Log Date: Sunday, May 15, 2016
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew
Palau Aggressor II Boat Report
May 15-22, 2016
2nd Capt/ Photo Pro: Casey
Skiff Driver/Dive master: Joe
Video pro/Dive master: Ernan
Engineer/Dive master: Hector
On Sunday May 15 we welcomed 16 guests, 15 from the USA and one from the Australia. After the boat orientation, gear set up and dinner, all had a good night sleep before we departed the dock on Monday the 16th.
On our first day of diving we started with two wrecks and two wall dives. The highlights from the wrecks (Hafa a Dai and Helmet) included several juvenile fish such as the box fish, pajama cardinal fish, several species of butterfly fish and angel fish. We also came across a couple of crocodile fish some small shrimp in the razor corals and a pair of twin spot gobies. We also saw helmets, depth charges, a rifle and other WWII artifacts aboard the Helmet wreck. For Dive 3 and 4 we went to Ferns Wall and Barnums Wall. Both of these wall dives had mild currents and a great number of colorful sea fan and soft corals. We also saw schooling fusiliers, pyramid butterfly fish and both gray and white tip sharks patrolling the walls.
For day 2 the dive sites included Blue Corner, Blue Holes, Dexters Wall and Turtle Cove. Visibility on all these dives averaged 60-100 feet with water temps in the low to mid 80’s. Highlights included several gray reef and white tip sharks, octopus, schools of barracuda and jacks, bump head parrot fish, napoleon wrasses, nudibranchs, pulsating flame scallops, lobsters, crabs, shrimp and pleurobranchus. Turtles were also abundant and seen on almost every dive. All sites had a lot of soft corals along with colorful sea fans.
Day 3 took us to Peleliu where we dove Purple and Orange Beach, West Wall and Barracks Point. Visibility on all these dives easily exceeded 100 feet and the water temperature was also very comfortable. On Purple beach we had a moderate current which drifted us gently through the pristine coral garden where we saw a great variety of butterfly fish, angel fish, fusiliers, giant clams, multihued sort corals and fans along with several anemone fish in anemones. Orange Beach highlights included ammunition from WWII, several turtles, schooling barracuda and a very large puffer fish. West Wall had a swirling current which made the dive challenging. On this site we saw schools of black tail snappers, sweet lips, soldier fish, and schools of anthies, a gray reef shark and again several turtles. Barracks Point also had a current that swept the group from the wall over the plateau and onto the wall again. Here we saw giant clams, bump head parrot fish, anemone fish, napoleon wrasses, and flame angel fish along with pristine table corals.
Day 4 we were again back near German Channel and dove Blue Corner, New Drop off, Canyons, German Channel and German Coral Garden. With high visibility and warm water on all dive sites this turned out to be an outstanding day of diving. Highlights were many and included plenty of gray and white tip reef sharks, a hammerhead sharks, two manta rays, and octopi, schools of snappers, sweet lips, soldier fish and jacks. We also saw a number of turtles; bump head parrot fish and napoleon wrasses.
Day 5 put us in the Ulong Island region where we dove Siaes Corner, Sandy Paradise (twice) and Ulong Channel. As usual we saw a lot of great marine life and pristine corals but the biggest highlight was the sighting of a rare frog fish at Sandy Paradise. These animals are common in some regions of the world, but rare in Palau so the group was quite excited about this sighting. Enough to return for a second dive later in the day, however, this fish proved to be elusive on the second go around so it remains one of those rare and unusual marine animals here in this part of the Pacific Ocean.
Day 6 was the final day of diving and we started at the Jake Seaplane and ended with Chandelier Cave. Highlights included a cuttlefish, pajama cardinal fish, nudibranchs, twin spot gobies and the always elusive mandarin fish.
We then wrapped up the week with the cocktail party and a few fun awards. Thank you to all the guest and we hope to see you again in the future.