Log Date: Sunday, Mar 06, 2016
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew
Sunday afternoon we welcomed aboard 18 guest 12 from Nautilus Scuba Club in Cairns Australia, 3 Americans, a couple from Spain and 1 from Switzerland. We started with a quick introduction to the staterooms and then on the dive deck, everyone started to set up their dive gear. Once we checked certification cards and fished gear setup we headed up stairs for the first of many excellent dinners prepared by our Chef Pat. After dinner we sat down and covered the vessel orientation & safety briefing then soon after everyone was off to bed to get some rest before a great week of diving in Palau.
Early Monday morning the Rock Islands Aggressor left the dock and after breakfast, we gathered around the TV in the salon for the general dive briefing before heading off on our first dive at the Helmet. The Helmet is a Japanese WWII sub chaser found late after the war and was never salvage so guest are able to find artifacts including helmets, depth charges, a rifle, gas mask and a collection of other things. For dive number two we headed to the wreck of the Iro, a Japanese oil tanker sunk during WWII. Here we found several ringed pipe fish, a turtle, squid and tons of tomato anemone fish with two giant clams in the middle. During lunch the Rock Islands Aggressor moved out towards Ulong Island, after which we covered the final slideshow briefing going over how to use reef hooks here in. Our third dive was at gorgeous Sandy Paradise a sloping hard coral garden here divers found octopus, leaf scorpion fish, and tons of schooling fish. The last dive of the day was at Ulong Channel although there was very little current divers enjoyed exploring the channel great coral life.
Tuesday morning we started out at Siaes Tunnel the entrance starts at around 90’ and the exits at 100’. Inside the tunnel dives are able to find several rare fish including pygmy blue back angle and B&W butterflies. Dive two was Siaes Corner divers hooked in and watch the shark pass by and had a huge devil fly over head. Then during lunch the Rock Island Aggressor moved down through German Channel and moored in-between Ngemelis & Crap Islands. For dive 3 we went to Ferns wall here divers saw a leopard shark swimming about and several crocodile fish. Then the fourth dive was German Channel although no mantas still had lot of sharks and some cool pipefish. For the first night diver divers in enjoyed Big Drop Off, a dives sight with excellent macro life.
Early Wednesday morning the big boat started motoring down to Peleliu and pulled into Camp Beck a nice protected lagoon built by the army during WWII. Our first dive in Peleliu was what else Peleliu Corner on the incoming side known as “the Cut”. The current was strong but not too strong and the divers were able to hook-in and watch as the sharks pass by as well as a large eagle ray. Then once back to the big boat 16 of the guest went on the Peleliu WWII land tour to view sites of one of the bloodiest battles in the war. While everyone else was on the land tour the remaining 2 guest went to Orange Beach Coral Garden, a beautiful sloping coral garden with tons of fish life. After the dive and land tour everyone met back on the big boat for lunch before dive three at West Wall. At West Wall divers saw schools of large dogtooth tuna, turtles, and an eagle ray as well as Leopard shark. On the four at Barracks Point dive guest saw at least ten turtles and about five different giant clams. For the last night dive of the charter guest went to Ngemelis Wall for one of the best macro dives in Palau.
Thursday we went to the World famous Blue Corner for a hook in with tons of sharks for the hole dive. Dive two was at Blue Holes, here divers descend down one of four holes in the shallow reef into a large cavern with disco clams all along the wall and several pygmy seahorses on a sea fan at around 90’. After the cavern everyone drifted down towards Blue Corner. Dive three was another hook in dive at New Drop Off the current was little crazy but divers found several turtles and a peacock flounder as well as shark of course. Dive four was back to German Channel as well as the night.
For Friday we started the day back at the Blue Corner with a light incoming current divers hooked in for a short while before going and exploring the top of the plateau checking out sharks, a massive dogtooth tuna, barracuda, an octopus and several large bump head parrotfish. Then dive 2 was back out that way at Virgin Blue Hole, inside the cavern divers found a large marble ray for some great pictures and videos. Dive 3 was Turtle Cove one of the best soft coral covered walls in Palau. Then the last dive of the day was Barnums Wall were divers got to see a large Silver tip, a fairly rare sight in Palau.
We woke up Saturday morning with the big boat in the rock islands. Our first excursion was Jelly Fish Lake. We tied the skiff up on the outside and started our hike over the hill to the lake. We entered the water and after a short swim into the middle of the lake we were surrounded by millions of jelly fish. Everyone enjoyed this time in the lake, with an estimated 13 million jelly fish. After the lake we traveled by skiff on a rock island tour. We stopped for photos at Palau’s famous limestone archway and some WWII sites on the way back to the big boat. We did a quick turnaround and headed out to Chandelier Cave. All the divers surfaced in all four air chambers to take photos of the stalactites and outside the cave we found the mandarin fish. After an afternoon of cleaning, drying and packing scuba gear. At 6pm we gathered in the salon for the cocktail party and watched Conor’s photo slideshow of the week and soon after all the guests headed off into town for dinner. At 10pm we said our goodbyes to guest as they headed to the airport for their flight.
Very early Sunday morning two more guests left to the airport for their flight home and at 8 we said our goodbyes to the rest of the guests as they headed off to their hotels. We would like to thank everyone for joining us this week and hope to see you all again soon.
-Rock Islands Aggressor Crew