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Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, May 28, 2017
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 



Sunday afternoon we welcomed aboard 8 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. After dinner another 4 guests were brought on board from the airport and soon everyone was off to bed.  

  

   Very early Monday morning we picked up our last 2 guests from the airport and brought them on board. Around 5am, we started moving the big boat towards Ulong Island and after breakfast we quickly covered the vessel orientation for the late arrivals and at 7 everyone, gathered around the TV in the salon for the general dive briefing. We then handed out the lifelines 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 the 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 Siaes Corner. Even though we had our reef hook we didn’t end up using them, there was no current. We started on the outgoing side of the corner and swam along the wall seeing the beautiful sea fans and soft coral. At the corner we waited to see if the current was going to do anything but it didn’t, so we spent the rest of the dive exploring the coral garden. For dive four we went to 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. We returned to the big boat, dinner was ready and during dinner a fish ID presentation was playing on the TV. After dinner most of the guests were off to bed to get ready for tomorrow.      

 

     Tuesday morning we stayed in Ulong for one more chance to dive the channel. A small storm rolled in before the dive but it wasn’t too bad to go diving. At the channel we again tied to the mooring outside the mouth and descended down to the reef. We drifted along the wall to the mouth of the channel and hooked in. There were a couple of sharks in front of the divers, later we unhooked and drifted down the channel. The channel still has a lot of groupers right now from their mating season and we saw the lettuce coral and ended the dive at the giant clams. By the time we surface the storm was gone and the sun was starting to come out. During the surface interval the big boat moved over to the German Channel area and we dropped the skiff on the inside of German Channel to go out to Big Drop Off for dive two. We entered the water close to the ball and chain and went wall on the left. We saw a bunch of macro life along the wall. Leaf scorpion fish, crabs, shrimp, orangutan crabs and much more. During the dive the big boat moved out the channel to the outer reef and we met it at the Ngedebus area. Lunch was soon ready and after we headed out to 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. Dive four was at Ngedebus Corner. It was a nice dive; the wall is covered in soft coral and sea fans. Around the corner we spotted a couple of sharks and schools of fish. We tried looking for macro life and found some but not a lot. After dinner our first night dive was at Ngedebus Coral Garden. This is a nice slopping coral garden with great macro life. We found two crocodile fish, one adult and one juvenile, shrimp, and a couple of leaf scorpion fish. Also the divers were able to see one of the rare plorabranchs that only come out at night in Palau.

     Wednesday morning we woke and started the day with our first dive at German Channel. We started the dive from the Koror side of the channel and right under the boat we found two small cuttle fish. They seemed to be posing for our pictures. Next we stopped at the red anemone and then continued to the Koror side cleaning station but no mantas came in to be cleaned. We then swam over to the Peleliu side cleaning station but still no mantas. We turned around and in the middle of the channel saw a school of barracuda, snapper and rudder fish. We started to drift in to the channel to end our dive. For dive two we went to the world famous Blue Corner, the current was incoming and we started with the wall on our right. The current did not cooperate with us though; it soon switched so we swam across the channel to the outgoing side and hooked in. We watched a couple of sharks in the blue but soon the current died off and switched back to incoming after we unhooked we saw a octopus sitting on top a coral head watching us. We drifted off the tip of the corner, off into the blue. We saw the large school of chevron barracuda and the last guests to surface and a manta swim by on their safety stop. After lunch our third dive was at Blue Holes. We tied up the skiff to the mooring and did a surface swim over to the 4 holes on top of the reef. We picked the closest hole and descended into the chamber. We enjoyed the chamber with all the ambient light streaming in from above, found the disco clams and played with the hairy shrimp in their holes at the bottom. We headed along the wall towards Blue Corner and once there we came up on top the plateau to explore before ending our dive. Dive four was at Dexters Wall. We started wall on the right above the sand chute and during the dive we spotted about 12 turtles, both hawksbill and green sea. We also saw some macro life as well. After dinner we went to Turtle Cove. All the cup coral comes out to feed and turns the wall into a beautiful mixture of orange and yellow. We also saw a turtle swimming along the wall, nudibranchs and two scorpion fish. The basket stars were also 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 light. We did a live drop over the reef and descended down to the reef. We swam along the wall right past the hook in area around the cut because the current was so light. It felt as if the current was switching to incoming so we came up on top the reef to explore and kept heading to the corner. The current switched back to outgoing and half the group hooked in at the corner with several sharks off the wall. We then unhooked and drifted out into the blue. As we were doing our safety stop we saw the large school of giant trevally. For dive two we went to West Wall. We started close to the mooring and went wall on the left. The wall is covered in beautiful yellow soft coral and we spotted macro life as well. We ended the dive around the red anemones on top the reef as we did our safety stop. After lunch our third dive was at Orange beach coral garden, it was an outgoing current but it was light. We started the dive above the three bombs and soon the current switched. We then went shallows on the right. We saw turtles, white tip sharks, and beautiful anemones. The current switched again so we turned back around. After the dive, the big boat left South Dock and started heading back up to the German Channel area. We dropped the skiff for one last dive in Peleliu at Barracks Point. This is a beautiful coral garden with both hard and soft corals. We saw schools of snapper, jacks and barracuda. Also 10 turtles but at the first giant clam the current switched so we turned around and went back the way we came. After dinner our last 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, white tip shark, and much smaller macro life.

 

     On Friday we started the day with our first dive at Blue Corner. It was a light incoming current so we hooked in at 45 feet and enjoyed the show while it lasted. The current soon died off so we unhooked and explored the plateau finding the eagle ray, turtles, blue lined snapper and schools of fish. Dive two we headed back to German Channel. We started again on the Koror side of the channel again stopped at the red anemone. As we were leaving a guest spotted one of the cuttle fish and we took time to photograph it. We then headed over to the Koror cleaning station but no mantas. We headed across the channel to the Peleliu side cleaning station and waited but still no luck with the mantas. Around the cleaning station we found a baby peacock razor fish, and two mantis shrimp. The spearing mantis shrimp was watching us from the safety of his hole in the sand and the peacock mantis shrimp was out busy cleaning the area outside his home. They both were fun to watch for a while. For dive three the guests wanted to go back to Blue Corner. This time we finally found some current. It was incoming and it was moving. We did a live drop in the blue and let the current push us in to the wall. We went straight down to the 60 foot hook in area and hooked in and held on. There were sharks, schools of fish and ever the eagle ray passed by in the current. We spent most of the dive at the hook in area, later we unhooked and explored the reef for a short time. For our last dive of the day we headed out to 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. Before the corner some of the guests spotted a leopard shark swimming along the wall under the divers. At the corner, we came up on top the reef to explore. We saw a couple of turtles and some nudibranchs. Back at the boat the guests had a few drinks at the boats bar, and soon sat down to our final supper of prime rib, potatoes, mixed veggies, Yorkshire puddings, and salad. After dinner we moved over to the TV and watched our video pros movie of the week. All the guests enjoyed the look back at the week of diving. During dinner the big boat moved back to Malakal Harbor to get ready for the next day of diving.

 

     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 two ringed pipe fish in a bush of black coral. Along the way we found several types of nudibranchs as well. 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 up stairs for a group photo and 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. We were very lucky to find a spiny devil fish as well. Back at the big boat the guests 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 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 some guests stayed up editing photos and chatting.

 

Very early Sunday morning we took one guest ashore for her 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