Log Date: Sunday, Aug 23, 2015
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew
Palau Aggressor 2 Charter Aug 23-30 2015
Water Temp: 82-86 deg F
Air Temp: 78-86 deg F
Crew: Scott, Hector, Dan, Herence, Ripon, Ernan, and Joe
On Sunday afternoon we were joined by 6 new dive buddies. After a welcome drink we showed the guests to their individual cabins, and helped them set up their dive gear. Chef Dan had cooked up a tasty feast for dinner. And Captain Scott gave his boat orientation and safety briefing. Everyone went to bed early to catch up on sleep after their long flights before embarking on another wonderful week of diving in beautiful Palau.
On Monday morning we departed the dock and started the week of diving at the Helmet Wreck for a check out dive where we enjoyed exploring the decks of the ship and examining WWII artifacts. After this dive we moved to the IRO Maru and did on this deeper wreck where we passed the king posts and the large school of horse eye jacks, we continued to the stern gun and then up the rear king posts and spent time taking photos of the anemones. We then returned to the big boat for lunch while it moved to the German Channel area. After lunch we made a dive at the dive site known as German Channel where we were once again met with a complete lack of current and no mantas do to this. Luckily there was other cool action ranging from of spawning groupers to Titan triggers guarding their nest and lots of sharks. Our fourth dive of the day was at Fern’s Wall. The sea fans here are huge and plentiful as well as having lots of bushy corals with the occasional long nose hanging around hawkish.
Tuesday we began the day with our first dive at Blue Holes where we drifted around the cathedral like cavern with its cool atmospheric lighting before heading down to Blue Corner to check out the sharks for a few minutes. Dive two was actually at the famous Blue Corner where we hung out with the resident Napoleon wrasse and the schooling barracudas and sharks. For dive three we went to Turtle Cove where we managed to track down a few turtles. This site is probably the best dive for soft coral. Tons of it is scattered all up and down the wall and make for some amazing photos. Our fourth and fifth dive was big drop off.
On Wednesday we went to Peleliu and started our day with a dive at Peleliu Corner, which had a mild current but lots of fish swarming nonetheless. Our second dive at West Wall was a slow drift down the wall with roughly a mile visibility underwater which turned up a few turtles in the shallows at the end of the dive. Our dive at Orange Beach started out going north and then halfway through the dive switched currents to south so we got to see all that amazing hard coral twice on the same dive. Barracks Point was our fourth dive and had a few giant Tridacna posing for photo ops well as a few turtles. Our night dive at Turtle cove Wall had a lot of pelagic larvae attracted to our lights and quite a few flatworms.
We kicked off Thursday morning with our first dive back at Blue Corner. This time we dove the corner from the other side. The action at the hook in was plentiful, and as usual the guests enjoyed playing with the large Napoleon Wrasse that hangs around the area craving attention. It must be one of the most photographed fish in Palau! Dive two was New Drop Off where we had a nice current! After cruising 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. . Dive number three was out at Dexter’s Wall that swarmed with turtles along the vertical wall of the drop-off. Out in the blue there was a dogfish tuna on the hunt followed closely by a large grey reef shark. Dive four was German channel and again we had no luck with the manta but the dive was still amazing. For the night dive we went to German coral garden where we spotted a cuttle fish.
We headed to Ulong Island on Friday morning, which is where a season of Survivor was filmed. . First dive of the day we went to Siaes Tunnel, what a great start to the day. A good current took us through the tunnel and along the wall, in fact some divers made it all the way to Siaes Corner. As per the norm several white tips and reef sharks were swimming around. In the tunnel itself a few Decorated Dartfish hang out, a very rare fish but typically always found at this one spot. Siaes Corner was filled with schools of Fusiliers and Black Lip Snappers. Grey Reef Sharks were swimming by in the blue as the divers hung out on the reef edge and enjoyed the show. For dive three it was 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 soldier fish. For our last dive of the day we went to Ulong Channel and moved along the wall viewing black spot puffer fish and then moved to the mouth of the channel where we watched sharks before unhooking and travelling through the channel past the large lettuce coral housing many fish and a beautiful anemone and then we went to the back of the channel for photo opportunities with the giant clams.
On Saturday morning we went for a swim and a snorkel at Jellyfish Lake where we swam with the millions of mesmerizing jellyfish. Upon returning to the skiff, Joe took us on a 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 interesting 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 scurrying 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 in the slideshow and shared 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 yet another wonderful week aboard the Palau Aggressor II with fantastic guests that we look forward to diving again with soon!