Palau Aggressor Charter April 30 – May 6, 2017
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
On Sunday afternoon we welcome aboard an amazing group of divers all from the United States for another great week at the Palau Aggressor II. As soon as everybody was in the boat the guests were briefed with the cabins, checked in, and helped with their luggage. After setting up gear, everyone headed to the salon for a briefing from the captain about what to expect with the diving, the boat itself and also about Palau. It was followed by a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Shea and Editha then it was time to go to bed.
The next day, the engines started early in the morning and headed off to German Channel where we did our first dive of the week. We started off at the Koror Side of the channel and went to both cleaning stations but didn’t get to see any Mantas so we drifted with the current and explored the natural part of the channel instead. On the second dive we did the Big Drop-Off, we decided to split into two smaller groups which gives the divers plenty of space to move around and do their own thing during the dive. Everybody got to see the big ball and chain left out by the Germans before the WWII and along the wall there were different species of Nudibranchs, Flatworms, and baby white tips sharks inside a small cave. Back in the big boat we had buffet lunch then it was time for the third dive at Barnum’s Wall where spotted a silver tip shark getting cleaned about 90 ft. deep. It was followed by a dive at Ngedebus Coral Garden, we dropped down to about 60 ft. and saw a big rock with 5 leaf scorpion fishes. We spent few minutes of our bottom time there then drifted with the current exploring different parts of the coral garden and saw a lot of friendly turtles. After the fourth dive we came back to the boat had our dinner then did a last briefing on how to use reef hooks.
Tuesday morning was getting more exciting as we did our first dive at the very famous Blue Corner. We started at the incoming side of the corner drifted along the wall and approached the hook in area. As we were hooked, everybody enjoyed the action from the sharks out in the blue as well as the schooling Horse Eyed Jacks. There was also a Napoleon Wrasse hanging around with the divers. After 40 minutes we decided to unhook and explored the plateau and saw Spotted Eagle Rays, Palette Surgeon Fish, and Purple Leaf Scorpion Fish. Next stop was at Turtle Cove, we dropped into the chimney and swim through the cave then proceeded with the wall on our right. We saw the beautiful wall all covered with different colorful soft corals, some square spotted anthias, species of Nudibranchs and Flatworms. Then we had our lunch on a picnic set up at the bar enjoying the view close to the island. It was followed by a dive at Blue Holes, everybody dropped down to one of the holes leading into a massive cavern and spent some of our bottom time exploring inside. We were able to see the disco clam, turkey lion fish, schooling fusiliers, sharks and a great barracuda as we drifted along the wall outside of the cave. The fourth dive was at New Drop-Off, the current was very mild so we decided to unhook right away and explored the plateau. We were able to see two Peacock Flounders just close to each other, schooling Blue Line Snappers and lots of friendly turtles. At night we had our dinner and headed on a night dive at Turtle Cove and saw how the beautiful wall transformed at night as it turned bright yellow because of the cup corals feeding. There was also a disco clam and we spotted some nudibranchs as well.
On the third day of the charter we woke up to a new view inside the lagoon of camp Beck at Peleliu Island. The first dive was supposed to be at Peleliu Corner but as we got there we saw the current was very strong so we decided to move to another dive site and ended up at Purple Beach. It was a fun dive as we drifted along the sheer wall and approached the sloping coral garden then got to see some sharks along the way. When got back to the boat some of the guests went on a guided land tour at Peleliu to explore the place we the bloodiest battle in the Pacific happened. The remaining guests went diving at west wall and afterwards everybody made it back to the boat and had lunch together. It was followed by a dive at Orange Beach where the First Marine Division landed during the WWII. The divers were able to explore the coral garden seeing the different artifacts left by the war. Before the fourth dive the boat started its engines and left camp beck making its way back to Turtle Cove area. On the way the skiff was dropped off to go diving at Barracks Point. There we got to see giant clams, plenty of turtles and some of the divers were very lucky to see a Whale Shark which is very unusual, it was swimming pass giving them good opportunity for photos and videos. Everybody was excited as we got back to the big boat talking about an amazing experience with seeing the Whale Shark and showing their shots of the creature. Then we had a delicious dinner and went on a night dive at Ngedebus Coral Garden and everybody took some rest.
The following day after a lovely breakfast we had another dive at Blue Corner hoping to see good action again. And without any disappointment the dive was amazing seeing a great show from the sharks and plenty of cool stuff at the plateau. The second dive was at German Channel this time we started at the Peleliu Side and went on to the cleaning stations but still didn’t get to see any Mantas. It didn’t stop us from having a great dive by exploring the beautiful channel again. After lunch we did a dive at Dexter’s Wall and spotted Turtles, Nudibranchs, and sharks as we drifted along with the current. Next stop was the Canyons, we explored the wall and different swim through and spotted a stone fish, nudibranchs and more turtles. Back in the big boat we had our delicious dinner and went on our last night dive of the week at German Coral Garden. We explored the coral garden and saw a lot of Pleurobranchs, there was a crocodile fish and an octopus as well.
Early morning on Friday the engines started and made its way to Ulong area where we did our first dive of the day at Siase Tunnel. We dropped down to about 80 ft. and went inside of the tunnel just staying close to the ceiling. There we got to see the Blue Back Pygmy Angelfish, and just before we head out to the exit at the bottom we spotted the Decorated Dartfish. Outside of the tunnel we spent the rest of our bottom time drifting along the wall. It was followed by a dive at Siase Corner, we got into the hook in site and watched the sharks out in the blue. The lunch was amazing and we did our third dive at Ulong Channel. We headed into the mouth of the channel and got hooked in. After few minutes we unhooked and drifted into the channel, there we saw species of Nudibranchs, Flatworms, and schooling Soldier Fish just before the big stacks of lettuce corals. We continued drifting on top of the reef until we reached the two giant clams and ended our dive. Our last dive of the day was at Sandy Paradise, we dropped down to about 30 ft. and started swimming across the coral garden until we reached the area where the corals and the sandy area meet. We continued swimming along the edge, went onto the rock and hang out with the cleaner wrasses trying to clean our hands. Then we moved on to the next rock were the leaf scorpion fishes live with the mantis shrimps close by as well. After the dive we went back to the boat had dinner then watched the video of the whole trip that Ernan put together.
Last day of the charter we started the day by a ride on the skiff touring around the rock islands. Afterwards we went on a dive at Helmet Wreck and saw a bunch of Sea Sluggs that were mating, we explored the different parts of the ship and spotted the artifacts still intact. The last dive of the charter was at Chandelier Cave, we went into the cave came up to all of the air chambers then explored the coral garden just outside the entrance of the cave. We saw a bandit sea snake, the beautiful Mandarin fish and Nudibranchs as well. After lunch the guests settled their bills and had the rest of the afternoon for free. At 6 p.m. everybody gathered together in the salon and the cocktail party started while photos throughout the week taken by Dan was being shown on the big screen. Everybody talked about how great the trip was and after few moments it was time for the Captain’s speech and giving of awards. The captain thanked everybody for a wonderful week of diving and hopes to see everyone again. Then the guests had dinner on the island with the restaurant of their choice.
At 8 o’clock on Sunday morning the remaining guests on board had breakfast and gathered all of their things ready to get off the boat. Everybody said their farewell and went to shore. Until then safe diving and hope to see you again!