Palau Aggressor Charter - Jan. 28, 2018
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Ronnie, Hector, Joe, Jim, Edith and Herence
Sunday morning we welcome aboard our guests all mostly from Europe and two from Israel. They were welcomed on board by the crew and we started right away by briefing them with their staterooms then set up their gear. Once everybody was set, we gathered at the salon to introduce the crew and have the Captain’s Briefing. After the briefing we had dinner and the guests had the rest of the evening to themselves, some went straight to bed to get some stayed up getting to know the other guests.
The following morning the guests had breakfast and had another briefing about safety and how we will do the dives throughout the week. While the briefing was on going, the boat started making its way to Ulong area where we will do the dives for the day. Afterwards everybody went to the dive deck to analyze tanks then headed off to our first dive of day at Sandy Paradise for our check in dive. The divers entered the water then checked their weights and gear. Once everybody was good to go we descended down the mooring line and started swimming through the coral garden until we reached the sandy area. There were two marble Rays swimming towards the cleaning station so we stayed there for a while and watched them swim around. Then we continued swimming until we reached another coral head where the Leaf Scorpion Fish, Mantis Shrimp, and Moray Eel are living. We spent the rest of our bottom time exploring the rest of the coral garden. After our surface interval we went on the next dive at Siaes Tunnel where the guests dropped down to about 90 ft./30m to the entrance of the tunnel and stayed close to the ceiling. The divers explored the tunnel with their flashlights and at the exit we spotted the decorated dart fish. Back in the big boat we had lunch then went on the third dive of the day at Ulong Channel. We descended down the mooring line and started drifting along the wall until we reached the hook in area. Buffet lunch was served as we got back then we headed on to Siaes Corner, the current was outgoing so we started with the wall on our left then we drifted until we reached the hook in area. There were plenty of sharks swimming out in the blue and we also saw the Eagle Ray just hanging around in front of the divers. Our last dive of the day was as Ulong Channel, we got lucky because current was incoming as predicted. We stayed hooked in for about 20 minutes then decided to drift into the channel to see the stacks of lettuce corals. Then we continued drifting until we reached the two giant clams took photos and ended the dive. We had a delicious Cornish hen dinner then everybody went off to bed.
On Tuesday the first dive of the day was special because it’s three days before full moon which is the time where the snappers spawn at Shark City. Everybody woke up early and started getting ready at about 6 am. We got to the dive site, checked the current and dropped down into the reef where we spent few minutes of our bottom time swimming around waiting for the spawning to get close. Everybody saw the snappers gathering together creating a big cloud of fishes giving us a great experience. The snappers were not just the highlight of the dive but also the Bull Shark. Our video pro Jim was able to get some footage of the shark swimming on top the reef waiting for a good opportunity to charge the snappers. Then at the safety stop we also saw a Thresher Shark swimming just below us. Not a bad way to end a dive! After an awesome dive, we had breakfast while the boat was on its way to German Channel area where we did our next dive at New Drop Off. We dropped down along the wall and drifted towards the hook in site. The current was strong but everybody managed to hook in and enjoy the show out in the blue. We stayed hooked in for almost 30 minutes then we decided to unhook and explore the plateau. There were sharks, turtles, and plenty of colorful reef fishes and we ended our dive at the mooring on the other side of the plateau where the skiff was just waiting for us. For the third dive of the day, we went to Barnum’s Wall and explored the sloping coral garden. We went down to a cleaning station hoping to see some Silky Sharks but nothing came so we continued drifting and saw some sharks, turtles, and schooling jacks along the way. Our lunch was Sushi and after our surface interval we headed to German Channel. We started at the left side of the channel which is a part of the Koror state then until we reached the first cleaning station. There was one big manta getting cleaned but then it took off after few turns, we then checked the next cleaning station but none came so we drifted into the channel instead. We saw lots of sharks, unicorn fish, barracudas, and turtles. As we got back to the boat we moved to another mooring again at Turtle Cove where we did our night dive. We drifted with the wall in our right and spotted a crocodile fish, some nudibranchs, flatworms, shrimps, and crabs. After the dive we had dinner and called it a day.
Early morning on the third day of the charter the engines started and headed towards Peleliu Island. The guests woke up to a new view inside the lagoon of camp beck were the boat was moored. Our first dive of the day was at Peleliu Corner, the dive guides checked the current and we dropped down at the left side or the corner which is called “D Cut” because of a large cut taken off from the wall before the hook in area. At the tip of the plateau we stayed hooked in for few minutes looking out in the blue and saw the snappers spawning. The current switched few times during the dive and we unhooked just going along with the flow. Back in the boat we had our hot breakfast afterwards the guests were split into two. The first group went to a guided land tour at Peleliu Island exploring the different areas were the bloodiest battle in the Pacific happened. The remaining guests went on a dive at West Wall where we started with the wall on our right exploring the wall. At 12 noon everybody was back in the big boat including the ones that went on the land tour. Orange beach was our third dive for the day which is located just outside the lagoon of Camp Beck and is known to be the area where the first Marine Division landed when they were about to invade the island during the WWII. The divers explored the sloping coral garden seeing lots of scattered artifacts like bullets, guns, coke bottles and a landing craft already covered with corals. Afterwards it was time for buffet lunch and after few minutes of resting we continued on to the fourth dive of the day at Barracks where were got to see the giant clams and lots of turtles. We did the night dive at Big Drop Off and saw the big ball and chain left by the Germans before WWII then explored the wall where we spotted some macro species. Dinner was served as we got back to the boat, afterwards the guests enjoyed the evening on the sun deck drinking their beer.
Thursday morning our first dive of the day was at the famous Blue Corner. The current was in coming so we dropped down with the wall on our right then drifted until we reached the hook in site. Everybody got hooked in and watched the show out in the blue with lots of sharks, snappers, barracudas, and many other fishes. Then it was time for our hot breakfast back in the big boat and after few moments of resting it was time to go diving at Blue Holes. The divers dropped down into one of the holes leading into a massive cavern where we spent most of our bottom time. There was a great barracuda hanging around inside of the cavern and everybody explored with their flashlights seeing the disco clams and Lion Fish. Next dive was at Ngedebus Corner, the divers enjoyed a relaxing drift along the wall seeing sharks passing by and the colorful soft corals covering the reef. Then the guests had lunch and after our surface interval our fourth dive of the day was at German Channel. We went to the first cleaning station but nothing came so we went on to the second one. A big manta came and circled around the cleaning station where everybody was kneeling down the sandy bottom watching its beauty. It stayed there for the entire dive giving everybody an amazing experience and photo opportunity. As we got back on the skiff the guests were talking about how great the dive was and how close the mantas was to everybody. Our night dive was at German Coral Garden, we dropped down the mooring line and explored the reef. The current was moving fast so we ended up inside the channel itself where we saw white tip sharks, hunting groupers, crabs, shrimps and many sleeping fishes tucked into the corals hiding from the current. After the night dive it was time for our delicious dinner at the boat. Then everybody went on to their agendas for the night, some went straight to bed, others were watching some documentary on the T.V. at the salon and the others were up in the sundeck enjoying their beer.
Next day, we had breakfast first before the dive. The guests enjoyed eating while seeing the sunrise and the clouds creating beautiful scenery on top on the ocean. Afterwards we went back to Blue Corner once again to see more action from the sharks. The current was just enough this time and everybody managed to get hooked in right away. We were at the 45Ft. hook in area first then we moved on to 60ft. deep after few minutes. The divers spent most of their bottom time watching the action out in the blue. Our second dive was at Turtle Cove, it was a relaxing dive just drifting along the wall looking for small critters like flatworms, nudibranchs, shrimps, crabs, and some sharks out in the blue once in a while. Then at lunch time the boat started heading back close to Koror where we did our third dive in one of the WWII ship wrecks called the Tesio Maru. The divers explored the top deck of the ship that is now covered with corals and now a home for marine creatures. For our last dive of the day, we went to Chandelier Cave and it was almost like a dusk dive since the sun was about to set. We explore the cave popping into the air chambers and taking photos. Then just outside the entrance of the cave we explore the shallow coral garden and spotted the Mandarin Fish. After the dive we went back to the boat and had our buffet dinner then it was time to watch the video of the week put together by out captain/video pro Jim. It showed the highlights of the whole charter specially the diving and the guests themselves are the stars of the whole movie. Everybody enjoyed watching and remembering all the good moments they had throughout the week with us. The nigh continued on with the guests hanging around and chatting with each other at the salon.
Last day of diving we had two dives left and we did the first one at Iro Maru which is one of the largest wrecks in Palau. The divers dropped down along the mooring line approaching the bow of the ship then continued on swimming along the top deck seeing lots of small critters. The highlight of the dive was the kin post that has is covers with corals and at the very top there were tomato anemone and giant clams. After the first time it was time to settle the bills and then the last dive of the week was another WWII victim but this time it is a Japanese Spy plane that crash just close to Koror Island. Aside from the plane around it is a beautiful coral garden as well that the divers explored. As we got back to the big boat it was time to rinse our gears and put away the dive accessories that we’ve been using for the week. Afterwards we all headed upstairs to have another delicious buffet lunch and the rest of the afternoon the guests were divided into several groups. Some went ashore to get a massage or explore the island, the others stayed on board started packing and the remaining ones stayed up in the sundeck or in the salon reading a book and drinking beer. Then at around six in the evening everybody gathered once more for the cocktail party. The guests had drinks and talked to each other while a slide show with all of the photos throughout the week was being showed 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 and thanks again for joining us, safe travels and we hope to see you again soon!