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Log Date: Sunday, Feb 01, 2015
Entry By: Tropic Dancer Crew









 



On Sunday we welcomed onboard a group of 15 guests from the US. We started with a quick introduction to their cabins. Then on the dive deck, everyone set up their dive gear. We checked certification cards and headed upstairs for dinner. After desert we covered the vessel orientation and the ships safety briefing. Then we handed out the nautilus lifelines, and put on a documentary on Palau so the guests could have an idea about what we should see this week.

 

     Early Monday morning we started up the big boat early headed into Malakal Harbor. After breakfast we covered the general dive briefing and first dive was at the Helmet Wreck or also known as the Depth Charge Wreck. This wreck is so named due to the couple stacks of WWII helmets found in the first cargo hold as well as the depth charges in the first two cargo holds. We entered the water and everyone did a weight check and soon started their descent. We stopped in the first cargo hold, saw the helmets, and continued down towards the bow of the wreck. In the middle cargo hold we saw more depth charges and a large spot light. At the bow of the wreck we found the banded messmate pipe fish around the anchor wench. On the way back to the stern we found a couple of signal gobies on the silt bottom on the deck. We then spent the rest of the dive looking over the artifacts that have been collected and placed out on the stern. After the dive the big boat moved out of pinchers and into the rock islands. The Iro was our second dive. We entered the water and passed by the big bow gun through the wheel house to the stern gun. There we turned around and circled up the aft king posts where we enjoyed seeing the tomato anemone fish. After the dive the skiff caught up with the big boat on its way to Ulong. After lunch we had the reef hook briefing and dive three was at Ulong Channel. We entered the water and right below us was the school of horse eyed jacks, then, as we continued along the wall a large school of Moorish idols passed by. We hooked in at the mouth for a short while, only had two sharks in front of us, we then drifted into the channel. Everyone enjoyed the drift past the lettuce coral and we ended our dive at the giant clams. For dive four we headed out to Ulong Coral Garden. We started the dive from the furthest mooring from the mouth and drifted along the wall. We had some sharks in the blue and a couple beautiful anemones that were balled up feeding. We again saw the school of horse eyed jacks and ended the dive at the one giant clam. Dinner was soon ready after we arrived at the big boat, after we watched a fish ID presentation.

     Tuesday morning the wind had picked up and was blowing from the north. We wanted to go out to Siaes Corner, but it was too rough. We turned around and did Sandy Paradise. All the guests enjoyed the beautiful hard coral garden. We found the three leaf scorpion fish and saw a large school of barracuda and the big eyed crescent tail fish. After the dive we started moving the big boat to the German Channel area, this area was more protected from the wind and waves. Dive two was at Turtle Cove. All the guests enjoyed the relaxing drift along the wall and spotted several nudis and even some sharks in the blue. We also saw the square spot anthias and the corner was full of marine life, school of snapper, ruder fish, and horse eyed jacks. For the third dive we headed to New Drop Off. It was a mild incoming current and the divers hooked in to watch the sharks and schooling fish. We then unhooked and explored and explored the plateau. We found two peacock flounder and a couple of turtles. For the fourth dive we headed out to Big Drop Off. We entered the water from the mooring lines and drifted along with the wall on our left. A couple of sharks passed us by in the blue and we found some macro life on the wall. In the large bush of black coral we saw a long nose hawk fish as well. After dinner we went back to Big Drop Off for the night dive. At night all the cup coral comes out to feed and the night critters can be seen walking around on the wall; crabs, shrimp, and some basket stars out filter feeding.

 

     Wednesday morning we started the day with Blue Corner. The current was incoming, we entered the water and headed to the hook in area. The current was very light so there was no need to hook in. The napoleons wrasse soon joined the group and we explored the plateau for the whole dive. For dive two we headed out to Dexters Wall. The current was mild and now outgoing. We drifted along the wall and found several turtles. After lunch we headed to Ngedebus Coral Garden. We entered the water saw some 2white tip reef sharks, a crocodile fish, and some beautiful anemones. For the fourth dive we had an incoming current so we headed to German Channel. We started the dive from the Koror side of the channel, dropped in the water, stopped at the red anemone for photos and continued to the cleaning station. We sat down in the sand and waited but no mantas. We then left the cleaning station, heading towards the other side of the channel. We saw two mantas cruise by overhead, but we continued to the where the ornate ghost pipe fish have been the last two weeks. We again found the two pipe fish in their normal location, we waited as the photographers take their photos. Above us we could see that the mantas were now feeding so we left the bottom and ascended to the shallow water to be with the mantas for the rest of the dive. After dinner the night dive was at Turtle Cove. During the dive we saw a couple of turtles, nudis, and some basket stars out filter feeding in the mild current.

 

    

     On Thursday morning we woke up and there were still some big swells on the outer reef, so we decided to wait to see if they calmed down tomorrow to go to Peleliu. So we started the day with Blue Holes. The current was outgoing. With the swells we were not able to enter the cavern from the holes on top the reef. We descended down along the wall and entered the chamber from the large opening. We spent some time in the cavern, took some photos and found the disco clams. We then exited the cavern and headed down to Blue Corner. At the corner we were low on bottom time and just drifted across the plateau to end our dive. For dive two we headed out to Ngedebus Corner. We drifted along the wall and around the corner finding a couple of turtles, nudis, and saw some sharks in the blue off the corner. After lunch dive three, we went back to Blue Corner. Before we entered the water we checked the current and it was incoming. We did our entries and swam along the wall towards the hook in area. We then noticed that the current switched to outgoing. We had to swim against the current to the other side of the corner. We hooked in on the outgoing side and had several sharks in the blue. The current then died off, so we unhooked and made our way to the tip of the corner. We spent the rest of the dive with the school of blue lined snapper and the napoleons. For dive four we again had an incoming current so we went back to German Channel. Again we started the dive from Koror side of the channel. When we got down to the red anemone, the guests in the front of the group were lucky, as a great hammerhead went swimming by and faded off into the blue water. We then continued on to the cleaning station but no mantas were feeding. As we headed across the mouth of the channel we saw three mantas feeding above us in the shallow water, we left the bottom and spent the rest of the dive with the mantas as they swam in and all around us. After dinner our last night dive of the charter was at German Coral Garden. We started the dive from the Peleliu side of the mouth and descended down to the bottom. We let the light current push us into the channel. We found a crocodile fish, crabs and shrimp, and a couple of white tip sharks hunting.

 

     Friday morning we woke up early and moved the big boat down to Peleliu. After we tied up the big boat in South Dock, our first dive was at Peleliu Corner. We checked the current and it was an outgoing current or also known as DCut. We entered the water and went wall on the left to the hook in area. We hooked in around the cut and had a couple of sharks in front of us. We then unhooked and drifted slowly to the corner. We saw a very large grouper hanging out at the corner. For dive two we went to Orange Beach Coral Garden. We drifted along the beautiful hard coral garden; saw some schools of barracuda, jacks, and snapper & some WW11 artifacts left from the war. We also found 2 crocodile fish in the sandy rubble bottom. Dive three was at Barracks Point. We saw some big schools of fish, giant clams and around 10 turtles. We also found another crocodile fish. Dive Four we headed out to West Wall. We entered the water saw the beautiful red anemone on top the plateau, and then descended down along the wall. We spotted several turtles and also had a large dog tooth tuna swim by us in the blue. When we arrived at the big boat we left Peleliu and headed up to the German Channel area. We sat down to chef Manis final supper of turkey, honey baked ham, mashed potatoes, and more. After we watched a short documentary on Jelly Fish Lake and most of the guests were soon off to bed.

 

     We woke up Saturday morning and moved the big boat into the rock islands. Our first excursion was Jelly Fish Lake. We tied the skiff up on the outside and started our hike over the hill to the lake. We entered the water and after a short swim into the middle of the lake we were surrounded by millions of jelly fish. Everyone enjoyed this time in the lake, with an estimated 13 million jelly fish. After the lake we took the guests on a rock island tour, we first stopped at the famous limestone archway, then some WWII sites as we made our way back to the big boat. We had a quick turnaround and headed out to Chandelier Cave. We surfaced in all four air chambers to take photos of the stalactites and once we exited the cave we found the mandarin fish in the shallow coral garden. We also spotted the spinney devil fish outside the entrance of the cave. After an afternoon of cleaning, drying and packing scuba gear, we gathered in the salon at 6pm for the cocktail party and watch a photo slideshow of the week and soon after all the guests headed off into town for dinner. After dinner the guests came back to the boat, some packed, some relaxed and soon went to bed.

 

     Sunday morning the guests woke up to continental breakfast and at 8am we said our goodbyes as they headed off to their hotel. We would like to thank all of our guests for joining us this week aboard the Tropic Dancer, hope to see you all again soon…

 

          -Tropic Dancer Crew