Log Date: Sunday, Aug 09, 2015
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew
Palau Aggressor Charter August 9 to 15 2015
Water Temp: 82-86 deg F
Air Temp: 78-86 deg F
Crew: Scott, Dan, Hector, Editha, June, Ernan, Joe
On Sunday, we greeted 14 very excited and enthusiastic divers from China. Most of who had never been on a live aboard before. Upon arrival they were introduced to their cabins and then assisted as they set up their dive gear and camera equipment before dining on a tasty spread laid out by Chef Dan. Following the amazing food they were presented with the vessel orientation and safety briefing before heading off to bed to get a good nights’ sleep before beginning an another amazing week of weather and diving in gorgeous Palau.
On Monday morning we departed the dock and began the week of diving at the Helmet Wreck our usual check-out dive where we enjoyed exploring the decks and holds of the ship and examining WWII artifacts that ranged from the Japanese helmets to the airplane engines in the forward hold. After this dive we headed to the much deeper wreck of the Iro Maru where we swam past the king posts. From there we continued to the stern gun and up the rear king posts to spend time taking photos of all the anemone fish and Tridacna clams living there. . Our third dive was the Ulong channel, best known for all the beautiful variety of corals and the fish that reside in the corals. The dive started with two enormous giant clams that are probably over 150 years old and still counting. After the clams we cruised down the channel, passed a huge patch of lettuce coral, and exited the mouth of the channel. Our fourth and final dive was the Ulong coral garden which is the absolute most beautiful coral garden.
Tuesday began with Siaes Corner for some great shark action, a bumphead parrot fish, and a curious baby eagle ray that stayed with us the entire dive! Dive two 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 dog tooth tuna, sleeping white tips in the sand patches, and a solitary grey reef shark on the prowl. Our third dive of the day was at Big Drop Off where enjoyed gently cruising along this immense wall while we searched for nudibranchs and flatworms. We made our next dive at German Channel and spent time snapping photos with a manta before it swam back out into the blue. For our night dive we went back to Big drop off to check out the night life.
On Wednesday we went to Peleliu and started our day with a dive at Peleliu Corner before heading ashore for our land tour. While some of our guests went on the 3 hour historical tour we did a dive on west wall. Our next dive was at Orange Beach where we cruised over acres of hard coral. As we headed back up to German Channel area we stopped off at Barracks point for a look at some giant clams and a lot of turtles. Our night dive at Ngedebus coral Garden turned up heaps of shrimp and crabs as well a lot of critters drifting around in the water that was attracted to our lights.
Thursday morning we started the day at Blue Holes to enjoy the cathedral like experience. As the light streamed in from the four holes in the ceiling the guests cruised around and took photos and peeked in a few crevices to see the electric disco clams. After exiting the holes we cruised down for peek at Blue Corner to end the dive. For dive two we went to New Drop Off where we had and even stronger current! After screaming down the wall we hooked in at the edge of the plateau and watched the sharks cruise in and out of the schooling snappers and jacks and another very large school of barracuda. Our third dive was at Blue Corner and it was packed with fish! Sharks, everywhere, schooling snappers, jacks, and barracudas. The Napoleon wrasses were there, as usual, and were a popular subject for our photographers. For our fourth dive we headed down to Barnums wall were we had a nice relaxing dive. After dinner we went to the German coral garden for our night dive.
Around 6:15 the sun rose and our Friday morning began. The guests woke and had a big breakfast then they just had to go back to Blue corner because they just haven’t had enough. It was a bit choppy making our way there but it was worth it. Sharks, sharks and more sharks! Dive two was at Ngemelis wall which is just a spectacular wall filled with small and big critters hanging out on the wall. On the third dive we thought we would give German channel another try, unfortunately no manta but was still an amazing dive. For our fourth and final dive of the day we headed to wonder channel for some macro.
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, we headed through the Rock Islands to Milky Way 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 stalactite 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!