Palau Aggressor Charter October 2-9 2016
Water Temp: 80-89 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Scott, Shea, Editha, Hector, Joe, and Ernan
On Sunday afternoon 13 new dive buddies joined us from around the World. Once they were welcomed aboard the Vessel and helped to set up their gear, the guests were given a safety briefing from the Captain followed by a delicious dinner, prepared and served by Shea and Editha. With everyone on board we decided to head to the reef, while the guests got an early night, so that they could wake up and get stuck straight into Palau’s amazing underwater world.
Our first dive of the charter was at the Canyons, Deep cuts in the reef forming canyon like swim throughs lined with hard corals make this a great introduction and interesting first dive. Making good use of the great vis we managed to find a Crocodile fish. Our Second dive was at the beautiful Barnums Wall, where we often see Leopard Sharks, Octopus and if we are lucky a ghost pipefish. We finished up the day with a fantastic Manta Ray dive at German Channel. The best opportunity to get close to the Manta Rays is when they are feeding near to the surface. We were privileged to see three Mantas feeding today, including the camera loving resident Camy.
Tuesday morning, and our first dive was on the World famous Blue Corner. Sharks, Barracuda, Jacks, Napoleon Wrasse eagle rays, and so much more, easy to understand why this dive site has the reputation it does as it never disappoints! We had a great dive with a good amount of current for our first Hook In. After dive one, we moved the big boat down to Peleliu Island in the gentle swell and did the first dive on Purple beach. A beautiful deep wall with an amazing amount of Gorgonians and Sea Fans, make this a popular dive site, especially as those with a keen eye might be able to find a Pygmy Seahorse on one of the Sa fans! Dive Three was at West wall, which is dubbed one of the best walls in Palau, being close to the southern tip of Peleliu, where the Philippine Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, it provides a good opportunity to see something big and often has great Vis. Our afternoon and night dives were on the very beautiful coral garden at Orange beach. The name is not referencing a colorful spot on the island, but rather it was one of the code names for a landing area during the invasion of Peleliu by the US Marines. Peleliu was one of the fiercest battles in the Pacific, and evidence of the fighting can be found on the Island and also at this dive site.
We spent the night in Peleliu at the very calm inlet at Camp Beck, and after breakfast we weighed anchor and headed north again. Our first dive was Barracks point. A great way to start the morning with Turtles and Giant Clams on the Plateau. Blue Hole was our Second dive, its cathedral like structure makes great photo opportunity as well as the marine creatures that reside in the holes. After exiting the cavern we drifted down towards Blue Corner and found a few Turtles amongst others resting on the bottom. New Drop Off after lunch and a back to German Channel for dive four to try and see Mantas again, unfortunately we weren’t so lucky this time, but we did see several Sharks and a Cuttle Fish.
Thursday and we went to dive Blue Corner again! A good current at the hook in produced several sharks to keep us occupied as well as three Eagle Rays. Dive 2 was out at Turtle Cove dropping in though a hole in the reef and then making our way out along the wall seeing some of the best soft corals in all of Palau. We moved the big boat to Ngerchong at lunchtime and did our third and fourth dives there, we saw a Manta and a few Eagle Rays and loads of Sharks.
Our first dive on Friday saw us flying through Ulong Channel, after see plenty of Sharks at the hook in, with a good current checking out giant clams, grouper and a patch of lettuce coral as big as the Palau Aggressor itself. Our second dive took us to Siaes Tunnel for a morning exploration of the gigantic cave streaming with light through the windows that look out to the deep blue. Along our lazy drift we passed by the stunningly colorful wall and were buzzed by a few sharks plus a friendly hawksbill turtle. Dive three brought us to Sandy Paradise for some amazing coral formations including big tabletop hard corals. Lots of cool critters to check out along the way including nudibranchs, leaf scorpion fish, pipefish, an octopus, a few sleeping white tips in the sand patches, and a huge school of glassy eyed soldier fish.
Saturday morning we did a dive on the Helmet wreck, one of the casualties of WWII. Unlike many wrecks in Palau, which were salvaged after the war, the Helmet wreck wasn’t discovered until the eighties. As a result the divers can find many artifacts like sake bottles, weapons, cooking pots and gas masks on the wreck. Then after a quick break we loaded the skiff back up and the guests were shuttled over to Chandelier Caves. A large cave with three air chambers inside allows the guest to dive down into the dark but then surface every few minutes to take photos of the beautiful stalactites that hang from the ceiling. After exiting the cave we had a bit of time to explore the area just underneath the skiff. Mandarin Fish swim around in the coral rubble and the Scorpion Devil Fish slowly trudges along the bottom. Not a bad way to end a week of diving and relaxing aboard the Palau Aggressor II. The guests were quite famished after the morning excursion and were presented with a delicious lunch to fuel back up before heading to town for a few hours of shopping in Korors downtown. Just after six o’clock the guests turned up in the salon and sat down for a drink with the crew. We all exchanged stories from the week and enjoyed a slideshow put together by the Photo Pro. After about an hour the guests were on their way to town for an evening of dinner and dancing off the boat.
Sunday morning at eight o’clock. Some of the guests will be returning home while others will continue their travels throughout the Pacific. Either way we wish everyone a safe trip and we cannot wait until you return to dive with us again. Thanks for the great week!!