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Aggressor Adventure Travel
Palau Aggressor II :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Mar 05, 2017
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew









 



Palau Aggressor Charter March 5 - 12 2017

Water Temp: 80-85 deg F

Air Temp: 85-90 deg F

Crew: Dan, Hector, Ernan, Joe, June, Herence, Randy

 

Sunday Afternoon we met our new friends for the week, nine of which came all the way from Argentina to visit us. And sprinkled in the mix were Americans, a diver from Down Under, and an Indian diver. After the gear and such were sorted we all tucked into a lovely Welcome meal from Captain/Chef Dan before tucking in for a good nights’ sleep to begin our diving week.

Our check out dive as well as our second dive were wreck dives. The Helmet wreck with its helmets and other assorted WWII artifacts scattered around the deck and the Iro Maru with it massive bow and stern guns and anemone covered kingposts. After fueling up with too many carbs at lunch we headed out to burn them off at the next two dive sites. Barnums Wall is where our guest Daniel celebrated his 300th dive with an easy drift down the reef where we found a few nudis and a super cute orangutan crab. A bit of a rarity here. Our final dive at Big Drop Off turned up a longnosed hawkfish and a few more nudis and more species of anthias than I can name right now.

Sunrise found us down at Pelelui where we began our day with a dive at Purple Beach. The site has some of the largest and maybe the largest collection of seafans to be found in the area. After unsuccessfully searching every seafan for a pygmy seahorse we happened across two lovely little porcelain hanging out in an anemone with two Clark’s Anemonefish. Also spotted were two turtles, several sharks, a small school of bumphead parrotfish and on and on. Just a great way to start the day. After a hearty lunch we headed off for a tour of the island and the highlights of one of the bloodiest events in WWII history. After the tanks, guns, etc. and a look around the 1000 man cave we headed back underwater to cool off with a refreshing dive at Orange Beach. Along with some best hard coral in Peleilu we found heaps of cool macro life as well. The find of the dive, if not the day, was pointed out by our dive guide Hector. A blue ribbon moray. A real rarity in Palau and a real treat for the guests.

Sunrise once again found us in Pelelui and after a quick shot of coffee we headed out to dive The Cut at Pelelui Corner as the Express train wasn’t running today. After an easy drift down the wall with a few turtles and sharks we headed back to the German Channel area to dive Blue Holes. After checking out the disco clams we left the massive cavern to drift down the wall toward Blue Corner. As we neared the corner, sharks began appearing in large numbers….and the numbers got larger…..and larger. All hyperbole aside, there was well over a 100 sharks…..waaaaaaay more. One of those dives where your jaw drops open and you have to grab your regulator to keep it from falling out. Just…amazing! Our next dive at Blue Corner was on the incoming side and after hooking in we kicked back and watched a few dozen sharks, a few tuna, and a few thousand jacks and black snappers ride the current in front of us. After unhooking and drifting across the plateau we found not one, or even two, but three leaf scorpionfish all sitting together next to a huge anemone filled with anemonefish as well three porcelain crabs. It was a busy little corner of the reef. Our last dive of the day was at New Drop Off. A screaming current zipped us down the wall to our hook in spot where we watched a few sharks twirl around before unhooking and drifting across the plateau where we found a turtle busily chomping away on some coral. Apparently his snack time. Our night dive at Ngedebus Coral Garden turned up four cuttlefish. Dive site soon to be renamed Cuttlefish City.

We started day five with a return trip to the best dive site in Palau, Blue Corner. And as usual, it put on a show that gives it the much deserved ranking as one of the top dive sites in the world. Once again, sharks too numerous to count, schooling fish galore, and three baby eaglerays cruising around the plateau. After a poke around the Virgin Blue Hole we made our way up the wall to The Canyons to check out the interesting topography of swim-thrus, caves and overhangs. After a tasty lunch we headed over to German Channel for a manta quest. Before we even made it to the cleaning station we had a manta come cruising by our group. We followed it to the cleaning station where we plopped down and watched up to three mantas at a time circle around and enjoy the services of the cleaner wrasse. On our way to the next station we spotted three mantas feeding in about 15 to 20 feet of water so up we came to spend the next 30 minutes or so being buzzed by these big, beautiful giants. Another successfully completed quest. Turtle Cove ended our day with a few turtles, a scorpionfish, and a ridiculous number of species of fish feeding in the shallows. As we headed north back to the Palau Aggressor a rainbow popped out and arced across the sky with the end of it dropping into the Rock Islands. Palau being the pot of gold at the end.

After an early morning motor up to Ulong we hopped in the skiff and headed out for a look around Siaes Tunnel. The usual cast of rare critters were up early. Helfrichs dartfish, decorated dartfish and the blueback pygmy angelfish received a lot of attention from our photographers. Sandy Paradise turned up three leaf scorpionfish, four mantis shrimp, and schooling barracuda and jacks and snappers and…..too many critters to mention. Ulong Channel had a slow moving incoming current so we had a relaxing drift, which made it easier to stop and check out all the cool little critters we normally go flying right past. Nudis, flatworms, slugs and even a tiny little black leaf scorpionfish. Ulong Coral Garden wrapped up our dive time in the Rock Islands and we headed back up to Koror in the evening. After a monster dinner, Ernans’ video of the week, and a few glasses of wine we tucked in for a restful nights’ sleep before finishing our time under and on the water in Palau with a last dive at Chandalier Cave and a skiff tour of the Rock Islands.