Palau Aggressor Charter May 31st- June 6th, 2015
Water Temp: 79-84 deg F
Air Temp: 78-86 deg F
Crew: Scott, Conor, Dan, Jay, Hector, Ripon and Herence
On Sunday afternoon 6 new guests arrived 4 from the US, 1 from Canada and 1 Frenchmen. Once they were welcomed aboard the Vessel and helped to set up their gear and a delicious dinner, prepared and served by Chief Dan then off to bed for a good nights sleep. In the morning Scott gave the captains briefing just before breakfast. Afterwards Conor did the diving briefing for the guest to prepare them for the fun week of Palau diving.
For the first dive on Monday morning for an easy check out dive we made a short departure from the dock to the Helmet wreck, one of the casualties of WWII. Unlike many wrecks in Palau, which had been salvaged after the war, the Helmet wreck wasn’t discovered until the eighties. As a result the divers can find many artifacts like sake bottles, weapons, cooking pots, rifles and gas masks on the wreck. Dive two was at yet another famous wreck in Palau the much large Iro Maru, meeting its fate in the outer lagoon after heavy fire from both US submarine and airstrike attacks. Upon this massive five hundred foot tanker divers found mandarin fish, octopus and on top of the massive tripod tower a large colony of tomato anemones and clown fish. During lunch the Palau Aggressor II out to German Channel area and dove our third dive at Canyons. Where divers were able to explore in and out of large cuts in the in the reef wall spotting several turtles, gray reef sharks and some great macro live as well. The last dive of the day we ventured into German Channel. After dinner divers listened to Conor give the reef hook briefing to prepare them for their first hook in dives the next morning.
Tuesday morning we dove in to the Blue Holes. Inside we got some great pictures or the ambient light above, found the disco clams and a tiny pigmy seahorse. Then headed on out down to Blue Corner were divers were able to hook in for the first time. The current was perfect conditions not to strong but still able to bring in plenty of sharks for divers to enjoy, we were also of course accompanied by our friendly napoleon wrasse. After lunch Ferns Wall was the third dive. Then Turtle Cove for the fourth and night dive, the both beautiful during day and night but vastly different with the yellow soft corals coming out and filter feeding at night coving entire sections of the wall.
On Wednesday we moved the big boat down to Peleliu Island and pulled into Camp Beck for the day. Our first dive on was at Peleliu Corner, “The Cut” side staring in the Philippine Sea and ending the dive in the Pacific Ocean. There were multiple sharks and huge schools of Jacks on the edge of the wall one dive also found a mantis shrimp underneath the rock they had hooked into. After breakfast the group split in half with three guests going on a land tour to learn and see sites of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II and the other three headed off to West Wall for the second dive. Orange Beach Coral Garden was the third dive of the day, amongst artifacts such as landing crafts, mortar shells and a huge anchor were dozen of turtles and a variety of fish life. The last dive in Peleliu was at Barracks Point probably one the most beautiful coral garden in Palau, filled with both hard and soft corals, anemones and giant clams. We finished our day with a night dive on Big Drop Off.
Thursday morning it was back of Blue Corner for another great dive, playing with our napoleon wrasses and multiple sharks. Then it was out to New Drop Off or the miniature Blue Corner for another hook in dive. Dive three was on Ngemelis Wall, then Barnum’s Wall for the fourth dive. Both were great wall dives with lots of macro life including multiple species of nudis, flat worms and scorpion fish. For the night dive we went out to German Coral Garden with the highlight of the dive being a small cuttlefish with a sandy cooler.
Friday morning the Palau Aggressor moved out to the world famous Ulong Island. The first dive of the day was Ulong Coral Garden that was back full of groupers as well as giant clams, nudis, anemones and schooling jacks. Our second dive was at Siaes Corner for an excellent hook-in diver with a few sharks and a small baby spotted eagle ray passing back and forth. Then for the third dive we were off for Sandy Paradise along with seeing several leaf scorpion fish divers had a cuttlefish. Our last dive of the day was through Ulong Channel flying through with a strong current checking out giant clams, grouper and a patch of lettuce coral as big as the Palau Aggressor its self. After an amazing final dinner by Dan, we gathered in the saloon to watch the video Conor had shot of the week’s highlights.
On Saturday morning we went to Jellyfish Lake where we swam with the millions of mesmerizing stingless jellies plus checked out the predacious anemones along the shoreline. After a relaxing hour in the tranquil lake, we boarded the skiff and did a spectacular tour of the Rock Island courtesy of Hector. We then went for our last dive at Chandelier Cave, a must do as it is so different from anything else we dived throughout the week. With a patient eye you can find Mandarin fish, two large nudi’s and razor fish amongst the rubble at the cave entrance. A slide show was prepared by Hector and included all of the sights from this week’s trip which we watched at the cocktail party that evening, after which the guests enjoyed dinner in one of the restaurants in Koror.
Sunday morning and we helped the guests load the luggage onto the bus and said our goodbyes as they left for their hotels. It’s been a fun week and we hope to see you all again soon aboard the Palau Aggressor II.