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Palau Aggressor II Boat Report
December 27 – January 3, 2016
2nd Capt/Photo Pro: Casey
Video pro/Instructor: Dan
Divemaster/Skiff Driver: Joe
On Monday December 28 we departed the Malakai dock with 12 guests from China. Our first two dives were on the WWII wrecks of the Helmet and Iro. Both dives have WWII artifacts, guns, ammunition and an array of colorful marine life. Highlights were crocodile fish, lionfish, giant clams, a variety of anemone along with depth charges, Zero fighter plane engines, sake bottles, gas mask and helmets from WWII. Our next two dives were Ferns Wall and German Channel. Ferns Wall is a sheer vertical drop off and has beautiful soft corals and sea fans, reef sharks, turtles and schools of pyramid butterfly fish feeding in the water column. We caught German Channel on an incoming tide and had six manta rays both being cleaned and up near the surface feeding. They put on an excellent show which was enjoyed throughout the whole dive.
For Tuesday we started with Blue Corner which Had a mild current and excellent visibility. Schooling barracuda, jacks and several sharks including one thrasher sharks were some of the many highlights on this dive. Blue Holes was up next and with over a 100 feet of visibility it was an excellent dive and included a flame scallop, pigmy seahorse and plenty of sharks along with napoleon wrasses and humphead parrot fish. For the 3rd dive we went to Turtle Cove which again had great visibility and a great variety of schooling reef fish along with several turtles and soft corals. The forth dive was at Ngedebus Corner where we had a moderate current and excellent visibility. Most of the dive was spent on the sheer vericle wall where we saw many sea fans and colorful soft corals with a great variety of tropical fiah amonst them and in the overhangs. Toward the end we merged into the hard coral garden where there were several turtles and wrasses foraging in the rubble areas. The night dive was at Turtle Cove which always has lots of tubastrea corals along the wall, basket stars, small lobsters and shrimp and a variety of night feeders actively hunting on the reef.
Wendesday we cruised to Peleliu and dove several sites including Peleliu Cut, West Wall, Orange Beach and Barracks point. All of these dives had well over 100 feet of visibility and 81-83 degree water temperature. Marine life highlights included several turtles on all the dives, grey and white tip reef sharks, feathertail stingray, feeding humphead parrot fish, crocodile fish, schooling snappers, barracudas and , bat fish along with other colorful tropical reef fish. For the night dive we jumped in white tip shark on the prowl and many different shades of soft corals and sea fans.
Day 5 we were back near German Channel and decided to give the manta rays another go. Though the mantas were a no show, we did have several grey reef sharks at the cleaning station and saw a great variety of schooling fish which included barracuda, jacks, black tail snappers, glasseyes and fusiliers throughout the water column. The rest of the day was spent diving Dexters Wall, Blue Corner and Barnums Wall as we finished with a night dive at German Coral Garden. Visibility throughout the day was well over a 100 feet with 82-84 degree water temperatures. Marine life included many turtles, sharks of various species, octopus, giant clams, shrimps, nudibranchs and colorful soft corals on all dives.
On Day 6 we were off to the Ulong Island area and dove Ulong Channel, Siaes Corner, Sandy Paradise and finished up with Ulong Coral Garden. All of these dives were outstanding and had exceptional visibility and warm water temps. Sharks were common along with turtles, leaf fish, mantas shrimp, garden eels, schooling glasseyes and barracuda and the hard corals here are pristine. Ulong is definitely one of the best dive areas in Palau.
On Saturday we wrapped up all of our activities starting at Jellyfish Lake where the group snorkeled with the millions of non stinging jellyfish and observed the anemones that prey on these jellyfish. After that we dove the famous Chandelier Cave where we were able to surface in each of the three chambers and see mandarin fish along with pajama cardinal fish outside the cave.
After washing all the equipment and enjoying lunch we all gathered at the wine and cheese party and enjoyed the photos which were taken over the last week.
Thank you to the entire group from China, hope to see you all again on another Aggressor trip.