our next two dives went to the German Channel area and dove Canyons and Ferns Wall. Both of these sites have excellent coral life and highlights included turtles, mating titan trigger fish, masked and emperor angelfish and several species of butterfly fish.
Day 2 had us diving Blue Corner, Turtle Cove, New Drop Off and Big Drop Off. Throughout the day we had water temperatures varying from 80-82 degrees and visibility around the 60 to 100 foot range. Highlights on these dives included, a large number of both grey and white tip reef sharks, schools of black, blue strip and yellow tail snappers, jacks and barracuda of various species, schools of soldier fish and butterfly fish, parrot fish and outstanding soft coral growth.
Day 3 started at Barracks Point where the current was mild and the marine life was active. With over 100 feet of visibility we saw a great number of gray reef sharks, turtles, schooling barracuda and 4 giant clams. The soft corals were also in bloom and here the hard corals are pristine. Dive 2 was at the Peleliu Express which had a very mild current and a few sharks. We also saw schools of oriental sweetlips along with two octopus and a lone eagle ray cruising the plateau. Dive 3 and 4 were at West Wall and White Beach and included a number of highlights such as turtles, schooling bumphead parrot fish, snappers and soldier fish. Both sites had excellent soft corals and sea fan growth and well over 100 foot of visibility in 80-82 degree water. Our night dive was along Ngmelis Wall which was very colorful with all its soft corals, sea fans and yellow cup corals. Other highlights included crabs, shrimps, eels, large groupers and a number of sleeping parrot fish.
Day 4 had us back in the German Channel region and we started at Blue Holes. It was a sunny morning with light beams streaking through the four holes creating a cathedral effect. On the outside wall there were many sharks, turtles, schooling barracuda and jacks. We also saw bumphead parrot fish, napoleon wrasses and fusiliers along with pyramid butterfly fish throughout the water column. Dive 2 was at Blue Corner where the current was mild and the sharks were fairly active. As usual the corner made for an excellent dive with all the fish swirling about. Dive 3 took us to German Channel where the tide switched early so it was an outgoing tide. This also brought cloudy water. Having been a couple of weeks since we spotted mantas here, the group focused on all the smaller marine life such as the blind shrimp and gobies that live in the expansive sand areas of this site along with the great variety of butterfly fish, wrasses, angel fish and schools of glasseyes. We also saw a few sharks and turtles as we cruised the reef. Barnums Wall was dive 4 which is a vertical wall that has many cuts and some excellent coral and sea fan growth. Here we spotted a few nudibranchs, a flame scallop, turtles and lots of schooling snappers.
On the itinerary for day 5 was Ulong Island area. Dive sites included Siaes Tunnel, Siaes Corner, Ulong Channel and Sandy Paradise. With this being one of the most popular dive areas in Palau the highlight were many and included; multi-hued soft corals and sea fans along the walls, more sharks then anyone could count at Siaes Corner, schooling jacks at Siaes Tunnel along with oriental sweetlips. In addition we saw schools of glasseye soldier fish in Ulong channel and Sandy Paradise, mantis shrimp, leaf fish, octopus, cuttlefish and colorful tropical’s throughout the whole day of diving. With the water temperature hovering in the low 80’s and visibility between 50-100 feet, the group found it to be a very enjoyable day of diving.
Our final day was spent snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake and diving Chandelier Cave. Both of these unique experiences were enjoyed by all and a great way to wrap up an excellent week of diving here in Palau.
The crew of the Palau Aggressor II would like to thank all of the guest and hope to see you all again on another dive adventure.