Palau Aggressor Charter February 5-12 2017
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Shea, Randy, Hector, Herence, Editha, Joe, and Ripon
On Sunday afternoon we welcomed onboard our new dive buddies from around the World. Once they were checked in, and helped to set up their gear, the guests were given a safety briefing from the Captain followed by a delicious dinner, prepared and served by Shea and Editha. Afterwards it was then time to get to bed. You need to be well rested before beginning a wonderful week of diving in Palau!
After a good night’s sleep, we began our day with a check out dive on the Helmet Wreck. Having not been salvaged after the war, due to a late discovery, the wreck is still home to many artifacts from the time she sank, making it an interesting dive of discovery and history. She also now plays host to a great number of critters, all to be found by the exploring macro photographer. Saw-Blade Shrimp, Xeno Crabs, and Crocodile Fish are among what can be seen by those with a keen eye. Dive two was another wreck inside the harbor called the Iro, sometimes missed called the Iro maru, “Maru” meaning cargo vessel. As the Iro was a fleet oil tanker she doesn’t get that title. One of the larger and deeper wrecks here in Koror, it would take multiple dives to fully explore this wreck. Our brief intro to the Iro, had us swimming with some schooling Fusiliers, a Cuttlefish and checking out the Tomato anemone fish that live on top of one of the king posts. During lunch we made our way out the reef with our first stop at Ulong Island. Ulong coral garden was the first dive on the outer reef, and our first taste of the Sharks, Turtles and big schools of Jacks and Snapper. Sandy Paradise on dive four produced some Mantis Shrimp and four Leaf Scorpion Fish, which we often find here, what was cool about this time was that there were two Leaf fish next to each other making for a nice composition.
We continued to explore the Ulong area on Tuesday, with our first ‘Hook in” at Siaes Corner. Several Sharks and one of the largest schools of Moorish Idols I have ever seen! Dive two saw us head to Siaes Tunnel, where we went looking for the elusive Frog Fish, alas not today, but we did find some Helfrichs and Decorated Dart fish, which are quite rare and very jumpy! Ulong Channel is one of our favorite sites and the after lunch choice, the highlight being the large mass of Lettuce Corals and Giant Clams. After the night dive we motored up to German Channel, ready to check out some new sites the following day.
On Wednesday Morning we found ourselves at Blue Corner, before breakfast and had a good display from the Grey Reef Sharks at the hook in, and the checked out the three Eagle Rays back on the Plateau. After breakfast we went to Blue Holes and saw some Disco Clams buried in the side of the Cavern. After lunch we dived at Ferns Wall and found some Turtles, followed by a dive at German Channel to try and find some Mantas, not so lucky today! We did see more Sharks, schooling Jacks and a couple of Octopus though.
First thing on Thursday we did a great dive Blue Corner to get the blood flowing, followed a hearty breakfast. Sharks, Barracuda, Jacks, Napoleon Wrasse , Eagle rays, and so much more, easy to understand why this dive site has the reputation it does as it never disappoints. In the afternoon we did Big Drop Off and Barnums Wall, and finished the day off nicely with a night dive at German Coral Garden.
We went out to Canyons for the first dive on Friday, an interesting site with swim throughs in the deep cuts in the reef wall. Ngemelis wall after breakfast, and a third and final attempt to find some Mantas at German Channel in the afternoon. This time we got lucky and saw a beautiful Manta at the cleaning station.
Saturday morning was bright and sunny, and we decided to make the most of the good weather with a trip out to the Milky Way, where everyone’s inner child comes out; jumping, splashing and getting covered in the soft clay like sand. Then a scenic trip through the Rock Islands with Joe, allowed for photo opportunities at the famous rock arch. Our final dive of the week week was at the very different and interesting Chandelier Caves, which is a series of three air chambers heading into the island, where divers can surface and check out the Stalactite formations, before heading to the exit to hunt for the colorful but very shy Mandarin fish. The guests were quite famished after the morning excursions and were presented with a delicious lunch to fuel back up before heading to town for a few hours of exploring. Just after six o’clock the guests turned up in the salon and sat down for a drink with the crew. We all exchanged stories from the week and enjoyed a slideshow put together by the photo pro. After about an hour the guests were on their way to town for an evening of dinner and dancing off the boat.
Sunday morning at eight o’clock. Some of the guests will be returning home while others will continue their travels throughout the Pacific. Either way we wish everyone a safe trip and we cannot wait until you return to dive with us again. Thanks for the great week!!