Agent Login Press
Aggressor Adventure Travel
Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

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









 



Sunday afternoon we welcomed on board 11 guests from around the world. We started with an introduction to their cabins and went back out to the dive deck to set up their dive gear. Before heading up stairs, we checked certification cards and in the salon we covered the vessel orientation and safety briefing. After the briefing we moved over to the tables and dinner was served. After dinner some guests stayed up to watch a documentary on Palau to get an idea of what we could see this week.

 

Very early Monday morning we pick up one last guest from the airport and brought her on board. Around 6am the big boat started up and headed straight towards Ulong Island. We had breakfast then covered the general dive briefing and headed downstairs to the dive deck. Our first dive of the charter was at Sandy Paradise. We did our back rolls into the water, checked our weight, and descended down to the slopping coral garden. At the bottom where the coral garden and the sandy bottom meet, we had one manta getting cleaned over one big coral head. The manta put on a great show for about 20 minutes. They did circle after circle around the rock over top the divers. Then they took off so we then continued on finding the leaf scorpion fish, mantis shrimp. Before our second dive we covered our last power point on how to use reef hook and then headed out to Ulong Channel. We started the dive from the mooring outside the mouth of the channel. We entered the water and drifted along the top of the reef to the mouth. The current was so light that we didn’t hook in; we saw some sharks around the mouth then started swimming into the channel. A little ways into the channel the current switched to outgoing so we turned around and came back out the mouth of the channel. After lunch our third dive was at Siaes Corner. The current was a light outgoing and we started the dive from the furthest mooring. We drifted along the beautiful wall covered in soft coral, sea fans and saw schools of butterfly fish. We reached the hook in area and there was no need to hook in. We just came up on top the reef to explore the coral garden. Off in the blue, around the tip of the corner, there were a lot of grey reef sharks. There had to be about 50+ sharks. We stayed there for a little while watching them then spent the rest of the dive exploring the coral garden. Our last dive of the day was at Ulong Coral Garden. We started the dive from the farthest mooring from the mouth and drifted along the wall. We passed a couple of sharks; saw the school of horse eyed jacks and a giant clam in the rubble area. When we got close to the mouth of the channel the current was outgoing so we turned around and ended the dive at the mooring. During dinner we watched a slide show on the common marine life found in Palau as the big boat started heading to the German Channel area.

 

Tuesday morning as we served breakfast the big boat moved out through German Channel to the outside reef. Our first dive of the day was at the famous Blue Corner. The current was outgoing and we started with the wall on our left. We drifted along the wall and hooked in, there were a lot of sharks. Again there had to be 50+ grey reef sharks off in the blue. We stayed and enjoyed the show. Later we unhooked and drifted across the plateau seeing the school of jacks and the three eagle rays. For our second dive we headed out to New Drop Off. We started from the outgoing side of the corner and hooked in around the big cut in the reef. There were a couple of sharks in front of the3 divers and a school of yellow tail barracuda passed back and forth. The current kept picking up so we stayed most of the dive hooked in. Once we unhooked we shot across the plateau and started our safety stop. Our third dive of the day was at the. After lunch we went back to the Blue Corner area but this time we did Blue Holes. From the mooring we swam over to the four holes on top the reef and descended down into the chamber. We spent some time looking for the disco clams, some nudibranchs, and saw a couple of lion fish. We then exited the chamber and swam along the wall to Blue Corner. When we made it to the outgoing side hook in area we just came up on top the reef to explore for awhile before doing our safety stop. Our fourth dive was at Fern’s Wall. We started from the mooring and the current pushed us swiftly along the wall by the time we ended the dive we were at the start of New Drop Off. We did see several sharks and took some photos of the beautiful sea fans. After dinner our first night dive was at German Coral Garden. The highlight of the dive was a cuttle fish; we also saw a lot of crabs, shrimp and lion fish.

 

Wednesday morning we started the day off again with the famous Blue Corner. This time the current was incoming and we entered the water between the last two moorings. We drifted along the wall seeing sharks in the blue and hooked in at the 45’ hook in area. The current was nice and we watched as the sharks, jacks and snapper went back and forth in front of us. About 30 minutes into the dive we unhooked and moved down to the 60 foot hook in area. We had more sharks at this area. When we unhooked we went over to the area the eagle rays like to hang out and sure enough all three were there flying in formation. For dive two we still had a nice incoming current so we went to German Channel. We started from the Peleliu side of the channel, entered the water and headed right to the Peleliu cleaning station. We sat down in the sand and waited, manta after manta came in to be cleaned. At one time there were a total of four mantas doing circles around the cleaning station. We spent most of the dive right there watching the mantas. After 45 minutes thee mantas left so we headed across the channel and saw the baby manta cleaning again over another coral head, we watched for a littlee while then started to drift into the channel to end our dive. Back at the big boat lunch was ready and after we went to Turtle Cove for dive three. We started the dive by descending down the hole on top the reef and found a disco clam in the small chamber. We then swam out and along the wall to the corner. We found the square spot anthias, and at the corner we came up on top the reef to see the schools of fish and some turtles. Hidden in the coral we spotted a couple of leaf scorpion fish as well. Our fourth dive of the day was at Ngedebus Coral Garden. We entered the water and explored the slopping coral garden, around one rock we found four different color leaf scorpion fish. Before we ended the dive we spotted a crocodile fish blending into the rubble bottom. After dinner we returned to Turtle Cove for the night dive. We descended down along the wall and saw how different this wall looks at night. All the cup coral comes out to filter feed at night turning the wall into beautiful orange and yellow. We also spotted other macro life including banded coral shrimp, hairy hermit crabs and basket starfish and a very beautiful nudibranch, the marionia sp.

 

Early Thursday morning we fired up the engines and headed down to Peleliu, we dropped anchor in Camp Beck, aka South Dock and our first dive of the day was at Peleliu Corner. The current was incoming and we did the “express” side of the corner. We did a live drop over top the sand chute and once everyone gathered we went out along the wall. The current was not too strong but it did push us along the wall. When we did start to see some grey reef sharks we had a very special encounter with a bull shark. It was not a very big bull shark but it was still bigger than the grey reef sharks. We hooked in hoping that the bull shark would return but it didn’t, we enjoyed all the action and later unhooked to drift across the plateau and start our ascent. After the dive 4 guests went ashore for our Peleliu WWII land tour. They spent a couple of hours on a guided tour of one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific, learning about the war and Peleliu then and the island life today. For dive two the remaining guests went out for a dive that we blended two dive sites together. We started the dive at one end of West Wall and let the light outgoing current push us to the D’Cut (outgoing) side of Peleliu Corner. When we got down towards the cut we started to see the massive school of red snappers, this time of the month the gather in this area to mate, the school had to be well over 800. As we got closer they moved off the wall and into the blue, they didn’t let us get that close. As we continued down towards the corner and the current switched on us so we turned around and went back the way we came. We also had a large school of black snapper and jacks. As we went back, we again saw the school of red snapper. Before lunch everyone came back from the tour and after lunch our third dive was at Orange Beach Coral Garden. This dive site is 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 right out the entrance of Camp Beck and did the dive with the shallows on the right. We saw a bunch of artifacts left over from the war, bombs, bullets, coke bottle and a landing craft. Also during the dive we spotted some turtles. Back at the big boat we pulled anchor and slowly started heading towards the German area, we dropped the skiff 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. The divers all surfaced and we chased down the big boat by skiff. After dinner our night dive was at Ngedebus Coral Garden. We started the dive right in front of the boat and went shallow water on our left. We found a couple of leaf scorpion fish and other macro life.

 

Friday morning the guests wanted to do one last dive at Blue Corner. The current was a light outgoing current and we started the dive from the far mooring. We reached the hook in area and first hooked in at 45 feet, the action was just as good as the other day, sharks, jacks and snapper all made the hook in area great. We again unhooked and went down to the 60 foot area to see more sharks. We then unhooked and spent awhile exploring the plateau where we saw some turtles, anemones and more. The three eagle rays stopped by to say hello before we finished the dive. For dive two we headed out to Big Drop Off. We started the dive close to the ball and chain left over from the Germans prior to WWI. We saw different types of nudibranchs and a leaf scorpion fish and some white tip sharks in a small hole in the wall. After lunch for dive three we went to Dexter’s wall. The current was incoming and it pushed us lightly along the wall. In total we saw about 10 turtles and a couple of sharks in the blue. For our last dive of the day we headed back out to German Channel. We started again from the Peleliu side of the channel, dropped down and slowly went to the Peleliu side cleaning station. We slowly swam by the cleaning station towards the middle of the channel. During the dive we saw about 5 mantas. The baby manta was all over the place, at the middle of the channel, at the Koror side cleaning station and at the Peleliu side cleaning station. The other mantas we just fly bys, we didn’t get to see the mantas feeding but it was still a great dive. Back at the big boat we started heading back into town and and for dinner the guests sat down to a final supper that consisted of a prime rib feast. We also had some great extras, roasted potatoes, mixed veggies, and Yorkshire puddings. For dessert we had a banana cheesecake with a caramelized banana on top. We then moved over to the couch to watch our video of the charter put together by our video pro Jim. Everybody enjoyed this look back at the week of diving.

 

Saturday morning back in Malakal Harbor we set out for our first dive at The Iro. This wreck sits in the Western Lagoon and was a nice skiff ride out to it. We tied up the skiff to the mooring the visibility looked great from the surface and after we entered the water it was much better, this had to of been the best visibility we have had here in weeks. We started at the bow gun, swam along the deck to the stern gun, turned around and headed up the tripod. At the top we spent some time with the red anemones and clams. We then went from king post to king post back to the mooring. Back at the big boat we returned our toys, posed for a group photo and soon our last dive of the charter was 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 some guests went ashore to try to check emails, a couple went for massages and at 6pm we gathered back 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 they finished dinner we picked them up from the dock to bring them back to the boat.

 

Very early Sunday morning two guests were dropped ashore to catch a ride to the airport for their early morning flight and later the remaining guests woke up to continental breakfast. Just before 8am we started loading luggage on the skiff and said our goodbyes as we took the guests 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 week on board the Rock Islands Aggressor. Hope to see you all again, until then safe diving…

 

-Rock Islands Aggressor Crew