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Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Oct 16, 2016
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 




Sunday afternoon we welcomed on board 9 guests from all over the world Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany and USA. After a quick introduction to their cabins they 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 Shea. We had 2 late arrivals that arrived at 9 who had a snack and a briefing and off to bed.

 

Monday morning we had breakfast. Then we covered the general dive briefing and headed out to do our check out dive at the Helmet Wreck aka Depth Charge Wreck. This unidentified Japanese WWII sub chaser sank in the harbor during the American bombing run of Desecrate One. We did our back rolls into the water, checked our weight, and descended down to the wreck. We entered the first cargo hold; saw the three stacks of helmets and the depth charges. In the middle cargo hold we saw more depth charges the large anti-aircraft search light and swam through the old partition to the forward cargo hold with the airplane engines and generator. On the bow of the wreck we saw the Nippon Brewing Company bottles and turned around and headed towards the stern where the divemaster Jim found a crocodile fish. We spent the rest of the dive looking at the artifacts that have been collected and placed around the stern gun. After the dive the big boat moved out of Malakal Harbor and into the Western Lagoon. Our second dive was at The Iro. We descended down the mooring ling to the bow of the wreck saw the bow gun and swam along the deck of the wreck to the stern and circled up the last king post to see the colony of tomato anemone fish. We then swam from king post to king post back to the mooring line at the front of the wreck to do our safety stop. After lunch, with the big boat now in the Ulong area, our third dive was at Ulong coral garden our first outer reef dive of the week. We dropped in on the nice blue water and within 5 min of the dive we were diving in the middle of hundreds of jacks barracuda and sharks cursing by too. Andy the leader of the dive saw the current was just turning to in coming so lead the group to the mouth of Ulong channel for the reminder of the dive so we could hook in and see more sharks! Our last dive of the day was at Ulong channel this time it was the end of the incoming so the viz was at its best and at the hook in there was lots of sharks. After the hook in area at the mouth of the channel Jim lead the guests through the coral channel of Ulong channel one of the best reefs here in Palau where there is huge patch of lettuce coral (we call it fish condos as many fish live there), and ending the dive at 2 giant clams with soft coral growing on them a great photo stop

 

Tuesday morning our first dive was at Siaes Corner. We started from the mooring and drifted along the wall to the hook in area. The current was light but we still hook in for a while seeing some sharks in the blue. We then unhooked and explored the coral garden for the rest of the dive seeing a couple turtles. Our last dive in the Ulong area was sandy or Andy paradise as it is one of Andy’s favorite dive sites. The dive starts off a mooring just off a small sand bar island as we drop down over a hard coral garden we went shallows on our right heading to the sandy bottom where rock outcroppings hide leaf fish and many other small fish. Looking up in the blue there are schools of barracuda and jacks with sharks cruising around too. On the safety stop we were treated by 2 turtles playing swimming in circles. During lunch the big boat moved over to the German Channel area and our third dive was at Big drop off a very nice wall dive best for its macro life where lots of nudis were found. Dive 4 we had a incoming current and this is the best time to dive German channel as it filters all the plankton in a concreted area good place to see fish feeding. As the divers entered the water the start of the dive is at a red anomie great for photos from there Ben lead the group to the cleaning station where big fish come to be cleaned the divers sat around the cleaning station and saw a few sharks coming to be cleaned. Above them there was a big bait ball of fusilier fish and lots of sharks and GTs hunting. We came back to the big boat had w great dinner then at 7:30 headed out for the night dive. The night dive was at German channel as it was still a incoming current Andy lead the 4 night divers starting again at the red anemone to show the change from day to night. At night the anemone pulls right back in to the coral and the fish use it like a blanket to sleep, other things spotter on the night dive were cone shells, crocodile fish and a few white tip sharks. On the return to the RIA we all had a cup of hot coco and off to bed for a full day diving on Wednesday.

 

Wednesday morning our first dive Blue corner! As we arrived we saw it was still a incoming current so started wall on our right, from the start of the dive we started with seeing a green turtle sleeping on the wall, as we were going along the wall the marine became more and more a sign we were getting close to the hook in area. This is where there are big schools of jacks and snapper with the gray reef sharks going up and down the edge of the wall. We all hooked in and saw lots of sharks, we stayed hooked in for may be 30 minutes of the dive then unhooked to explore the top of the blue corner reef seeing turtles, eels sleeping white tip sharks. All guests had a great dive and wanted more! So dive 2 was Blue holes just passed Blue corner is Blue holes 4 holes on top of the reef opening up it to one big chamber great for wide angle photos and a place to see the disco clam or electric scallop. As the divers exited blue holes its wall on the left heading to blue corner 2 for 1 dive ending up seeing the sharks and many fish on the corner. Dive 3 New drop off, a mini blue corner this time a outgoing current wall on the left. It’s a very nice wall on the way to the hook in area lots of sea fans and soft corals. At the hook in again sharks in the blue and behind the hook in on the reef is where 2 large green turtles like to sleep and very used to divers so you can get close to take photos. Dive 3 Barnum’s Wall a very nice sloping coral garden then bid wall dive was nice but the rain came in and made dive dark almost like a night dive. After dinner. Dive 5 the night dive at Big drop off. Lots to see one of the best night dives slipper lobster nudies and crabs were seen.

 

On Thursday woke to a very calm sea and first dive we headed back to Blue corner as that’s what the guests wanted. A great dive lost of sharks and after the hook in seeing 2 baby eagle rays were seen playing in the current. Dive 2 Virgin blue hole, is a big hole on the reef going down to 95ft a L shape then going 100ft to the exit at 100ft. on the exit we start our slow assent wall on the right leading to some great swim troughs and canyons. A diver’s dive just to enjoy the reef and topography. After a BBQ lunch dive 3 was at Turtle cove. The dive starts by a small hole on the reef exiting on the wall. The wall has many soft corals and seafans as well as seeing many turtles on the dive. Dive 4 Ferns wall a great dive for macro and crocodile fish seen in the first 5 min of the dive, looking in the seafans it’s a good place to see long nose hawk fish. At dinner we celebrated Jeffery and Deborah’s wedding anniversary, Night dive, Dive 5 German channel coral garden. Chef Shea lead a night see dive for Jeff & Deb for a gift from the crew for their anniversary, it’s a dive with a blue light and when you were a yellow filter on your mask you see the corals glow.

 

Friday morning we woke up and could tell that the wind is calming down even more then yesterday so first dive we headed out to the famous German channel. The current was incoming and we entered the water on the Peleliu side of the channel and went to the first cleaning station to see sharks being cleaned. From the Peleliu cleaning station we headed over to the main cleaning station on the way seeing big schools of barracuda, jacks and snappers. We all mad it to the main cleaning station about 25 min in to the dive and waited to see what was going to be cleaned. A few minutes wait we were treated by two mantas (F13 Freckles and F2Romana) their names in the manta ID database. As the weather was calm we made the journey down to Peleliu for our rest of the days diving. Just before 10 am the RIA pulled in to south dock of Peleliu just in time for dive 2. Dive 2 was Peleliu corner on of the most advanced dives we offer because of the unpredictable currents. The corner is where two seas meat the Pacific and the Philippians sea. The dive was a incoming current so the divers started there dive in the Pacific and ended the dive in the Philippians sea. The current was a med to strong a few sharks and a huge school of barracuda was seen. After lunch 4 guests went ashore to see the battle fields of WW11 as Peleliu had a Japanese airfield the Americans wanted to capture but it ended up one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific. For the rest of the guests dive 3 was Orange beach coral garden, a very nice sloping coral garden as we started our decent on the coral garden a big spotted eagle ray was seen cruising in the blue. Going down to 95ft Andy the dive guide showed the guests many clips of ammunition left from the battle and coke bottles from WW11. Other thing spotted where 2 nurse sharks a rare thing for Palau or not seen very often by divers and a snapper with a cornet fish in it mouth, being chased by sharks made the dive entertaining. Just before dive 4 the RIA started to leave Peleliu and head back to the German channel area. Dive 4 was barracks point a great dive starting as wall then turning in to a huge coral garden where 10 or more turtles were seen as well as giant clams in the coral garden. For dinner the guests sat down to a final supper consisting of steak and shrimp, prepared by chef Shea and after dinner we watched our video of the charter by our video pro Jim.

 

Saturday morning our first dive was at the Half a dai wreck a old fishing boat. The boat lies on the sand at 80ft The visibility was not the best but well all found lots of pipe cleaner nudies and lion fish on the wreck. 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. At 10pm we took guests 2 ashore and to the airport to catch their flight to Yap for a week of diving. 2 am Wally left to for to the airport to catch his flight home.

 

Sunday morning we work up to continental breakfast and our last remaining departed at 8 am to their hotels 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