Palau Aggressor Charter December 25th- January 1st, 2016-2017
Water Temp: 79-84 deg F
Air Temp: 78-86 deg F
Crew: Dan, Joe, Herence, Hector, Shea, Beau and Ripon
On Sunday, Christmas day, we greeted 11 guests from different places around the world. Upon arrival they were introduced to their cabins and then assisted as they set up their dive gear and camera equipment before dining on a fantastic Christmas spread laid out by Shea. Then they were presented with the vessel orientation and safety briefing before heading off to bed to get a good sleep before beginning an amazing week of diving in beautiful, sunny Palau.
Monday our first dive was Helmet Wreck and we saw Stacks of helmets, depth charge, rifle, bullets, sake bottles, gas mask and other artifacts located in the front cargo hold. Our second dive was the Iro, this wreck, at 450 ft long, is one of the biggest wrecks in Palau. Sitting upright on the bottom at 120 feet with a large gun mounted in the front and the stern. We saw octopus, nudibranch, six banded angelfish, puffer fish and the dusky anemone at the stern king post. Next we dove Ulong Coral Garden and spotted many Moorish Idols, a few eels, and a hawksbill turtle as well as a green turtle. Our final dive for the day was at Ulong channel and it was our first hook in dive of the week. The current was mild and we lazily drifted up the channel, spotting nudibranchs, turtles, and flat worms all along the way.
Tuesday morning we started by diving Sandy Paradise to watch the bumphead parrotfish spawning. The parrotfish swarmed around us as we marveled at their sheer numbers in the early morning lights. Aside from the parrotfish Sandy Paradise is a beautiful sloping coral garden and relatively no current with lots of stuff to see such as spearing mantis shrimp, leaf scorpion fish, schooling barracuda, reef trevally, glassy eye fish, fusiliers and black snappers. Along the sandy area you can find tons of spotted garden eels and also manta ray every once in a while. Afterwards we dove Siaes Corner which boasted more sharks then anyone could count, schooling jacks, and the odd turtle drifting past us along with oriental sweetlips. Next on the to-do list for the day was Ngerchong Outside, which is a host to many species of sharks, mantas, turtles and other big critters. Earlier in the year a whale sharks was sighted in the area. German channel was our finishing dive of the day we saw 3 mantas circling in the blue water, feeding on the plankton of the incoming tide in the orange glow of the sun.
After motoring down to Peleliu we dove Peleliu Express first thing in the morning. Peleliu Express is aptly named for its swift current and is a host to a variety of marine life, namely sharks. Next we went to Purple Beach, which is a steep drop-off which melts into a vast coral garden. On this dive we had a mild current, visibility beyond 100 feet and water temperature of 81 degrees. Here the wall is loaded with multihued soft corals and large sea fans. We saw a number of grey reef sharks, schools of fusiliers and pyramid butterfly fish along with several turtles, red tooth triggerfish a school of barracuda, some rainbow runners, a couple of barred jacks and a variety of anemone fish. Orange Beach was the dive site that followed Purple Beach, both of which were landing beaches used by the Americans during the Second World War and is absolutely littered with artifacts from that era ranging from old Coca-Cola bottles to .50 caliber bullets. Afterwards we dove Barracks Point which again had outstanding visibility and a mild current. On this dive we saw giant clams, a variety of angel fish, Moorish idols, turtles, sweetlips and a school of barracuda along with a few sharks.
Thursday we started our morning by diving the famous Blue Corner once again. We saw many sharks, schooling barracuda, and a leaf scorpion fish. Next we dove blue holes, the visibility was terrific and the water was warm. Inside the cave one of our amazing dive guides managed to find and show the guest a disco clam along the wall. Afterwards we dove Canyons and German Channel. At German Channel we saw seven different individual Mantas throughout the dive.
Friday our first dive was at the world famous Blue Corner, this dive has two starting points and one is the incoming side and second is the outgoing side. The dive started along the wall and we hooked-in in the particular place were the sharks, tuna and schooling fusiliers are hanging out. Also the top of the plateau is full of other fish like groupers, yellow fin barracuda, blue stripe snappers, black stripe barracuda, white tip reef sharks, turtle, reef trevally and horse eye jacks. Third dive at new drop off, new drop off is like a small blue corner were sharks, turtle, anemone, flounder, schooling black and blue line snappers, schooling yellow back fusiliers and tuna sometimes passing along the wall. Barnums Wall was next and we saw lots of nudibranchs, flatworms, turtles, lion fish and varieties of crabs and shrimps. German Channel was our final dive on our last full day of diving and, as always, was a real treat. When we arrived there were at least 5 mantas in the deeper water making wide circles and doing flips as the fed upon the plankton in the warm water. It was a truly magical way to wrap up the day.
On our last full day together, after breakfast dive was at Light House channel, which boasts a neat wreck that is covered in coral growth and is absolutely swarming with nudibranchs. Our last group activity for the week we dove the chandelier cave. Chandelier cave is cavern dive with four air chambers and about 100 feet long swim. Outside the cave we can find a mandarin fish, lots of cardinal fish specially the pajama cardinal fish, spiny devil scorpion fish, crab eye goby, razor fish, nudibranch and sometimes a sea snake. It was a terrific way to finish up another week of diving here in beautiful Palau.
The crew of the Palau Aggressor II would like to thank all of the guests and hope to see you all again on another dive adventure.