Agent Login Press
Aggressor Adventure Travel
Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, May 07, 2017
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 



Sunday afternoon we welcomed aboard 16 guests from around the world. We started with a quick introduction to the staterooms and then on the dive deck, everyone set up their dive gear. Once everyone was checked in, we headed up stairs to cover the vessel orientation & safety briefing and soon after we sat down to dinner prepared by our Chef Ronnie. After dinner we watched Living Eden to show the guest what to expect to see on this charter.  

  

   Early Monday morning we started moving the big boat towards Ulong Island and after breakfast we gathered around the TV in the salon for the general dive briefing and headed down to the dive deck. We moved the guests gear out to the skiff and headed out to Sandy Paradise for our first dive. We started from the mooring and descended down the slopping coral garden. We bottomed out where the coral garden meets the sand at 80 feet, we waited around the big rock that has been used as a cleaning station, but nothing came in to be cleaned. We then went along where the coral garden meets the sand and stopped at a rock outcropping, there are two beautiful anemones here and also some friendly cleaner wrasse. A couple of the guests got a quick touch up. Then further down the reef we stopped and found the leaf scorpion fish and mantis shrimp. For the rest of the dive we saw schools of fish and some sharks. Our second dive was at Siaes Tunnel. We tied the skiff off at the mooring and descended down to the entrance of the tunnel. Through the tunnel we saw fish swimming upside down, decorated dart fish, nudibranchs and beautiful sea fans. We exited the tunnel and went out along the wall seeing a couple of sharks in the blue and turtles. We came up along the top of the reef to do our safety stop and watch all the anthias dancing on top the reef. Back at the big boat, lunch was ready and after we covered the reef hook briefing on how to use reef hooks because our third dive was at Ulong Channel. We descended down the mooring and headed out to the wall. When we reach the mouth of the channel we hooked in and watched the show. The current wasn’t too strong, later we unhooked and drifted down the channel seeing the lettuce coral and ended the dive at the two giant clams. For dive four we went to Ulong Coral Garden. We started the dive from the furthest mooring from the mouth of the channel and went shallows on the left. We stopped at the cheek and saw some sharks in the blue, continued into the coral garden and found the one giant clam. Next we went over to the mouth of the channel and with the slack current nothing was going on so we just kicked into the channel to end the dive. We returned to the big boat and soon after, dinner was ready. After dinner we watched a fish ID presentation on the fish we normally find here in Palau.    

 

     Tuesday morning we started our day with a very special dive at Shark City. It just so happens to be three days before the full moon and at shark city is where the red snapper gather in the hundreds to spawn. We arrived at the perfect time; the current was slack so we started on the outgoing side of the corner. We swam along the top of the reef towards the corner. At the corner we started to see the red snapper, the school had to be over 5 or 6 hundred. When we got closer the current started to pick up from outgoing and that’s when they start to do their thing. We left the reef to swim with the huge school and saw groups of fish all racing towards the surface following the female to mate, it was a great show. Our second dive was at Siaes corner. We did the outgoing side of the corner, started from the mooring and drifted along. We took photos of the beautiful sea fans that line the wall and hooked in at the corner. The current to pick up, there was a large group of sharks off in the blue but didn’t come close. We later unhooked and explored the plateau to end our dive. During lunch the big boat moved over to the German Channel area, the tide was too low to drive the big boat through and we left by skiff to our third dive at Turtle Cove. We started by the hole on top the reef and descended down the chimney. We saw a disco clam then exited the semi chamber. We drifted along the wall looking for macro life. This wall is covered with soft and hard corals. When we reach the corner, we came up on top the reef to explore. We saw a couple of turtles and some nudibranchs. Before our fourth dive the tide was high enough and moved out German Channel to our mooring on the outside reef. Dive four was New Drop Off. The current was incoming and we did wall on the right. It was a light current and we didn’t hook in for long. We spent the rest of the dive exploring the plateau seeing a couple turtles, a peacock flounder and lion fish. After dinner our first night dive was at German Coral Garden. We started from the mooring away from the mouth of the channel and headed out along the reef. As we drifted along the slopping coral garden we found nudibranchs, lionfish, two plorabranchs, white tip shark, and much smaller macro life.

     Wednesday morning we woke and started the day with our first dive at the world famous Blue Corner, the current was incoming and we started with the wall on our right. We hooked in at the 60 feet and watched the show. The current was moving pretty well and we held on to our reef hooks and watched the parade of sharks, snapper, jacks, trigger fish and more. We spent most of the dive at the hook in area with the strong current, unhooked and shot across the plateau to start our safety stop. As we were heading out to our second dive at Blue Holes, we were waved down but the Koror State Rangers. They were watching two hawksbill turtles mating on the surface. Our photo pro was able to get in the water and get a couple of pictures before they broke apart and went their separate ways. At Blue Holes we tied up to the mooring and did a surface swim to the 4 holes on top of the reef. We picked the closest hole and descended into the chamber. We took some nice photos of the guests in the chamber with the ambient light streaming in from above, found the disco clams and played with the hairy shrimp in their holes at the bottom. Before we left the holes we saw a large great barracuda towards the ceiling and it posed for photos. We headed along the wall towards Blue Corner and once there the current switched so we turned around and came up to do our safety stop. After lunch our third dive was at Ngedebus Corner. We started the dive with the wall on our left. The first group dropped in to the water and to break the group up we reversed the skiff up the reef and dropped the second group. The second group was lucky to find a leopard shark sitting on the slopping bottom underneath them and went in close for photos. Both groups continued along the wall and around the corner. At this dive site the current is always weird; we had a couple of eddy currents to swim through but were able to continue along. The first group had a quick encounter with a large eagle ray that when it saw the divers freaked out and bolted the other direction. One of the remoras that were attached to the eagle ray was shaken off and got left behind. With the divers close by, it went from diver to diver hanging on for a ride. It seemed to like the guests not wearing a wetsuits better the ones with a wetsuit. It stayed with us for the rest of the dive and was really funny to watch and film as it stuck to the diver’s legs. Dive four was at German Channel. We started the dive from the Peleliu side of the channel and went down the line and along the bottom to the Peleliu side cleaning station. We waited for awhile but no mantas came in to be cleaned. We swim across the mouth of the channel and saw a school of jacks, barracudas and snapper. We again sat down in the sand around the Koror side cleaning station but still no mantas, we turned around and in the middle of the channel we drifted in to end our dive. After dinner we went back to Turtle Cove to see how this dive site looks at night. All the cup coral comes out to feed and turns the wall into a beautiful mixture of orange and yellow. We also found a turtle sleeping and a couple of yellow hairy hermit crabs out walking around also along the top of the wall we found several basket stars out filter feeding in the light current.

 

     Early Thursday morning the big boat started up and headed down to the island of Peleliu. We secured the boat in South Dock aka Camp Beck and after breakfast, went to Peleliu Corner for our first dive. The current was outgoing and it was moving. We did a live drop over the reef and descended down as fast as we could, but the current was ripping. I think we ended up setting a new record; our total average dive time was around 16 minutes. The old record held on strong at 18 minutes for a long time. We completely covered a dive site that other times would take 60 minutes to go across. The current was way too strong to hook in, so we just drifted where ever it took us. We shot across the top of the plateau and started ascending, we did not want to be anywhere close to the edge on the other side cause that’s where it could potentially have a very strong down current. When drifted out into the blue water and did our safety stop, I think we saw a couple of sharks along the way but all the other marine life was doing the best they could to find a hiding place. For dive two we first checked to see if the corner calmed down at all but it still looked strong so we did West Wall instead. We started close to the mooring and went wall on the right. The wall is covered in beautiful yellow soft coral and we spotted macro life as well. The current ended up switching on us so we turned around and went the other way. After lunch our third dive was at Orange beach coral garden, it was an outgoing current but it was light. We entered the water above the coral garden and lightly drifted with shallow on our left. This is one of the most beautiful coral gardens in Palau. This site is just covered with schools of tropical fish, turtles and artifacts from WWII. We saw some big bombs, bullets, two anchors and a collection of 1940’s era coke bottles. Right before the fourth dive the big boat left South Dock and we lowered the skiff for the dive at Barracks Point. This is another beautiful coral garden with both hard and soft corals. We saw schools of snapper, jacks and barracuda. Also giant clams and about 10 turtles. After dinner our last night dive was at Big Drop Off. We started the dive as a live drop and descended down along the wall and went with the flow. During the dive we saw nudibranchs, a turtle sleeping and a couple of big groupers out hunting in our lights.  

 

     On Friday we started the day out with a repeat dive at German Channel. This time we started on the Koror side of the channel and our first stop was at the red anemone. As we were leaving a guest spotted a cuttle fish so went spent some time with it, half the group left to the cleaning station but again we spotted something cool, a crocodile fish. The back half of the group spent awhile photographing it then caught up with the rest of the divers at the Koror side cleaning station. No mantas but the grey reef sharks were coming in close to the divers. We headed across the channel to the Peleliu side cleaning station and waited but no luck with the mantas. We turned around and drifted into the channel to end the dive. Dive two was at Big Drop Off. We started with a live drop over the reef and went wall on the right. We saw the ball & chain left from the German occupation and lots of macro life. We found the small hole in the reef where white tip sharks like to sleep and there were 5 juvenile sharks in there. After lunch we did a repeat dive at the famous Blue Corner. This time the current was outgoing to start and it was light so we dropped in closer to the hook in area. We hooked in with the light current but we could see that the current was switching to incoming so we unhooked and swam across the plateau to the other side. Along the way we saw lion fish, anemones and a big turtle. At the incoming side of the corner we saw sharks in the blue and one of the eagle rays that hang out at the corner. We stayed till we had to start ascending. For our last dive of the day we headed out to Barnums Wall. This was a great wall/slopping coral garden with lots of nice corals and reef fish. We also saw another leopard shark but it was down deep at the end of the dive, so we didn’t go down to it. Back at the boat the guests had a few drinks at the boats bar, and soon sat down to our final supper of roast beef, potatoes, mixed veggies, Yorkshire puddings, and salad. After dinner we moved over to the TV and watched our video pros movie of the week.

 

 

     Saturday morning the first dive was at one of the Japanese WWII wrecks here in Palau. The Iro one of the biggest wrecks and sits in the Western Lagoon. Starting down the mooring we descended down the bow of the wreck seeing the massive gun on the bow. We then continued along the deck of the wreck past the king posts finding a ringed pipe fish in a bush of black coral. We looked down into the engine room seeing the large single motor, and turned around at the stern gun. We circled up the last king post we call the tripod to the group of red anemones at the top. The photographers took turns getting photos of the anemones and the tomato anemone fish. We then swam from king post to king post back to the mooring at the front of the ship to do our safety stop. During our surface interval we returned the toys that were checked out to the guests because they don’t need them for the last dive, later we met in the salon for a group photo. Our last dive of the charter was at Chandelier Cave. All the divers surfaced in all four air chambers to take photos of the stalactites and crystal formations that formed on the roof of the cave. Outside the cave we found the mandarin fish, signal gobies, and some nudi’s we only see on the inner reef. Back at the big boat the washed and hung up their gear to dry, lunch was soon ready. After lunch we settled the bills and started free time. Some guests went ashore to check email and some went for a massage and at 6pm we gathered in the salon for the beer and wine party and watched a photo slideshow of the week of all the images our photo pro took this week and the guests received the images to take home with them. We wrapped up the party and all the guests went ashore for dinner at a restaurant of their choosing. We picked them up at 9 from dinner and at 10pm we said our goodbyes to two guests as they headed ashore to get a ride to the airport for their early Sunday mooring flight.

 

Very early Sunday morning we took one more guest ashore for his ride to the airport and later, 7am, the rest of the guests woke up to continental breakfast. Just before 8am we loaded up the skiff with luggage, said our final goodbyes and skiffed the guests ashore to transfer them to their hotels for a least an extra day in Palau. We would like to thank everyone for joining us this week and hope to see you all again soon.

 

         -Rock Islands Aggressor Crew