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Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Aug 06, 2017
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 



     Sunday afternoon we welcomed aboard 14 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 we then handed out the lifelines and after that another 2 guests were brought on board from the airport and soon everyone was off to bed.  

  

   Very early Monday morning we picked up our last 1 guest from the airport and brought them on board. Around 5:45, 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. After the briefing we headed down to the dive deck and 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 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 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 stay for a while. Not much going on at the hook in so we unhooked and drifted inside the channel seeing the lettuce coral and ended the dive at the two giant clams. For our fourth Dive we dive Ulong Coral Garden. We started at the mooring and descended down to the sloping wall. Along the wall we saw several sharks swimming around. Then we drifted on top of the coral garden where we saw lots of fish, like school of jacks and scad and barracuda. It was still incoming current so we end up at the mouth of the channel so might as well hook in. Unlike the hook in last time this time we saw a lot of action. School of fish being chase by tuna and of course Sharks parade at the hook in area. After the show we drifted inside the beautiful channel with lots of coral on it. 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 and for the first dive we go Shark City. We drop close to the sand channel just to see if the snapper still spawning. When we go down there is a bit current so we did not manage to stay with the school of snapper. We then drifted on the top of the reef and saw 3 turtles. When the current switch we hook in at the cut but the shark swim in the blue. We did unhook and decided to swim and see the sharks in the blue. While in the blue we saw school of rainbow runners and barracuda. We do our safety stop in the blue water to finish the dive. Second dive we go Siaes Corner. We tied the boat to the first mooring and do our entry. Drifted wall on the right on the vertical wall and covered with colorful soft coral and big sea fan. When we reach the hook in area close to the corner we did not hook in because the current died down. So we go on the top of the reef instead. We saw turtles, baby eagle ray, anemones, bumphead parrot, school of black and red snapper and more. We then do our safety stop in the shallow water and swim in the blue to finish the dive. Come back to the big boat and have lunch and during lunch Captain Ike is motoring the boat to German Channel area. When we got there the tide is not enough to cross the channel so we secured the boat inside German channel area. After lunch we head out to Big Drop Off for our third dive. For our forth dive it was the famous German Channel. We start the dive at Koror side where we tied the boat to a mooring line. We first check out the red anemone and swim to the cleaning station. Sat there for a while and the Manta show up so we swim to the shallow where the mantas are swimming together with many fish. They were feeding. The beginning only one manta, then the next one show up and the next one until become four mantas swimming together doing formation like you are watching the Air Show. Most of the divers drifted inside the channel to end the dive and some still stay at the mouth to end their dive. We come back to the boat and dinner is waiting prepare by Chef Ronnie and after dinner we go back to German Coral Garden. We start at the mooring and descend to maximum depth of 45 feet or 13.5 meters and drifted shallow water in the right. Sloping bottom, ravel coral at the beginning and sandy at hard coral formation at the end. We take our time to look for critters, nudibranch, shrimp, lion fish, sea snail, mantis shrimp, sleeping turtle and more. At 45 minutes we are already at the surface and the boat collects us all.

     Wednesday morning we woke and started the day with our first dive at Blue Corner. We start the dive at the outgoing side of the wall. So lots of fish on our way to hook in area. We saw barramundi, anemone, sea fan, soft coral and school of fish along the wall. In the blue water we saw sharks, barracuda, unicorn fish, fusilier, and red tooth trigger fish and pyramid butterfly fish too. When we get close to hook in area we slowly come up to the plateau and hook in at the depth of 40 feet/12 meters. Watch the show for long time while the napoleon wrasse keeps on checking the divers. We unhook soon after the show and drifted on top of the reef to check out all the fishes around and drifted in the blue water to end the dive. For our second dive we come back to blue corner area but this time we dive Blue Holes. When we hit the water we swim in the surface to go in the holes and we pick the hole close to the wall. We end down in one big cavern. For 15 minutes or so we stay inside to take photo and look for critters inside the cavern. Down at the bottom we played with hermit crab leaves in the hole. We saw disco clam and couple lion fish inside as well. When we done exploring the cavern we come out to the wall and drifted wall on the right. Current was just right to finished our dive on top of the reef at blue corner area. We come back to the boat and lunch was ready and after lunch we dive Turtle cove. Like Blue holes we start the dive swimming in the hole and end inside the cavern. We check around the cavern and saw disco clam and nudibranch. When we come out we drifted wall on the right and see all those beautiful soft coral and sea fan in different color. We come close to the small corner and we come up to the plateau and saw clown trigger fish nesting, turtles, leaf scorpion and school of fish. We finished our safety stop in the shallow water and after we swim in the blue and the boat collect us all. Fourth dive and we dive German Channel again. We start in Peleliu side this time. There is surface current so we do negative entry. We sat down at the cleaning station and saw two mantas getting clean. We then swim across the mouth of the channel and saw another two mantas feeding. So we swim with the mantas up in the shallow together with school of many fish or what we called bait ball. Action and show was great. So great that we did not drift inside the channel and finish the dive at the feeding area. We come back to the big boat and after dinner we went to Turtle Cove to see it at night. 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, robust ghost pipe fish, basket stars, Crabs and lots of shrimp.

 

     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 incoming and it was light. We did a live drop over the reef and descended down to the reef. We drifted wall on the right and when we reach the hook in area we did not hook in because the current was to light. Instead we continue drifting at the edge of the drop off where we saw lots of big fish like sharks, dog tooth tuna, sharks, bumphead, grouper, napoleon, two eagle ray and oceanic black tip too wandering on top of the corner. After the dive ten guests went on the World War II land tour. For dive two, seven guests went to West Wall. We started close to the Cut and went wall on the left. The wall is covered in beautiful yellow soft coral and we spotted macro life as well. We saw sharks, school of surgeon and unicorn fish and jacks too. After lunch our third dive was Peleliu Express again. The captain drops us in the blue water we rush to swim to the wall because this time the current was strong. We hook in on the top of the reef and two of the guest swept away because of the current but one of our dive masters assisted them on their way up they end the dive only around 18 minutes. While the rest 15 divers where still hooked in at 70 feet or 21 meters range. Not much to see because of the strong current, when the lead dive master decided to unhook we shoot on the top of the reef and finished the dive doing safety stop in the blue water. Forth dive was at Orange beach coral garden where we start the dive doing shallow on the left. Again the current was moving so we just enjoy the drift on top of beautiful sloping coral garden. We saw lots of turtles resting and free swimming, feather tail ray, and lots of artifacts. Almost end of the dive we saw big school of bumphead parrot fish and the visibility get worse where they pass by. After dinner our last night dive was at Big Drop Off. We started wall on the right. As we drifted along vertical wall we found nudibranchs, lionfish, white tip shark, and much smaller macro life mixed along with colorful soft coral and seafans.

 

     On Friday we started the day with our first dive at Blue Corner. It was a light incoming current until we reach hook in area but the current switch to outgoing so we swam across the plateau and find pink leaf fish, lots of moray eel, turtles, sharks and as we are swimming across we saw feather tail ray resting at the sandy area. We pause for a while and take photos until it swim away. We then continue swimming across and hook in on outgoing side of the wall. While hooked in some play with the napoleon wrasse and some watch the sharks while other wandering around what more to see and take photos of it. We then unhook and drifted on top of the reef. Again we saw the same ray, turtles and school of chevron barracudas while doing our safety stop. Dive two we headed to Virgin Blue Hole. We enter the hole and touch down the bottom then we start swimming out the tunnel end at the wall. Drifted wall on the right saw nudibranch and big sleeping green sea turtle. We end up in canyon as we swim through the canyon and arch people are taking photos of this scenic place under water. After lunch we dive at Dexter’s wall we started on sand shoot and saw big eagle ray at the beginning. Continue along wall on the right and we saw lots of turtles. The current switched so we turn around and finished the dive doing safety stop in shallow water. Forth dive was Barnum’s wall. We start wall on the left. Saw two crocodile fish, anemones and flat worm. We end the dive doing safety stop in the shallow and swim in the blue and boat collects us.9 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