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Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Nov 27, 2016
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 



Early Monday morning 18 guests arrived from South Korea. When they arrived at the boat they made quick work of setting up their gear and preparing for the week to come. After setup was done, they were sent upstairs to have a filling and satisfying breakfast prepared by Chef Andy, the first of many great meals to come out of the galley. During breakfast Captain Ike moved us to Ulong where we would spend the day diving. Our first dive would be Ulong Coral Garden, a shallow site that would show off the colors to be found in the waters of Palau. Here the divers saw many fish big and small. They even saw a couple hawksbill turtles that were there to welcome them. Next we moved to Ulong Channel, a dive site that is a three for one dive. First you swim along a beautiful hard coral wall with fish everywhere, and then when you get to the mouth of the channel you hook in and hang out as you watch turtles, sharks and a plethora of fish swim by. But it’s not over there, after that you release from the hooks, and swim down Ulong channel. Normally this site has a strong current, but today there was almost none so the guests got to slowly transverse the channel looking at all it has to offer. During this dive they saw crocodile fish, sharks, Turtles, and of course fish everywhere. This first day was a short one, but we finished it off at Siaes Corner, another hook in dive where the guests would swim along the wall until they reached the hook in area. Here the dive masters would assist the divers in setting their place. Once solidly hooked into the site the divers chilled out and enjoyed the site. Again they saw many sharks, turtles, and more fish than ever. This site is never dull. After the first day is done everyone cleaned up and joined the crew in the Salon to feast on the first of Chef Andy’s fabulous dinner.

 

After a good night’s sleep the group woke up to a beautiful morning and looking forward to a good day of diving. The day of diving would begin at Sandy Paradise where they would enjoy a relaxing dive seeing tons of turtle and enjoying the nice waters. They would see a few white tip sharks as well. On the next dive the divers would enjoy Siaes tunnel. This site starts off with a dramatic tunnel that’s 50 tall and 50 foot wide and 150 long. But inside they would see some special little fish including the decorated dart and Helfrich dart fish. The wall then follows down showing tons of fans and other soft corals. Along the way reef sharks and the bumphead wrasse would make their appearance. After a big lunch from Chef Andy, the very full but eager group went for another skiff ride to a beautiful site, Turtle Cove. Here they would start with a vertical swim through that goes from 5 feet to 50 feet coming out into a large room full of little fish hugging the walls. After exploring all this room had to offer we would swim slowly along the wall slowly ascending until the last of the dive would be spent on top of the reef looking for turtles, octopus, and crabs. With another short break one of the premier dive sites here in Palau was up next. German Channel always promises to be exciting. Normally the first third of the dive is spent at the cleaning station before proceeding down the channel. But this time there was quite a bit of manta action. First at the cleaning station, then we gazed them feeding in the blue water. So the group carefully and respectfully swam to see them do loops and circles all while feeding on the abundant life. What a sight. That night after a big dinner from the chef, a small group would go the German channel coral garden and feast their eyes on lots of big crabs, eels, Shrimp everywhere and squid.

 

Wednesday would find us in Peleliu. This morning we would do a great drift dive at Peleliu Corner. With a fast current the divers would jump in make their way to the wall and be carried away swiftly. Along the way we would see sharks, schools of jacks, schools of barracuda. After about 20 minutes we would hook in for a little while and watch all of this abundant life slowly swim by us against the current what an amazing sight to see. After drifting for a while longer we would hook in again (this group is exceptional at this skill) to watch all of the life go by. What an exciting experience. Next dive would be at West Wall. Here the group would be treated to a movie star! Dory was on the scene. That the site was full of the usual suspects Grey reef sharks, turtles, and the occasional curious, but shy white tip shark. A gorgeous wall with an abundance of soft coral to see, lots of little stuff to see as well. There were Various Nudibranchs and lots of little crabs. Orange beach was visited after lunch. This was one of the first beaches to be landed on during the Peleliu invasion. Here there are lots of artifacts to be found on the seafloor. There was a pile of bombs, bullets, and magazines. And apparently along the way a few of the soldiers were able to stop and have a coke and a smile. We found quite a few mid century coke bottles. For such an awful time, it’s good to know they had a couple comforts from home. Next we would go to Barracks Point, a long sloping reef full of fish. Here the group would again see lots of turtles and a few sharks. Even an eagle ray would make its appearance here. Then once again Chef Andy would serve a fantastic meal with Sushi as an appetizer, then followed by Herb stuffed fish, with couscous(so nice they named it twice), and vegetables of eggplant and pumpkin. And if that wasn’t enough a small group would be treated to another visit to Turtle cove where they would see lots of little Shrimp, including the sexy shrimp, quite a few different types of eels, and 4 different crabs. What an end to a fantastic day.

 

This next day would be an exciting one. First the group would be taken to one of our other iconic sites, Blue Corner. And it was great today. There was a nice strong current, dozens of sharks, most of them swimming right up close to us. A couple Napoleon wrasse and fish were everywhere. It was almost hard to focus on one thing with the over abundance of fish. Then off to the blue holes. Here the divers descent into one of four tunnels that all lead to one big room. With all of the sunlight coming in you see beams of light everywhere. Here the group would get to see quite a few dragonets. Cool little fish, and then on the way out they were treated to another showing of sharks, as the holes site is right next to blue corner. Next dive would be to Big Drop Off, a perfect wall with lots of soft coral and small stuff. This group really enjoys the drifts though so we spent the dive hanging away from the wall and enjoying the site of such a pretty wall. With a descent current, it was a nice easy relaxing dive for all. Then back to German channel. Again this site never fails. And, Even more manta action this time. We saw 3 big mantas swimming along the wall, back and forth between the cleaning stations. The again out in the blue they were feeding. But it was hard to decide where to go. They were everywhere. The manta is such a majestic and inspiring creature. It was such a joy to see them. For the final night dive the group would go to Big Drop Off. Here they would see octopus everything from big ones to tons of little baby ones, along with some big crabs and a few eels as well. It was a nice end to a great day.

 

Friday morning would bring a beautiful sunrise and a nice morning to do two back to back dives at Blue Corner. The guests had such an amazing time there earlier in the week that they wanted to enjoy it again. The first dive would bring a light current and sharks a little further off the wall but still ever present. Half way through the hook in portion of the dive the current switched and they would have to practice advanced hooking, this basically means that they would have to unhook, drift across the plateau, and rehooked again on the other side. We can now say this group is very good at this skill. Toward the end of the dive they were treated with the sighting of three eagle rays. On the second dive the current would stay from the same direction with a slightly stronger current. This time the sharks were in a little closer and the fish were more abundant. It made for an amazing dive at the iconic Blue Corner. After a great lunch the group would head out for a dive at New Drop Off. This is a sheer wall that would show all sorts of Nudibranchs, Turtles and Sharks. There was a slight current so the group had a great time gliding along looking at everything as they drift past. The final dive of the day would be at Barnum’s wall. It’s an awesome wall that had a lot of beautiful plate and other hard corals. Spotted in would be some very colorful soft coral. At the end of the day, the group would be treated to Chef Andy’s Roast dinner Cooked perfectly and Sliced to order. It was served with beautifully roast potatoes, perfectly steamed fresh vegetables, and bread. All that covered in thick gravy. After this they were also treated to Video Pro Jims Movie of the week.

 

The following morning we would get up and head off to dive the Iro wreck a 472 foot long wreck in about 100 feet of water. The dive was really interesting with lots of small life and some interesting artifacts as well. Most of the dive would be spent looking around on the deck, then toward the end they would slowly work their way up the mast to do a safety stop and head back. After a good break a small group of diehard divers would head out for the last dive of the week. This one would be at the Helmet wreck. It was so named because they are a few piles of Japanese helmets around the wreck. Here they would see a large crocodile fish, several nudibranchs, some Mitsubishi zero engines, and a pile of unexploded ordinances. A great dive enjoyed by all of us. After cleaning scuba gear, the guests headed up to have lunch and after settling bills, some went to shore to check their internet. At 6pm we met in the salon for the cocktail party and enjoyed seeing our photo pro’s photos from the week. At 7pm all the guests headed into town for dinner and then later returned to the boat for the night.

 

Sunday morning all 18 guests woke up early and had continental breakfast. After going around and making sure they have everything packed, they departed the boat at 8am. It’s been a great week. Good weather, fun people and great diving, not to mention Andy’s great food.