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Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Oct 02, 2016
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 



Sunday afternoon we welcomed on board 4 guests from different places around the world but they all now live in China. 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 Andy. Soon after all the guests were off to bed.

 

Very early Monday morning we picked up our last 2 guests again from China later in the morning we had breakfast and soon after 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 found the resident crocodile fish around the wheel house and 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. We descended down the mooring ling to the bow of the wreck saw the bow gun. 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 and saw a great barracuda hanging out around one of the king posts. 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 Ulong Area. After lunch we covered our last power point presentation on how to use reef hooks because our third dive was 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 seeing a lot of sharks in the blue. We arrived at the hook in area and hooked in but all the sharks along were along the wall and not at the hook in area, so we decided to unhook and explore the coral garden. Our last dive of the day was at 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. Since it was late in the day it was starting to get dark, we unhooked and drifted down the channel. We saw the lettuce coral and ended the dive at giant clams; the sun had set by the time we surfaced. Back at the big boat dinner was soon ready and we sat down to another great dinner prepared by our chef and after some guests stayed up watching a movie and the rest were off to bed.

 

Tuesday we were going out to dive at Siaes Tunnel but as we passed by Ulong Channel we saw that the current was still a nice incoming and we decided to dive here so the guests could see the hard corals of the channel in the day time that make this a great dive. We again started the dive from the moorings and hooked in at the mouth of the channel. This time the sharks were coming close to the divers we then unhooked and drifted down the channel. We swam through the schools of fish that hang out in the channel, saw the lettuce coral and ended the dive again at the giant clams. For dive two we headed to Sandy Paradise. 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. After the dive the big boat started heading over to the German Channel area and after lunch our third dive 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. On top the plateau we spotted a couple of turtles and were able to do most of our safety stop here in the shallows. For dive four we went to German Channel. We started the dive from the Koror side of the channel and swam into the first cleaning station. We sat down and waited but no mantas. We then crossed the mouth of the channel to the other cleaning station but still no mantas. We then headed back to the middle of the channel and started heading into the channel the guests at the back of the group looked up and saw a manta pass by over top. The guests asked for the night dive before dinner so we filled the tanks and soon headed out to German Coral Garden for our first night dive. We started the dive from the mooring of German Channel and drifted into the channel. The current picked up and pushed us quickly into the channel. We weren’t able to see much macro life with the fast current. We had to end the dive short because we reached the back of the channel quicker with the fast current. Back at the big boat dinner was ready and after the guests watched another movie and went to bed.

 

Wednesday morning we started the day with the famous Blue Corner. The current was incoming to start off with and we hooked in at the 45 feet hook in area. There were a lot of sharks and the school of jacks in front of us in the blue water. Then the current felt like it was going to change so we unhooked and started swimming to the other side of the corner but it died off so we spent the rest of the dive on top the plateau. We saw a couple turtles, an eel and the school of blue lined snapper at the tip of the corner. For dive two we headed back to the blue corner area and did the dive at Blue Holes. We entered the water and descended down one of the holes on top the reef. We spent some time taking photos of the guests with the ambient light streaming down from above. 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. The current was very light and we came up on the top of the plateau and went all the way down to the corner. There were some sharks around the corner. After lunch dive three was at Big Drop Off. We started the dive close to the mooring and let the current push us along the wall. We saw the ball and chain left over after WWI and continued along the wall seeing a lot of macro life. For our fourth dive we went back to German Channel. We started the dive from the Peleliu side of the channel, entered the water and as soon as we got down to the bottom and had a large spotted eagle ray swim by in front of group. We then went to the Peleliu side cleaning station and sat down and waited no mantas came in to get cleaned but one of the guests saw a feathertail ray behind us as it swam by the back of the group. We then headed across the mouth of the channel to the Koror side cleaning station and sat down and waited, but still mantas. We then turned around and started drifting into the channel and as we were going to start our safety stop we had a manta swim slowly by the group. After a quick turnaround we headed out to Big Drop Off for the night dive. During the dive we saw a lot of macro life and a large grouper out using our lights to hunt. We returned to the big boat and had dinner and soon after the guests were off to bed.

 

On Thursday we fired up the engines bright and early and headed down to Peleliu. During breakfast we came across the big school of spinner dolphins and from the bow of the boat the guests watched them swim in the bow wake. We secured the big boat in Camp Beck or aka South Dock and our first dive of the day was at Peleliu Corner. The current was incoming and it was light. We entered the water and drifted along the wall and all the way down to the corner. All the sharks we down around the corner and we also saw the large school of giant trevally in the blue. For dive two we went out to West Wall. The current was outgoing it was light. We started the dive from the mooring and drifted along the wall finding nudibranchs, beautiful yellow soft corals and saw some sharks in the blue. After lunch the third dive was at Orange Beach Coral Garden, a beautiful sloping coral garden with tons of fish we saw some artifacts; bombs and bullets. The current was out going and we drifted along the coral garden seeing some turtles and anemones. After the dive the big boat moved out of South Dock and started heading back to the German Channel area. Our last dive in Peleliu was at Barracks Point. We entered the water and drifted along the slopping coral garden seeing a bunch of turtles and 5 giant clams mixed in with the hard coral. Our last night dive of the charter was at Turtle Cove. All of the cup coral was out filter feeding turning the wall into a beautiful orange and yellow color and we saw a bunch of coral shrimp. We returned to the big boat for dinner and some of the guests watched a movie.

 

Friday morning we started the day with a repeat dive at 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 unhooked and headed across to the other side of the corner and along the way one of the baby eagle rays was heading in the same direction so we were able to swim alongside it to the other side of the corner. At the outgoing side the current slacked off so we spent the rest of the dive exploring the plateau. Dive two was at 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. We reached the hook in area and hooked in for a while but there was not much action so we unhooked and explored the plateau seeing a couple of turtles on top the reef. After lunch we headed out to Dexters Wall for our third dive. We drifted along the wall at the shallow depths, finding a lot of turtles. In some of the ledges we spotted some lobster. Towards the end of the dive we saw a leopard shark down below us resting on the bottom. We descended down and got some great video and pictures of it, then came back up to finish off our dive. Our fourth dive 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. 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 final supper consisting of prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, and roasted potatoes 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. 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. 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.

 

Very early Sunday morning we took two guests to the airport to catch their flight home and at 8am 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