Thursday afternoon we welcomed aboard 9 of our 13 guest with the other 4 arriving later that night. Once aboard we went over a quick room briefing and then headed out to the dive deck to start prepping everyone’s gear for the week. After that everyone headed up stairs for a tasty BBQ dinner prepared by our Chef Cameron, once everyone had a full stomach we gathered around the TV for the General Safety and Vessel Orientation. Then everyone meandered off to bed for a little shut eye before 10 days of diving in Palau.
Friday morning we left the dock bright and early and after breakfast and the dive deck briefing we started off our ten day charter with a day of diving some of the many wrecks found here in Palau. Our check out dive was at the Helmet Wreck. Once weights and equipment were all checked we moved along the deck of this ship and checked out WWII artifacts such as Japanese boots, bullets, depth charges and stacks of helmets. Our second dive was on the Iro were divers admired the massive king post and swam through several chambers of the wreck. Another highlight of the dive is the anemone covered masts with several large Tridacna clams being swarmed by Anemone fish. We then came back to the Rock Islands Aggressor for a nice lunch and then made ready for our third dive at the Hafa Dai our third wreck of the day. Our fourth dive of the day was on at the Jake Sea Plane. At this unique sight our divers were able to view a Japanese sea plane that was used in bombing raids and makes for some nice photos. Planes being a rarity in the wreck diving world.
Early on Saturday morning the Rock Islands Aggressor moved out to Ulong Island for a couple of days of diving in this area our first stop out here being the infamous Ulong Channel. For the first half of the dive we hooked-in at the mouth of the channel watching as sharks swam back and forth less than a meter from the divers. The second half of the dive we had a nice drift down the channel its self passing tons beautiful coral and fish life ending the dive by two giant clams sitting side by side. Dive two was Siaes Corner with a light out going current divers hooked-in for a short while before unhooking and exploring one of the best coral gardens in Palau all along the way finding sharks, a massive school of barracuda, turtles, bump head Parrot fish, and an octopus. Dive three was spent at Sandy Paradise a terrific hard coral garden than turns into a sandy bottom around 21meters. Here divers found lots of great macro life like Leaf scorpion fish, garden eels, nudis and Long nose file fish. Dive 4 was Ulong Coral Garden just north of the channel divers spent the first forty minutes exploring around checking out all the fish and macro life before finishing the dive with a superman drift down the channel riding the strong incoming current.
On Sunday morning we went back to Ulong for another hook-in dive to watch the sharks and to drift down the channel one last time. For dive two we went to Siaes Tunnel. A massive tunnel entering around 27meters and exiting at 30m, inside the tunnel divers are able to find several rare fish including the blue-back pygmy angle, B&W butterfly as well as both decorated and Helfrich dartfish. Dive three was at a sight known as Shark City, even though we only saw three shark’s divers still had an excellent dive swimming right through a massive school of barracuda, seeing wahoo, mackerel and an octopus. Dive 4 was Ulong Coral Garden South Side for an easy relaxing dive with tons of great fish life and some nudis. That evening during dinner the Rock Islands Aggressor moved down to through German Channel and attach to a morning sighting right in-between Ngemelis and Carp Islands.
Monday morning we moved the Rock Islands Aggressor down to Peleliu into South Dock for the next day and half. Our first dive here was Peleliu Corner on the incoming side know as “The Cut”. Although there was a nice current we didn’t see tons of sharks so instead of hooking in we drifted down to the corner where we got to see a massive school of Sea breams spanning and event that only happens once a year and very cool to see. Before dive two 5 guest went on a Peleliu WWII land tour to view sights of one of the bloodiest battles from WWII. Dive 2 was West Wall and easy drift dive with lots of macro life and a few sharks. Everyone then met back on the big boat for lunch before dive 3 at Barracks Point, here divers saw several dozen turtles and several giant clams. Both dive 4 and the night dive where at Orange Beach Coral Garden here amongst the beautiful hard coral garden dives found Crocodile fish, turtle and artifacts from the war.
Tuesday morning we moved the Rock Islands Aggressor down to Peleliu into South Dock for the next day and half. Our first dive here was Peleliu Corner on the incoming side know as “The Cut”. Although there was a nice current we didn’t see tons of sharks so instead of hooking in we drifted down to the corner where we got to see a massive school of Seabreams spanning and event that only happens once a year and very cool to see. Before dive two 5 guest went on a Peleliu WWII land tour to view sights of one of the bloodiest battles from WWII. Dive 2 was West Wall and easy drift dive with lots of macro life and a few sharks. Everyone then met back on the big boat for lunch before dive 3 at Barracks Point, here divers saw several dozen turtles and several giant clams. Both dive 4 and the night dive where at Orange Beach Coral Garden here amongst the beautiful hard coral garden dives found crocodilefish, turtle and artifacts from the war.
Wednesday was all repeat dive first a Blue Corner with an excellent outing current and tons of sharks. Then dive 2 was at Dexters Wall once again finding more than a dozen turtles. Dive three was back to Blue Corner once last time, although almost no current divers explored around checking out all the schooling fish, turtles, eels and octopus and so much more. Dive four was back to German Channel this time only getting to see one manta four a short period of time.
Early Thursday Moring the Rock Islands Aggressor moved up to Ulong Island. Our first dive here was at Sandy Paradise and divers got to see the Bumphead parrot fish gathering all around to spawn as well as leafscorpion fish and a mantis shrimp. Dive 2 was at the excellent Siaes Corner, no current mint no hooking in and instead exploring around finding turtles and 4-5 octopus in one of the best coral gardens in Palau. Dive 3 was at Ulong Channel were divers hooked in and watched as sharks past by then finished by drift down the channel p[ass tons of groupers a giant patch of lettuce coral and finishing the dive at two giant clams sitting side by side. Divers had such a good time then went back to Ulong Channel again for dive 4.
Friday was the last full day of diving starting at Siaes Tunnel where divers were able to find several rarely seen fish by recreational divers including B&W butterfly, pygmy blue back angle and decorated dartfish. Dive 2 was back to Siaes Corner this time with a good current and lots of sharks. Dive three was back to Sandy Paradise once again find scorpion fish, mantis shrimp and a large manta getting cleaned. Then for the last dive we went back to Ulong Channel for one more awesome drift down the channel.
Saturday morning came early on the boat, with the sun breaking over the picturesque rock islands and the birds chirping their cheerful songs. First location of the day was Light House Channel, where we found a cuttlefish, 4 octopus and an old Taiwanese fishing boat. After wards Ben began his famous rock island tour, whizzing in and amongst the islands, stopping for a photo opportunity at Palau’s Famous Archway and then some WWII sites as we made our way back to the big boat. The last event for our guests this charter was Chandelier Caves. With multiple air chambers, to surface in and view the stalactites, then outside the caves, we found mandarin fish, razor fish, signal gobies. We returned back to the big boat at the dock and helped our guests break down their gear and then after lunch they enjoyed some free time, going into town for shopping and relaxing on the boat. In the evening we all gathered in the salon for the cocktail party and reflected on the week and raised glasses in cheers. Ben presented his slide show and we laughed and smiled with a twinkle in our eye as we enjoyed the wonderful photos he captured for our guests. They then headed into town for dinner among the many wonderful restaurants found in Palau, then we said goodbye to our. In the morning we said goodbye to the guests as they headed to their hotel. We again would like to thank everyone for joining us this 10 day charter and hope to see you all soon, until then we wish you safe diving and good times.
-Rock Islands Aggressor Crew