Rock Islands Aggressor
Republic of Palau, Micronesia
Charter Report Dec 24th – Dec 31th, 2017
Weather: Winds from East, North East, Windy, Sunny/Overcast/Rain
Water Temp: 80/85 degrees
Monday: Sandy paradise, Siaes Tunnel, Siaes Corner, Sandy Paradise
Tuesday: Ulong Channel, German Channel, Big Drop-off, Turtle Cove, German Coral Garden
Wednesday: Blue corner, Blue Holes, New-Drop off, Ferns Wall, Big Drop-off
Thursday: Peleliu Corner, West Wall, Orange Beach, Barracks Point, Turtle Cove
Friday: Blue Corner, Dexter’s Wall, German Channel, German Channel
Saturday: The Iro, Chandelier Cave
On Sunday afternoon we welcomed aboard our dive buddies from different parts of the world for another week of diving in Palau. The guests that arrived on the afternoon were checked in, briefed with their staterooms and as soon as they finished setting up gears they headed on to the salon for a safety briefing and a delicious buffet dinner. Late night the rest of the guests were picked up from the airport and brought to the boat also being welcomed and assisted by the crew.
The next day, the engines started and the boat headed to Ulong Island for the first day of diving. Everybody had breakfast and was able to meet the late comers while having conversations at the table. Afterwards we all gathered for another briefing about information of the boat and how we’ll be doing the dives throughout the week. Sandy Paradise was our check-in dive, everybody made sure that they were properly weighted and got comfortable in the water. We dropped down by the mooring line and continued swimming through the sloping coral garden until we reached the area where the corals and sandy area meet. There was also an outcropping rock with the cleaner wrasses that the guests enjoyed playing with, and then we continued swimming until we got to a big coral head that had mantis shrimps and leaf scorpion fish. Second dive was at Siaes Tunnel where the divers explored the big tunnel that had two windows with lots of ambient light penetrating inside. At the exit we saw the Helfrich’s Dartfish then we continued on swimming outside the tunnel exploring the wall finding macro species like nudibranchs and flatworms. Back in the big boat we had lunch, afterwards it was time for a briefing on how to use a reef hook for our next dive at Siaes Corner. At the corner there was not much current so we spent most of our time on top of the reef watching sharks and exploring the rest of the dive site. Last dive of the day we decided to dive Sandy Paradise again and everybody enjoyed seeing the same things they saw in the morning once again. Dinner was served as we got back to the boat then the guests had the rest of the evening getting to know each other more afterwards they headed on to bed to get some energy for the following day of diving!
On Tuesday, first dive was at Ulong Channel there was still no current as we reached the mouth of the channel so we did not hook in. Instead we continued swimming into the channel exploring and seeing nudibranchs, flatworms, sharks, groupers, and scorpion fish. It was followed by a dive at the famous manta spot called the German Channel; we started off at the right side of the channel called the Peleliu Side drifting along the sloping coral garden until we reached the first cleaning station. We waited for few minutes but no manta came to get cleaned so we started heading to the second cleaning station. On our way we came across one manta coming out from the channel swimming around everybody else. After the dive it was time for lunch, after few minutes of rest we headed to our third dive at Big Drop-Off. The divers explored the beautiful wall close to an island seeing the white tip sharks inside of a small cave and the big ball and chain left by the Germans before the WWII. Turtle cove was the next stop where the divers entered from a small hole on top of the reef doing a small swim through and exiting to a wall. At the wall we saw the square spot anthias, some nudibranchs, flatworms and sharks passing by as we were drifting along with the current. Then after dinner it was time for our first night dive of the week at German Coral Garden. The divers descended down the sloping coral garden and explored with their lights shining to different fishes sleeping at night.
Third day of the charter was getting more exciting as we started a dive at Blue Corner! Everybody drifted along the wall seeing lots of sharks and schools of snappers passing by. We reached the hook in area and spent some of our bottom time watching a great show out in the blue with a very friendly Napoleon Wrasse that was hanging around as well. We unhooked and let the current push us across the plateau until we ran out of bottom time. It was followed by dive at Blue Holes; we entered into one of the holes leading to a massive cavern giving us great photo opportunity with the light shining through the holes creating beautiful scenery. We spent few moments appreciating the cave and also checking out the disco clams. Then we spent the rest of our dive time exploring the wall outside. Sushi Lunch was served as we head back to our boat then the guests had few minutes to get some rest and we continued on to our fourth dive at New-Drop Off. It is also a hook in site but a mini version of Blue Corner, so the guests enjoyed watching another great show with the sharks and saw turtles at the plateau afterwards. Next dive was at Fern’s Wall and we started with wall on our right seeing soft and hard coral formations then current switched so we had to come up a bit shallower and drifted along with it. After dinner it was time to check out Big Drop off at night time, the divers picked their depths checking out different parts of the wall seeing lots of macro life.
The following day the engines started early and made its way to Peleliu Island to spend our day of diving. The guests woke up to a new view inside the lagoon of Camp Beck and after breakfast we made our first dive of the day at Peleliu Corner. We went to the incoming side of the wall called “The Express” because it is known to have potentially strong current. As we got there the current was just enough to push us along the sloping wall until we reached the hook in site where we got to see sharks, schooling snappers, trevally and barracudas. We then went on a relaxing dive at West Wall seeing it all covered with colorful soft corals. On the afternoon Orange Beach was our third dive, it is a dive site just outside the lagoon of camp beck were the First Marine Division landed during the WWII as they were invading the island of Peleliu. The divers saw lots of artifacts scattered around the dive site such as landing crafts, bullets, and old coke bottles. Aside from artifacts the divers also saw an Eagle ray and a purple scorpion fish. Back in the boat the guests had their snacks and rest a little before heading on to the fourth dive. The engines started and the big boat went out of Camp Beck heading back to Turtle Cove area. The guests headed on to Barracks Point and explored the sloping coral garden seeing giant clams, turtles, and sharks. After the dive we came back to the boat and had our delicious dinner before heading on a night dive at Turtle Cove. The divers saw the wall transform at night turning bright yellow as the cup corals were feeding.
On Friday everybody had a fantastic day of diving! We started the day by going to Blue Corner seeing another great show from sharks, schools of jacks and the friendly Napoleon Wrasse. Then followed by a dive at Dexter’s Wall where the divers enjoyed seeing numerous turtles at the reef giving everybody great photo opportunity and having close encounters with them. Lunch was served as we got back and afterwards we headed to German Channel hoping to see more mantas. The guests where very happy to see six mantas feeding at the surface! Everybody spent the whole dive swimming with them taking photos as they circled around the divers. Before the fourth dive the rain started to pour and we noticed at German Channel the fusiliers were still feeding which means the mantas could still be there so we decided to go once again. There was no current which made it easier for everybody to stay out in the blue and this time we saw three mantas which is not a bad way to end the day of diving. Everybody was happy as we got back to the boat and as we were waiting for the buffet dinner to be served the guests talked about how great the day of diving was seeing sharks and turtles in the morning and spending the whole afternoon with Mantas. After dinner it was time to watch the video of the week put together by our Video Pro Jim. We all enjoyed this look back at the great week of diving as the big boat moved back to Malakal for Saturdays diving.
Last day of the charter had two dives left, first was at a Japanese Ship wreck called The Iro. The guests explored the deck where big guns are located at the bow and stern. At the middle it was already covered with corals where we saw some nudibranchs and different reef fishes making the deck as their homes. The highlight of the dive was the kin post where the Tomato Anemone fish is located as well as some giant clams. Everybody spent time taking photos spending the rest of the bottom time circling around the kin post. Our last dive was at Chandelier Cave. The divers surfaced in all four air chambers to take photos of the stalactites and crystal formations inside the chambers. Then outside the cave we found the mandarin fish, some nudibranchs and razor fish. Back at the big boat the guests broke down their gear, wash it and hung it to dry. Soon after, lunch was ready and then it was time to settle the bills. Next it was an afternoon of relaxation, shopping in town and whatever else the guests wanted to do. At 6pm we gathered in the salon for the cocktail party and watched a photo slideshow of all the photos our photo pro had taken during the week. At 7pm the guests went ashore for dinner and came back to the boat at 9pm.
Sunday morning the guests woke up to continental breakfast and before 8am we started loading their luggage on the skiff to drop them on shore to spend at 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