Palau Aggressor Charter March 26-April 2 2017
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Scott, Shea, Ernan, Hector, Herence, Joe
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 Herence. Afterwards it was then time to get to bed. You need to be well rested before beginning a wonderful week of diving in Palau!
Monday morning, the Palau Aggressor II moved down to Ulong Island, recently famous for being the host of Survivor Palau. The guests had their first taste of the outer reef with a dive Sandy Paradise after breakfast. From a mooring line we descending over a wonderful coral garden seeing some cool creatures like Leaf Scorpion fish, mantas shrimp and lots of schooling fish had everyone excited for more. After a short break dive Two was at Siaes Tunnel. Here is a huge tunnel in the reef at 90ft so a deep start of the dive. As you enter you stay close to the roof where you see fish swimming upside down. As the tunnel bottom gets higher you can see some rear fish hang out the rare Helfrichs and Decorated dart fish. On the sandy bottom of the tunnel very colorful fish! Then it’s a wall on the right to end the dive in the shallows. Time for lunch from chef Shea, after lunch Joe gave the reef hook briefing to tell the guests how, when and where we use or reef hooks in Palau. The Third dive of the day was at Siaes corner the first hook in dive of the week. We started wall on the right the wall covered in soft coral and big sea fans. Scott lead the divers to the hook in area lucky the current was mild so a nice intro to hooking in. At the hook in area sharks and barracuda were seen. The Fourth and last dive of the day was at Ulong Channel. On reaching the dive site we could see the current was moving or strong as one of the moorings was under water at a 45 degree angle. So we did a live drop in the blue. This means we drift with the current to the wall avoiding swimming agents the current. As we go close to the mouth of the channel or the hook in area Andy could see many sharks and hooked the guests in a line spread out across the channel as we were the only people there. We stayed at the hook in for 35min seeing sharks coming nice and close. When we unhooked we had a fast drift down the channel! After the dive the guests said how fun the drift was!
Tuesday morning, now in the German channel area we went out for our first dive Blue corner at 7am. We arrived and it was a incoming current wall on the right. As we reached the hook in area at 45ft/12m there was 100s of jacks, snappers and sharks cruising by. The current was mild to medium just right for a great blue corner dive, again we had the dive site to our self so we were able to use both hook in areas the 45ft and the 60ft hook in area. About 30 min in to the dive a huge dog tooth tuna was seen it’s a huge fish bigger then some of the gray reef sharks. We spent most of the dive at the hook in area then towards the end of the 60 min dive we explored the top of the corner as well. Dive two we headed back to the blue corner area to Blue Holes, were divers descended down four large holes at the top of the reef into a massive cavern. Inside divers had great view with the ambient light coming in the holes and found several disco clams on the cavern wall, then the exit of the cavern wall on the left to blue corner a 2 for 1 dive! Back to PAII for lunch, after lunch dive three, New Drop off. The swells and wind now picking up a little bit. The current was a mild incoming wall on the right. We headed down the wall covered with nice soft coral and approached the hook in area at 45ft -12m to watch the sharks. The current was mild so we could also explore the top of new drop offs coral garden seeing flounders and many green turtles, nudies and eels and many other coral fish clown trigger fish blue line snapper to name a few! Fourth dive of the day German channel as the current is a incoming the best way to dive the channel. We started on the Koror side of the channel. The red anemone a nice photo and video stop from there Scott lead the group to the cleaning station and before they could get to it they were passed by a manta ray just cruising by. Then it was Ngedebus coral garden for our night dive.
Peleliu! Bright early Wednesday morning the captain fired up the engines and motored down south to Peleliu. We started our day with a dive at Peleliu Corner, which had a moderate current but lots of fish swarming nonetheless. Our second dive at West Wall was a slow drift down the wall with lots of turtles sharks and beautiful coral. Meanwhile some of guests were enjoying a nice warm day on the island doing a tour. Our dive at Orange Beach started out going north and then halfway through the dive switched currents to south so we got to see all that amazing hard coral twice on the same dive. Barracks Point was our fourth dive and had a few giant tridacnas posing for photo ops well as a few turtles. Our night dive at Turtle cove had a lot of pelagic larvae attracted to our lights and quite a few flatworms.
Our first dive on Thursday took us to Blue Corner and another opportunity to “Hook In”. A few Sharks and Jacks were putting on a show, but the current was mild so we hung around for a while and then we explored the Plateau. We went to Canyons for dive two was at the Canyons, which is another stunning hard coral garden, this one has deep cuts into the reef, forming canyon-like swim through and holes to explore. Turtle Cove, Ngedebus corner and Ngedebus cove was our late afternoon dives as well as the night 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. Then Ferns wall and 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 we saw a few mantas. It was a truly magical way to wrap up the day.
On our last full day together, after breakfast dive was at 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. 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.