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Palau Aggressor II :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Jan 25, 2015
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew









 



Palau Aggressor 2 Charter Jan 25-feb 1

Water Temp: 82-86 deg F

Air Temp: 78-86 deg F

Crew: Scott, Hector, Cameron, Joe, Zach, Dan, Jay

 

On Sunday we greeted 12 guests from various points of the globe. After they arrived they were introduced to their cabins and then assisted as they set up their dive gear and camera equipment and such before dining on a fantastic spread laid out by Chef Cameron and then they were presented with the vessel orientation and safety briefing before heading off to bed to get a good night rest before beginning an amazing week of diving in Palau.

 

Our first dive was a wreck! Beginning with the Teshio Maru, a WW2 wreck that got sunk outside the lagoon has great visibility and lots of life. On the 350 foot wreck we spotted a couple of nudibranchs a big mantis shrimp, Xeno crabs, saw blade shrimps and many more. Our second dive was even more of a wreck. The Chuyo Maru is another WW2 wreck but was sunk in the lagoon so the vis wasnt that great but the dive was still awesome. On the wreck we saw a nice pretty barramundi grouper and a couple of small shrimps. After the dive we got back on the skiff and cruised through the rock island to catch up to the big boat that was headed to German channel area. Once we caught up with the big boat we enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by the chef. We then made our way to the next dive site called Dexters wall. We drop in along the wall and a continuous sighting of turtles began. A total of 17 turtles were counted! As we cruised down the wall we spotted more cool stuff such as nudis and flatworms. Ferns wall was our next and last dive of the day. The wall is just filled with huge sea fans and soft coral and as we looked closer we spotted quite a few nudibranchs and some flatworms. After the dive we made our way back to the big boat to have some dinner.

 

On our second day we started the day bright and early at the best place to see manta rays called German channel. We started the dive off with a nice sandy slope towards the cleaning station where the mantas usually hang out, once there we were luckily in the presence of two giant manta rays as they circled the cleaning station a couple times before flying into the blue. Then we left the cleaning station and viewed the giant bait ball from below, an excellent dive to start off the morning. Blue Corner for our second and first hook-in dive and it did not disappoint! Off the drop-off we saw a parade of sharks, rainbow runners, jacks, and schooling black snapper. The resident napoleon wrasse snuck up from behind looking for attention and posed for a few morning photos. For our third dive we went to New Drop Off where we admired the gorgeous corals and saw many more turtles! Our fourth dive was BIG drop off, another beautiful relaxing dive where we spotted more small critters and a few more turtles to add up the count. The same sight was also the destination for our night dive.

 

On Wednesday morning we motored down south to Peleliu where we dove Barracks point for our first dive. The dive was just filled with excited critters and huge variety of beautiful soft and hard corals and three very large giant clams. After the dive we strapped on our shoes and headed ashore to check out the island of Peleliu. We saw some old rusty tanks from WW2, checked out the interesting museum, wandered around Bloody Nose Ridge and even spent a bit of time poking around in 1000 man cave. Our next dive at Orange beach was a welcome relief from the heat of the island. We slowly drifted over a pristine hard coral garden which stretched for acres and acres. On the fourth dive we headed a bit north of Barracks point called Barracks wall. A spectacular wall dive with amazing big sea fans and of course more turtles and sharks. While we were on the dive the big boat motored north back to German channel area closer to the site where our night dive would be, so after the dive we caught to the big boat and enjoyed a very delicious meal prepared by the chef. Turtle cove was another spectacular dive where more turtles were spotted and some very cool creatures of the night.

 

Thursday! After a big breakfast we headed off to Virgin Blue Holes where we found several nudis and lots of turtles as we explored the box canyons that zigzagged along the reef and on the reef we stumbled across a two leopard sharks! On the second dive we explored the large cavern of Blue Holes, with amazing blue light streaming in through the windows. Inside we found a few nudis and a disco clam. On the outside we drifted along the wall where we saw several turtles, a barramundi grouper being cleaned, a friendly napoleon wrasse and cruising grey reef sharks. Our third dive brought us to Barnums wall where we gently cruised down the wall and spotted some more turtles yet again. For our afternoon dive we strolled down back to German channel to see if we could spot more Manta rays one last time, but unfortunately the mantas were not to be found. The dive itself was still spectacular as we spotted two ornate ghost pipefish and a few cool nudibranchs. The fifth and final night dive of the week was just as spectacular at the German Coral Gardens where we found some very leafy looking fish such as the leaf scorpion fish and the cockatoo waspfish.

 

 

On Friday Captain Zach fired up the engines bright and early and motored the big boat up to Ulong Island where we will do the rest of our diving. The first dive took us to Siaes Tunnel for a morning exploration of the gigantic cave streaming with light through the windows that look out to the deep blue. Along our lazy drift we passed by the stunningly colorful wall and were buzzed by a few sharks plus a friendly hawksbill turtle. Our second dive took us to Siaes Corner for some great shark action, a bumphead parrot fish, schooling Moorish idol and Barracudas. Our third dive was the famous Ulong channel. The current was in the process of switching so we dropped in on the giant clams and drifted down the channel from the inside out, an interesting way to see the famous channel. Dive four was at Sandy Paradise for some amazing coral formations including big tabletop hard corals. Lots of cool critters to check out along the way including nudis, leaf scorpion fish, pipefish, an octopus, a few dogtooth tuna, sleeping white tips in the sand patches, and a huge school of glossy eyed soldierfish.

 

 

On Saturday morning we went for a snorkel at Jellyfish Lake where we swam with the millions of mesmerizing stingless jellies plus checked out the predacious anemones along the shoreline. Upon returning to the skiff, Joe took us on his world famous tour through the Rock Islands before meeting up with the big boat in Koror. Our last dive was at nearby Chandelier Caves where we explored the four chambers and weird stalagtite formations inside surfacing for a breath or two in the air pockets along the way. On the reef just outside the cave entrance we watched mandarin fish scurry around along with pajama cardinal fish between the shallow corals for the rest of the dive. After that, it was back for lunch and time to assist our guests with rinsing their gear. Later that evening, we all met for a few cocktails to look back on the week and share some diving stories before heading out to dinner at the nearby local restaurants.


We said farewell on Sunday morning and helped our guests with transfers to their hotels and flights. It was another wonderful week aboard the Palau Aggressor II with fantastic guests that we look forward to diving again with soon!