Log Date: Sunday, Apr 05, 2015
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew
Palau Aggressor Charter Apr 5 –Apr 12, 2015
Water Temp: 81-85 deg F
Air Temp: 78-86 deg F
Crew: Zach, Cameron, Dan, Sadie, Ernan, Joe and Jay
On Sunday April 5, 2015 we greeted 6 of 18 guests from China in the afternoon. Once onboard the crew assisted them with setting up their gear and showed them their cabins. After, we had dinner and relaxed for the rest of the evening, while waiting for the other 12 that were on a 2am flight.
On Monday we started the day a bit late due to the long and late journey our new guests had partaken in. As they woke they had breakfast and relaxed as Captain Zach gave them a safety briefing of the vessel as well as the dive briefing. Afterwards we decided to have a relaxing day and only do three dives, our 1st dive was a WW2 sub chaser known as the “helmet wreck”. On the dive the crew helped the guests check out their gear and weights, after everyone was good, we descended down the mooring line to find the stern of a 273 foot wreck at 12 meters. We then cruised along the deck of the wreck to find some cool WW2 artifacts such as ammunition, a rifle, pans, sake bottles and a gas mask. After the cool artifacts we slowly made our way to the bow at 25 meters, where we found an octopus and some interesting looking nudibranchs. After the dive the big boat made its way to the German channel area, closer to our 2nd dive which was at Big Drop Off. This dive is a beautiful wall with huge sea fans hanging along the wall, and massive variations of hard corals scattered all along the wall. The 3rd dive was the famous German channel. We jumped in and swam to the cleaning station where we had one huge manta ray stop by to get cleaned then swam towards the surface. We followed the manta ray to 10 meters where we hung out with it while it fed. 5mins later two of its friends joined in on the buffet and the guest were just blown away by these massive creatures coming so close to them. As we ran low on air we then drifted down the channel to find a leopard shark and a couple of turtles.
On Tuesday, early morning around 4am Captain Zach fired up the motors and headed down south to Peleliu where we secured the big boat inside camp beck. At 6:15 we headed to Peleliu corner for our 1st hook in dive! On the dive we encountered a lot of current and a lot of sharks, some big groupers, and a couple of turtles. We then returned back to the big boat for some hot breakfast and relaxation before dive # 2. Dive 2 was a beautiful site called West wall, as soon as we jumped in we spotted about 15 white tip reef sharks, then we cruised down the wall and found some turtles and a lot of anthias. Our 3rd dive was Orange beach, which was a coral garden that was an endless mile of hard corals filled with life and so much color. The 4th dive was Barracks point, similar to Orange beach but, we started at a sloping wall and ended up at the coral garden. There we found three massive Tridacna (Giant clams), schools of jacks and barracuda. After the dive we arrived at the big boat, dried off and relaxed before having a delicious meal prepared by Chef Cameron. Strait after dinner we strolled down to German coral garden for our night dive.
Early Wednesday morning around 6:15am we drove the skiff to the most talked about dive site here in Palau….Blue corner! With high expectations, we jumped in and the second we hit the water, there were sharks, turtles, and schooling fish everywhere! Then we hooked in, relaxed and enjoyed the show, a couple minutes later our friendly resident napoleon wrasse paid us a visit for some morning hugs and photos. The 2nd dive was a beautiful sloping coral wall named canyons. This site is very unique because of all the cuts, crevasses and swim through along wall that the divers can enjoy. Our 3rd dive was New Drop Off. A smaller version of Blue Corner but holds the same action. On our 4th dive we decided to go back to German channel, and it did not disappoint. There we spotted two manta rays getting cleaned, and above near the surface two more were feeding. We enjoyed the mantas for a while then headed down the channel for some exploring. For our night dive we headed to Big Drop Off, where we found some unique critters we dont see during the day. We spotted a Pleurobranch that was glowing pinkish red in color and a few Lion Fish sitting motionless awaiting their prey.
On Thursday we stayed around German Channel area for more dives. We started the day with Blue Corner, yet again! As we made our way to the site we spotted spinner dolphins jumping and playing, so we slowed down to let them surf in the wake of the skiff while the guest took photos. At the site there was a nice outgoing current, so we jumped in and cruised along the wall to the hook in spot. Once there, we hooked in and watched the marine life of Blue Corner do its thing. Non-stop shark action, schooling Jacks, Barracudas, Black Snappers and of course our friendly Napoleon Wrasses came for a visit. After the dive we went back to the big boat for some hot breakfast then relaxed for a bit before going to Blue Holes for our 2nd dive. Four separate holes on top of the reef that all lead to one massive cavern, with sun beams lighting it up, all the way down to the bottom at 27 meters. We entered one of the holes and dropped down to the bottom and hung out for a while before heading out towards Blue Corner. For our 4th dive we made our way to Dexters Wall where we spotted tons of turtles, some sharks and a lobster. The 3rd dive we went to Barnums Wall where we found four cuttlefish and a couple of cool nudis. The night dive we went back to German Channel but we did the Koror side instead. After the night dive we came back to the big boat and headed for Ulong.
Bright and early Friday morning, the guest woke up to find themselves right next to the famous Ulong Island where survivor took place. Our 1st dive on the menu was Ulong Channel! There was a mild incoming current so we jumped in along the wall and made our way to the mouth of the channel. We saw sharks, schooling Red Snappers, Coral Groupers, Pyramid Butterfly Fish and many more. We then cruised down the channel with the current and ended up at a huge patch of Lettuce Coral, and then we made our way to the 2 huge, 150 yr old giant clams. The 2nd dive we skiffed over to Siaes Corner. The outgoing current seemed to be moving pretty good, so we hopped in and swam down the wall to the hook in area where we watched over 20 Grey Reef sharks hang out in the current. After a while we unhooked and let the current push us off the corner and we spotted four Great Hammerhead sharks about 12 meters from our group. Wow! Later we came back to the big boat for some delicious lunch prepared by Chef Cam. After lunch and some well deserved down time, we geared up for our 3rd dive of the day. Sandy Paradise was next on the menu, so we hopped in the skiff and cruised over. On site, we jumped in and spotted two baby stone fish less than two inches long, an octopus, and six Leaf Scorpion Fish on one coral head. We then hung out with schools of Glossy Eyed Soldier fish and Yellow Fin Barracuda. Our 4th and last dive of the day brought us to Ulong Coral Garden where we swam along the sloping coral garden to find some sharks, and a massive school of Jacks, Black Snapper and Barracuda and a couple of nudis and flatworms were found as well. After the dive we came back to the big boat to relax and have some mouth watering dinner. After the guests were briefed about Saturdays upcoming event we watched a video that Dan (video pro) had put together.
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 Chandelier Caves where we explored the four chambers and weird stalactites 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 all the while looking at Ernans (photo pro) slide show of the week, 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 yet another wonderful week aboard the Palau Aggressor II with fantastic guests that we look forward to diving again with soon!