Palau Aggressor Charter November 13-20 2016
Water Temp: 80-89 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Beau, Hector, Ernan, Ronnie, Joe, Editha
On Sunday afternoon 14 new dive buddies joined us from France, The United States, and the United Kingdom. After a warm welcome aboard from the Captain, the crew helped to set up their gear, analyzed their gas, and fulfilled any special requests as far as gear goes. The guests were then given a safety briefing from the Captain followed by a delicious dinner and a proper introduction to our stellar crew. After their first meal on the boat the guests settled in for a peaceful night’s sleep as the crew worked diligently to ready the boat for the next day down to the minutest detail.
The guests awoke the next morning to a shining sun, blue skies, and an array of pristine islands dotting the crystal clear waters around the boat. Our first two dives of the day wrecks, Jake Seaplane and Teshio Maru. Everyone was more than excited to be in the water once again, guests and crew alike. We saw octopus, cardinal fish, and a plethora of other shallow reef fish in the surrounding coral gardens. Our next dives were Ngerechong Outside and German Channel. The German Channel dive was particularly exciting for we had the fortune of seeing 4 mantas as well as numerous schooling fish in addition to the Grey reef sharks that had been circling them.
Tuesday started with the legendary Blue Corner dive. The current was mild but the fish action was still very good. We saw a lot of both grey and white tip reef sharks, napoleon wrasses, schools of jacks and barracuda and an octopus. Next at the Blue Holes the guests were pleased to dive around the impressive holes, taking in the geographic anomaly that it is. After blue holes we headed to Barnums wall and turtle cove for some fantastic hard and soft coral gardens. Turtle Cove in particular was a terrific dive for the guests experienced around 100 foot visibility and 84 degree water along with a light current which one guest remarked “was like diving in the biggest fish tank on the planet”.. Highlights where the schooling sea bass, grey reef sharks, turtles, schools of snappers, large scale soldier fish, sweetlips and a great number of square spot Anthia’s along the wall.
Wednesday was notably warm and sunny. After diving the Peleliu express, an exhilarating drift dive aptly named for its noteworthy currents, the guests were given a guided land tour of Peleliu. The guests were awestruck as Godwin gave detailed and intriguing recount of the battle that took place there between the Americans and the Japanese during the Second World War. The highlights of the land tour were the blown out Mitsubishi tank, The US Marines Memorial, The US Army Memorial (located at the peak of a beautiful mountain overlooking the surrounding island and the landing beaches), as well as the Peleliu Museum. After the land tour and a refreshing lunch of BBQ ribs exquisitely prepared by Chef Ronnie, we were out for our third dive of the day at West Wall. West Wall is a drop-off with an abundance of soft corals, sea fans and schooling fusiliers along with large groups of pyramid butterfly fish. We also saw some grey and white tip sharks and fire dartfish. The last dive of the day was barracks point, a truly magnificent experience.
The fifth day of this wonderful week was the highlight of the trip in the eyes of the guests. We started the day with an exciting “hook in” dive at Blue Corner where we saw white tip sharks, a hawksbill turtle, and a giant barracuda. Before lunch we went to New Drop-off where we were blessed with terrific visibility and cool water brought by the incoming current, which was a nice contrast to the 86 degree day. After lunch was Ngedebus Corner and followed by German Channel. The German Channel dive was a spectacle of wildlife, perfect ambient light, and good conditions. The warm color of the setting sun shone through the surface, creating a fire-like glow in front of which the contour of three graceful mantas could be seen circling a massive school of jacks being balled at the surface by two hungry white tip sharks. It was a truly magical day indeed. The American and British guests finished off the night with a friendly poker game before retiring to their cabins.
On day six of the adventure we moved the boat up to Ulong. The guests were pleased to see where “Survivor” was filmed although many had never seen the show. We none the less dropped a few at the island to pose for pictures and bragging rights. The guests dove Siaes Tunnel, Siaes Corner, Sandy Paradise, and Ulong Channel. Siaes Corner turned out to be a particularly eventful dive with its swift current and wide variety of friendly marine specimens. The guests returned to skiff with wide eyes and large smiles. The Ulong channel dive at dusk was the perfect story book ending for the day as the sun set, casting its orange and magenta hues across the sea unto Ulong, resounding cheers flooded the boat.
Our final day on charter we started the morning by diving helmet wreck. We were thrilled to explore the WWII wreck and its interesting artifacts. The last dive of the trip was Chandelier Caves, our amazing guides were able to spot the elusive mandarin fish known to haunt the area in front of the caves. As we exited the caves we used the ambient light of the cave entrance to make our way back to the mouth. Afterwards we were treated to our last lunch prepared, once again, by the amazing Chef Ronnie. The guests went ashore to explore the town and have a massage while the crew got ready for the cocktail party at six pm, where everyone gathered to swap some stories of the week and other places they have yet to explore. We dropped the guests off at seven for dinner ashore, before picking them up and bringing them home again, for “home” is what the Aggressor feels like now.
We said farewell on Sunday morning and helped our guests with transfers to their hotels and flights. It was yet another wonderful week aboard the Palau Aggressor II with fantastic guests that we look forward to diving again with soon!