Agent Login Press
Aggressor Adventure Travel
Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Dec 18, 2016
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 



Sunday afternoon we started our pick-up run and welcomed on board 11 guests from all over the world. 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. Dinner was soon ready following the briefing and we sat down to a great dinner prepared by our chef. After dinner we headed out to pick up our last guest from the airport but her flight was delayed until later.

 

Very early Monday morning, we pick up our last guest from the airport, and at 6am started breakfast. After we covered the general dive briefing and headed out to do our check out dive. The Helmet Wreck aka Depth Charge Wreck is an unidentified Japanese WWII sub chaser sank in the harbor during the American bombing run of Desecrate One in March 1944. 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. 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. During lunch the big boat moved all the way out to the German Channel area and after we arrived we covered our last briefing on how to use reef hooks. Our third dive was at New Drop Off. The current was incoming and we started with the wall on the right. We drifted along the beautiful wall covered in soft coral, sea fans and saw schools of butterfly fish feeding in the light current. At the hook in area the current was too light and there was no need to hook in. We spent some time exploring the plateau seeing a couple of turtles and a flounder. We explored all of the plateau and the current switched and we turned around. Our last dive of the day was at Dexters Wall. We started the dive above the sloping sand chute, descended down and saw a white tip shark sleeping on the bottom then went wall on the left. We stopped at two beautiful anemones that were balled up feeding that made for some nice photos. We saw a bunch of turtles that this wall is known for and saw a huge lobster under a ledge at 30 feet. Then the current switched so we turned around. Back at the big boat dinner was soon ready and after we watched a fish ID presentation on the common fish here in Palau.

 

On Tuesday morning we fired up the engines bright and early and headed down to Peleliu, 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 nice. We entered the water and drifted along the wall and hooked in at 60 feet. We had a lot of grey reef sharks passing by in front of the divers. The current picked up so we spent the rest of the dive hooked in here and had a parade of sharks passing by in the blue. We also saw a Spanish mackerel, and a school of barracuda. When we unhooked, we drifted quickly across the plateau and started our ascent to do our safety stop. After the dive, four guests went ashore for a Peleliu WWII land tour seeing the sights of one of the bloodiest battles off WWII. In total they spent 2.5 hours on a guided tour of the island seeing the runway, museum, Orange Beach, 1000 man cave and even climber to the top of Bloody Nose Ridge. For dive two the remaining divers wanted to go back to Peleliu Corner. The current was still incoming but it was lighter. We hooked in again in the same general area and again had all the sharks in the blue. We did some advance hooking and moved down to a deeper hook in area and had more sharks to watch. We then unhooked and drifted down towards the corner and started our ascent. The guests from the land tour came back and everyone sat down to lunch. After, the third dive was at Orange Beach Coral Garden, a beautiful sloping coral garden that was the landing beach during WWII so artifacts can be seen mixed in the coral garden. We started the dive directly above three big bombs lying in the rubble. We then drifted along finding WWII era Coke bottles, more bombs, bullets, and parts of a landing craft. The marine life didn’t disappoint, we spotted scorpion fish, schools of barracuda, jacks, snapper and some turtles. Before dive four, the big boat pulled anchor and the big boat and the skiff left south dock at the same time. The big boat headed back to the German Channel area but the skiff stopped for one last dive in Peleliu at Barracks point. The current was outgoing and we descended down to the slopping coral garden seeing a bunch of turtles and giant clams. After dinner our first night dive was at Turtle Cove. We descended down to the wall and slowly went along finding a lot of macro life. Also this wall comes to life at night with all the orange and yellow cup coral coming out to filter feed and some rare critters were also found in the cover of darkness; a Spanish dancer nudibranch, decorated crab, basket starfish, banded coral shrimp and so much more.

 

Wednesday morning our first dive was at the famous Blue Corner. We started the dive on the outgoing side of the corner and drifted along in the light current. We got a little worried because the current felt like it was going to switch and when we arrived at the hook in area, we waited. There were a lot of sharks off the wall and lucky for us the current then stared to pick up from outgoing. We hooked in at watched as more sharks showed up to cruise along in the nice current. We spent most of the dive hooked in but when we did unhook, we followed the sand channel that runs across the corner and found the three eagle rays hanging out in their normal area. Also the huge school of horse eyed jacks hovered above us as we left the bottom and started heading up to start our safety stop. For our second dive we had an incoming current and headed over to German Channel. We started the dive from the Peleliu side and stopped at the first cleaning station and waited but no mantas. We then headed across the mouth of the channel to the other side cleaning station and had one manta pass by above us. We kneeled down around the cleaning station and waited but still no mantas came in to be cleaned. The current ended up dying off so we didn’t end the dive by drifting into the channel instead we came out of the channel on the Koror side seeing a feathertail ray in the sand and the red anemone. After a nice lunch that filled our bellies, and a short break, our third dive was at Blue Holes. We entered the water and descended down one of the holes on top the reef into the large cavern. 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 spent the rest of the dive on the plateau of Blue Corner. We saw the school of jacks, the eagle rays and several sharks. Our fourth dive 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 by the Germans during their occupation of Palau from before WWI and continued along the wall seeing a lot of macro life. After the dive we sat down to dinner and soon after we went back to Big Drop Off for the night dive. It was an outgoing current and we started further down than the ball and chain and let the current push us wall on the right. We spotted a lot of macro life, and had a couple of groupers using our lights to hunt at night.

 

For our last day of diving in the German Channel area, Thursday, we started the day with a repeat dive at Blue Corner. The current was incoming and we started from the last mooring from the hook in area. We made our way along the wall and started seeing sharks. We came up and hooked in at the 45 foot hook in area. The action was nice, we had sharks, a school of snapper and jacks. We spent most of the dive here. Later we unhooked and went down to the 60 foot hook in area. A couple of guests hooked in here others went off to start exploring the plateau. We went and saw the eagle rays in their normal area one last time before surfacing. For dive two we headed back to German Channel for one last chance for the mantas. This time we started the dive from the Koror side of the channel dropped down saw again the red anemone and descended down to the deep water cleaning station at 95 feet. On the way there we found a feathertail ray sleeping on the sandy bottom, at didn’t see anything at the cleaning station so we turned around and went to the regular Koror side cleaning station. We stayed there for about 10 minutes with no manta action so we kicked across the channel to the Peleliu side cleaning station. We saw a large school of yellow tail barracuda and as we arrived at the cleaning station we saw two mantas getting cleaned. We sat down and watched as the mantas went round and round. After the mantas left we went back to the middle of the channel and let the current push us down the channel to do our safety stop. After lunch dive three was at Turtle cove. We entered the water swam over to the hole on top the reef and descended down and into the small cavern. We again pointed out a disco clam to some of the guests and exited out along the wall. We drifted all the way to the corner and came up on top the plateau finding a leaf scorpion fish and a turtles. For our fourth dive we headed to Barnums Wall. We started the dive above the wall and went wall on the right. The current was able to push us all the way through the whole dive site. We saw some anemones, nudibranchs, and a couple of turtles also a crocodile fish. After dinner our last night dive was at German Coral Garden. They started the dive at the furthest mooring from the mouth of the channel and headed out along the coral garden seeing crabs, shrimp, lionfish, lions paw sea cucumber and other macro life.

Early Friday morning the big boat started heading to Ulong for a day of diving. After breakfast our first dive was at Siaes Tunnel. This is a deeper dive and the current allowed us to do this as the first dive of the day. We entered the water and descended down to the entrance of the tunnel at 90 feet. We spent some time exploring the sides of the tunnel finding the rare blue backed pygmy angelfish and also found the decorated dartfish in the sandy bottom by the exit. We exited the tunnel and swam along the wall seeing a couple of sharks in the blue and a turtle. For dive two we had a incoming current and headed out to Ulong Channel. We started the dive from the mooring, descended down and drifted slowly along the wall to the hook in area. We hooked in and had several sharks in front of the divers. With the light current we unhooked early and started down the channel. We swam through a school of big eyed crescent tail fish, saw the lettuce coral and ended the dive at the two giant clams sitting side by side with beautiful soft coral growing on them. After lunch dive three was at Siaes Corner. We started from the mooring and drifted along the wall to the hook in area. The current was pushing us swiftly along the wall and we came up on top the reef and hooked in. The current started to pick up while the group was hooked in and it was the strongest current we experienced all week. We all held on tight to our hooks as about 40 grey reef sharks swam around in the blue. Also we spotted a dog tooth tuna and a Spanish mackerel. The current seemed to get even stronger so we unhooked to explore the plateau. In the coral garden the current got lighter and by the end of the dive it switched back to incoming. We did see a turtle, eel and a scorpion fish before we ended the dive. Our fourth and final dive of the day was at Sandy Paradise. We entered the water and descended down along the coral garden. We saw some beautiful anemones and some of the guests were able to be cleaned by the cleaner wrasse around the anemone. Then at the rock out cropping with all the glassy eyed sweepers we found the 3 leaf scorpion fish and also 3 mantis shrimp peeking out of their holes in the sand. We also spotted a couple of sharks in the blue and a school of yellow tail barracuda. There was a large school of scad and reef jacks being chased around by amber jacks and some grey reef sharks. For dinner the guests sat down to a Christmas feast of turkey, ham, cranberries, mash potatoes, and cheese cake for desert. After our bellies were full and everyone was in a holiday food coma, we moved over to the Couch and watched our video of the charter by our video pro Jim.

 

Saturday morning our last dive on the outer reef was at Shark City. It was a longer skiff ride out to the site and when we arrived the current was outgoing and it was light. We entered the water and drifted along the wall seeing some sharks in the blue. With the light current there was no need to hook in so we just explored the plateau. There are some patches of lettuce coral with schools of banner fish around them that make for some nice photos, and we spotted a school of snapper. On the way back to the big boat we saw the large school of spinner dolphins that put on a nice show riding in the wake of the bow of the skiff. After we arrived back at the big boat it started making its way back into town and our last dive of the charter was back in Malakal Harbor at 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 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. After dinner one guest left at 10pm to the airport to catch her flight home.

 

Sunday morning the rest of the guests woke up to continental breakfast and at 8am we took them ashore to transfer them to their hotels so they could spend a couple extra days in Palau. We would like to thank everyone for joining us this Christmas week on board the Rock Islands Aggressor. Hope to see you all again, until then Happy Holidays and safe diving…

 

-Rock Islands Aggressor Crew