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Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Sep 11, 2016
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 



Sunday afternoon we welcomed on board 6 guests. 5 guests from the US, and 1 from Germany. After a quick introduction to their cabins everyone set up their dive gear, got checked in, and headed upstairs for the vessel orientation and safety briefing, after we sat down to a great dinner prepared by our chef Ronnie. Soon after all the guests were off to bed.

 

Monday morning after breakfast we covered the general dive briefing and headed out to do our check out dive at the Helmet Wreck aka Depth Charge Wreck. This is an unidentified Japanese WWII sub chaser that sank in the harbor during the bombing run of Desecrate One. We entered the first cargo hold and saw the helmets and depth charges, saw more depth charges in the middle cargo hold with the large search light and the airplane engines in the forward cargo hold. We then turned around and headed towards the stern. We spent some time around the artifacts that have been collected and placed for viewing around the stern gun. After the dive the big boat moved out of Malakal Harbor and into the Western Lagoon. We boarded the skiff and headed out to The Iro for dive two. Last week we saw a cuttle fish laying eggs on the bow so that was our first stop. Sadly enough she was done laying eggs and was gone but we did she that she was very busy, we could see over 50 small white eggs deep in the hard corals. We continued along the deck of the wreck to the stern and circled up the king post to see the colony of tomato anemone fish amongst two clams at 35 feet. The visibility was good this shallow and we got some nice photos. We then went from king post to king post back to the mooring line at the front of the wreck. After the dive we had a short skiff ride through the rock islands to catch up with the big boat on its way to the German Channel Area. After lunch our third dive was at Big Drop Off. We started the dive by the ball and chain left from the Germans prior to WWI and went slowly along the wall finding a lot of macro life. Our last dive of the day was at Barnums Wall. We started the dive above the coral garden and let the light current push us through the whole dive site. We saw some anemones, nudibranchs, and a couple of turtles. Back at the big boat dinner was ready and we sat down discussing about the dives we did and the ones to come.

 

Tuesday we started the day with the famous Blue Corner. The current was Incoming and we entered the water and drifted along the wall towards the hook in area. We saw some sharks in the blue and hooked in. The sharks were off in the blue but there were a bunch of them. The current was very light and felt like it was going to switch so we spent the rest of the dive exploring the plateau. We saw the three baby eagle rays flying in formation above us for awhile also. For dive to we headed to New Drop Off. The current was outgoing and it was light. We spent some nice time exploring the wall before the hook in area: soft corals, sea fans, and schools of pyramid butterfly fish. As we finally approached the hook in area the current had switched so we came up on top the plateau and turned around. We did see a couple of turtles on top the reef. After lunch our third dive was at Dexters Wall. We drifted along the wall finding a lot of turtles, beautiful sea fans and soft coral. In total we spotted 10 turtles both hawksbill and green sea. Dive four was at Turtle cove. We started the dive by descending down the hole on top the reef and found a disco clam, in the chimney. The wall is covered with beautiful soft coral and sea fans, we saw a bunch of the square spot anthias on the steep wall and at the corner we came up on top the reef finding lots of marine life. We found a lion fish and we in for a closer look and spotted a leaf scorpion right next to it. Also we spotted a couple of turtles. After dinner we headed out to Big Drop Off for our first night dive of the charter. We started the dive from the mooring and descended down along the wall. We saw several lion fish and even the rare twin spot lion fish.

 

Wednesday morning we started the day with a repeat dive at Blue Corner. This time it was again a incoming current, this time it was flowing nice and did not change at all during the dive. We hooked in at the 45 foot area and had the large school of jacks in front of us for awhile and watched the show as a couple of sharks passed by in front the group. Then we moved down to the 60 foot hook in because there were more sharks. Behind us two of the three eagle rays showed up for a quick fly by, we then unhooked and explored the plateau down to the tip of the corner seeing a great barracuda in the blue. We then started making our ascent to do our safety stop. For dive two we headed back to the blue corner area and did the dive at Blue Holes. With the swells breaking on top the reef we didn’t enter from the top instead we descended down to 50 feet and entered the chamber from the small window on the side. We saw the disco clams in their cracks along the side of the walls, then left the chamber and headed out along the wall towards Blue Corner. In a slopping section on the reef we found a leopard shark that let us get close for photos then continued on to Blue Corner but decided just to drift across the plateau and started making our ascent. After lunch dive three was at Ferns Wall. We started the dive from the mooring and went wall on the right. During the dive we found a total of 4 crocodile fish, the photographers enjoyed the wall that’s covered in soft coral and sea fans. Half way through the dive the current switched so we turned around and ended the dive back at the mooring. Our fourth dive was at German Channel. We started the dive from the Koror side of the channel, entered the water and stopped at the red anemone for some photos. We then found a small cuttle fish in the hard coral garden then headed to the main cleaning station on the Koror side. No mantas came in to get cleaned. As we were sitting there a manta did a fly by above us in the shallow water but never returned. We then crossed the channel to the Peleliu side cleaning station and sat down and waited but nothing came in to get cleaned so we turned around, came back to the middle of the channel and started drifting into the channel. After dinner our night dive was at German Coral Garden. We started the dive from the mooring and descended down to the reef. We found a bunch of lion fish and some nudibranchs.

 

Thursday morning we woke up had breakfast and again went to Blue Corner for our first dive. We entered the water on the outgoing side and made it to the hook in area. We hooked in for awhile but the current seemed to be switching again so we unhooked and started heading to the other side of the corner. The current never really picked up so we spent the rest of the dive exploring the plateau. We saw sharks, turtles, the small school of blue lined snapper and even the eagle rays. For dive two we headed back to New Drop Off to see if the current would cooperate with us this time. We started from the outgoing side of the corner, enjoyed the drift along the wall with the soft corals and sea fans we hooked in but there was not much action in the blue. We decided to unhook and explore the plateau. We found a couple of turtles, a very rare juvenile emperor angelfish, and some beautiful anemones. After lunch our third dive was at Ngedebus Corner. This is a corner dive but we don’t hook in, we just drifted along the wall around the corner to the other side. We saw a couple of turtles, nudibranchs and tropical fish. For our fourth dive of the day we went back to do a repeat dive at Turtle Cove. This site was requested by the guests. We started the dive again by descending down the hole on top the reef into the small chamber and out along the wall. We took photos with all the soft coral, and then at the corner we came up on top the reef at the corner with all the marine life. We found a large devil scorpion fish and then a small one as well and some turtles. After dinner our last night dive of the charter was at German Coral Garden south side. We started the dive from the Peleliu side of the channel and swam across the mouth of the channel to the other side. We saw more lion fish, some crabs and shrimp.

 

Early Friday morning the big boat started its way to the Ulong area and after breakfast our first dive was at Siaes Tunnel. We started the dive from the mooring and descended down to the entrance of the tunnel. We went through the tunnel, found the decorated dart fish, and the blue backed pygmy angelfish. We exited the tunnel through one of the large exits and explore the wall doing our ascent towards the surface. For dive two we headed back out to the Siaes area and did our dive at Siaes Corner. The current was a light outgoing current and we started the dive with the wall on our right. We traveled along the wall spotting some macro life, took some photos of the giant sea fan and made it to the hook in area. We decided not to hook in with the light current and just explored the coral garden. After lunch we headed out to Sandy Paradise for dive three. We entered the water and descended down along the coral garden. We saw some beautiful anemones, and then stopped at the rock with the 3 leaf scorpion fish. We also spotted a couple of sharks in the blue and a school of yellow tail barracuda. Our fourth dive was Ulong Channel. The current was a nice incoming. We started the dive from the moorings and slowly made our way to the mouth of the channel. We hooked in at the mouth and had several grey reef sharks passing by in front of the divers. The current sort of died off so we unhooked and drifted down the channel. We saw the lettuce coral and ended at the giant clams. After the dive the big boat started heading back to the Malakal Harbor for the next day of diving. For dinner the guests sat down to a thanksgiving feast done by our chef Ronnie and after dinner we watched our video of the charter by our video pro Jim. Everyone enjoyed the look back at the week through jims camera.

 

Saturday morning our first dive was at the Jake Sea Plane. This Japanese three person plane sits in only 40 feet of water and it’s great for the photographers due to not having a lot of coral growth on it. We spent some time photographing it from all angles. We also some signal gobies around the plane in the sandy rubble bottom and we finally found an octopus for the guests as well as some squid hanging out on the mooring line. For our last dive of the charter we headed out to Chandelier Cave. All the divers surfaced in the four air chambers saw the stalactites and crystal formations. Then on the outside of the cave we saw the mandarin fish. Back at the big boat the guests broke down their gear, washed it and hung it upstairs to dry. Lunch was soon ready and after settling the bills the guests enjoyed their free time. One guest left the boat at 4pm and headed to the airport to catch his flight home. At 6pm we gathered in the salon for the beer and wine party while our photo pro showed his slideshow of all the images he took during the charter and all the guests received a CD of all those images to take home with them. After the party, the guests went into town for dinner at one of the local restaurants. At 10pm another guests headed to the airport for his flight.

 

At 7am the remaining four guests headed out to spend a couple extra days in Palau. We would like to thank everyone for joining us this week on board the Rock Islands Aggressor. Hope to see you all again, until then safe diving…

 

-Rock Islands Aggressor Crew