Palau Aggressor Charter Jan. 21 – Jan. 28, 2018
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Ronnie, Christian, Hector, Joe, Jim, Edith and Herence
Sunday afternoon we welcome aboard fourteen lovely guests from different parts of the world to be diving with us throughout the week. On the boat everybody had a warm welcome from the crew and we started right away by briefing the guests with their staterooms and putting away their luggage. At the dive deck the divers where helped set up their gear and after everyone was done we all gathered at the salon of the boat for the captains briefing talking about some information of Palau and the vessel. Then it was time for buffet dinner prepared by our two chefs Ronnie and Christian as well as our stewardess Edith. After dinner everybody had the rest of the evening for themselves getting to know the other guests on board and some went to bed right away for the next day of diving!
Next morning everybody gathered in the salon to have breakfast and was able to meet the late comers the previous night. After eating it was time for the first dive of the week at Helmet Wreck as our check-in dive. At the site we had the skiff tied into a mooring, the divers checked their weights and gear as soon as they were in the water. When everybody was good to go we all descended down the mooring line and started exploring the wreck. We started at the stern of the boat that has a big gun then moved on to the area where it got shot. The divers saw the depth charges, helmets, plane engines and other artifacts in different areas. Next dive was at Iro Maru it is a Japanese Tanker that sunk during the WWII. The divers descended down along the mooring line and explored the top deck of the ship which now covered with soft and hard corals. At the kin posts everybody circled around taking photos of the tomato anemone fish and giant clams at the top. Then we had lunch while the boat was moving towards Barnums Wall where we explore different depths seeing some sharks passing by and lots of macro species as well. Before the fourth dive, we had another briefing about how to use a reef hook. Afterwards we had an amazing dive at German Channel where we started at the Koror side of the channel and headed to the cleaning station. As soon as we arrived there was one big manta getting cleaned and we all just sat there watching how majestic she is swimming around giving everybody a breath taking experience. After it left we decided to move to the next cleaning station and on our way there we saw the first manta again swimming past us, then we spent the rest of our bottom time drifting into the channel. Dinner was served as we got back to the boat then it was time for the first night dive of the week at German Coral Garden. We all descended down the mooring line then explore the coral garden seeing shrimps, crabs, and hunting sharks as we were drifting along with the current.
Tuesday was getting more exciting as we did our first dive of the week at the famous Blue Corner! The current was outgoing so we started with the wall on our left, but as soon as we got to the plateau the current switched and started to pick up. Everybody hooked in and had an amazing show out in the blue. There were, schooling Trevally, sharks, barracuda, small reef fishes swimming everywhere, and the adorable Napoleon Wrasse was swimming around the divers as well. It was followed by a dive at Turtle Cove, where the divers entered the hole on top of the reef leading to a small swim through towards the wall. The divers drifted along the wall and had a relaxing dive looking at the beautiful wall, we also spotted the Square Spot Anthias then on the last part of the dive we spent the rest of our bottom time at the edge on of top off the wall seeing turtles, moray eels and sharks. Lunch was served as we got back to the boat and after few moments of resting we went on a dive at Blue Holes. On our way to the dive site, we saw two mantas swimming on the shallows. We had the skiff follow it for a while and the mantas stopped for few minutes letting us see its majestic features. Afterwards we continued on to the dive where we dropped down into one of the holes leading to a massive cavern where we spent few minutes of our bottom time. The divers took photos, had a look at the disco clams and explored the walls of the cavern. Fourth dive was at Ngedebus Corner where we just drifted along the wall and spent the whole dive looking at the beautiful soft and hard coral formations. Our dinner that night was delicious grilled tuna then we did our night dive at Big Drop Off. We saw the ball and chain, hunting groupers, turtles and squid.
The following day we had breakfast at the salon and went again to Blue Corner for the second time! The guests were very excited and this time the current was at the incoming side so we started off with the wall on our right. As we got to the hook in site the current was not as strong but we still hooked in and enjoyed the show. Without any disappointment the divers had an amazing experience seeing plenty of action from the sharks out in the blue. We also unhooked a bit earlier this time and spent the rest of our bottom time swimming around the plateau seeing the schooling of squirrel fish and snappers. As we got back, the boat started heading to Peleliu and entered the lagoon of Camp Beck. The guests looked at the beautiful scenery as the boat was entering the lagoon. Once the boat was tied up and secured it was time to go diving at Orange Beach just outside of Camp Beck. We saw lots of artifacts from WWII that was scattered around the coral garden like bullets, guns, coke bottle, and an LVT that is now covered with corals. Then it was time for our Sushi Lunch! Afterwards the group was divided into two, the others went on a guided land tour in the Island seeing the place where the bloodiest battle in the Pacific happened. The other group went diving at Barracks Point seeing the giant clams, lots of big turtles and sharks. Fourth dive was at West Wall were the divers just drifted along with the current exploring the wall. As soon as we got back on the boat we had dinner and the boat started moving towards Turtle Cove where we did our night dive. The divers saw the beautiful wall transform into bright yellow as the cup coral feed.
On Thursday, we went diving first at Blue Corner for another action pack dive. Once more the divers enjoyed the dive hooked in and watched the sharks and schooling fishes. Back in the big boat we had our breakfast and at 10 am we went to German Channel hoping to see the mantas again. We started at the Peleliu Side of the channel and headed to the cleaning station where we stayed for about 5 minutes. As we were on our way to the second cleaning station there was one manta circling around a coral head just before the cleaning station. We stayed there for about half an hour just watching then it headed to the cleaning station. As we were following the manta another one came and after few more minutes two more arrived and everybody has a breath taking experience just watching all four swimming around the dive site. When we were about to run out of bottom time, we drifted into the channel and ended the dive. Lunch was served in the big boat and everybody was talking about the previous amazing dive, afterwards we had a little time to rest then it was time to go diving at New Drop-Off. The current was moving a little bit so we drifted along the wall until we got to the hook in area, we stayed there for a while then the current slowed down. We decided to unhook and explored the plateau, there were schooling orange spine surgeon fish, snappers, sharks, and lots of big friendly turtles. Then we got back to the boat had snacks and went for our fourth dive at Big Drop Off and saw the big ball and chain left by the Germans before the WWII and in a small cave along the wall we saw baby white tip sharks. We had dinner afterwards and the guests enjoyed the night by hanging out in the salon watching slideshows and talking to each other then went to bed.
Next morning we woke up to a new view close to the island of Ulong and at half past six in the morning we went diving at Siase Tunnel. We went into the entrance about 80 ft and stayed close to the roof exploring with our flashlights. At the sandy bottom of the exit we saw mating nudibranchs and the Decorated Dartfish then we continued on to the wall outside until it was time to end the dive. The guests had breakfast back in the boat then it was time for the second dive of the day at Ulong Channel. When we got to the dive site, the current was still outgoing, so we decided to do it from inside going to the mouth of the channel. We dropped down on top of the giant clam, took few photos then drifted into the channel. The divers saw the big stacks of lettuce corals with plenty of soldier fishes tucked in every leaf, we also crossed by some turtles and a pregnant white tip shark. As we were about to get close to the mouth of the channel we went right and explored the coral garden seeing the giant school of Trevally. We had Pizza for lunch and took few moments of resting then went on the third dive of the day at Siase Corner. The guests were thrilled to get hooked in as there were hundreds of sharks out in the blue. An Eagle Ray was also hanging around swimming in front of the divers which made everybody enjoy the dive even more. After an amazing hook in dive we went to Sandy Paradise, some of the divers were able to see a Manta Ray getting cleaned for few minutes then took off. We then continued swimming along the edge where the sandy area and coral garden meet. At a particular coral head the divers enjoyed playing with the cleaner wrasse and on another coral head we spent few minutes of our bottom time looking at the Leaf Scorpion Fish and Mantis Shrimp. Back in the big boat we had buffet dinner while the boat was heading back close to Malakal Harbor. Afterwards it was time to watch the video of the week put together by Captain Jim showing the highlights of trip.
The following day we did our two last dive of the week, the first one was at Chandelier Cave where the divers explored the cave popping out into air chambers being able to take out their regulators talk to each other and appreciate the rock formations. Outside the cave was a coral garden where we saw the Mandarin Fish and a pretty nudibranch. The second dive was at another WWII victim called the Jake Sea plane. It is a Japanese Spy Plane that crashed during the war and is now a dive site just close to Koror. Aside from the plane we saw a great barracuda swimming around the coral garden then we spent the rest of our bottom time exploring the dive site. As we got back to the boat we started cleaning our gears and hung them to dry afterwards it was time for lunch and settling of bills. The guests had the rest of the afternoon for free, some decided to go ashore to check out what the island is like while the others decided to stay and pack their stuff. At 6 p.m. everybody gathered back into the salon for the cocktail party and the slideshow of photos throughout the week was playing on the big screen. The captain thanked everybody and it was time for dinner off the boat with their restaurant of choice.
On Sunday the guests had their continental breakfast and had their luggage ready to put on the skiff for their final departure. Everybody said their farewell, dropped off to the island and headed to their destinations. It has been an amazing week with our lovely guests! Thanks again for joining us, safe travels and we hope to see you again soon!