Palau Aggressor Charter November 28- December 4 2016
Water Temp: 80-89 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Beau, Hector, Ernan, Ronnie, Joe, Herence
This week we had the honor of welcoming 13 people to the Palau Aggressor II. We had 4 people from the Americans, 4 Kazaks, 3 Poles, and a lovely young couple from Germany. Anticipation welled high in our new arrivals as it was everyone’s first time diving here in Palau. The crew gave a friendly hand to the guests in getting all of their gear on board and assembled then it was time for dinner. Chef Ronnie once again killed it, technically speaking. Our welcome meal served to the guests was seared tuna with a lemon caper and butter sauce with a side of sautéed vegetables and a choice of rice or southwestern potatoes. After their hearty supper, the guests were served frosty mugs of beer as they listened to Captain Dan give his briefing detailing the procedures of the boat as well as an outline covering the amazing trip we were set to embark upon.
The next day the guests awoke to blue skies with the equatorial sun smiling down on them. Our first dive of the day was the Helmet Wreck. The wreck is absolutely filled with artifacts from the Second World War such as helmets, gas masks, morphine bottles, sake bottles, and depth charges. Our Second dive of the day was the Iro, where the guests saw a massive octopus, scorpion fish, and a beautiful purple anemone with its anemone fish companion. The next two dives were Ngerechong Outside and German Channel. The latter being a perfect book-end to complete our first day of diving on the charter. We had the pleasure of seeing a massive school of jacks, barracuda, turtles, a red anemone, and 3 large mantas lazily circling the cleaning station.
On the third day of the charter we started our day right by diving the world-famous blue corner. The currents was mild and the visibility was ideal for gazing upon the black tip sharks, grey reef sharks, sea turtles, schooling barracuda, banner fish, anemone fish, sweet lips, and a host of other marine life. After a quick snack and a bit of a break it was off to blue holes for more terrific diving. Because of Blue Holes proximity to Blue corner, it is very much like getting to dive two sites at once. We entered the cavern and we were able to spot some dart fish along the floor as well as a large barracuda swimming around the inside. Following a scrumptious lunch of tacos we dove Lion Fish rock were we saw some leaf scorpion fish, anemones, black tip sharks, a lone eagle ray, and of course no lion fish. The next two dives were Turtle Cove during dusk then a final dive at night there as well.
We began our fourth day by hitting dove blue corner then new drop off, Barnum’s wall, German Channel and Ngedebus Coral gardens. Blue corner was a simply stunning show as always. At new drop off the current was nice and mellow, we hooked in and watched the many grey reef sharks effortlessly swim up the current. We also saw a Napoleon wrasse, scorpion fish, and schooling jacks. At Barnum’s wall, a few lucky guests had the great pleasure of spotting an elusive leopard shark as well as an array of reef fish and a few black tip sharks. German channel at sunset was amazing. Silhouettes of mantas soaring through the water could be seen against the backdrop of a burning Palauan sunset. Our final dive of the day was our night dive, naturally. We dove Ngedebus Coral gardens where the guests saw thousands of pairs of eyes of the small rock dwelling shrimps glowing in the light of their torches. It was terrific way to wrap up the day.
The next morning, day number five of the trip, we awoke in Peleliu. We dove Orange Beach first, it was littered with World War II artifacts and the visibility was more than 100ft. The guests were able to find 30 and 50 caliber bullet casings as well as seeing a sunken LVT. Afterwards we went on a land tour where we were shown an old Zero fighter plane by a terrific local history expert, we also visited war memorials dedicated to the Japanese and Americans who died fighting there. After lunch it was off to barracks point. The main feature of this dive is definitely the three giant clams amongst the beautiful gently sloping coral reef.
The 6th day of the charter we drove the boat over to Ulong. It was the perfect place to film an episode of survivor. We began our day by diving Ulong channel. We were blessed with opportune conditions and the guests were able to drift up the channel along with the incoming tide and were able check out the massive patch of lettuce coral as well as some giant clams. The next site we went to was Siaes Corner; we had the pleasure of seeing trigger fish, sweet lips, turtles, and a few black tip sharks. Afterwards Sandy Paradise was amazing. We spotted crocodile fish, black tip sharks, a grey reef shark, and a leaf scorpion fish. Our final dive of the day was Ulong coral garden and then we drifted into Ulong Channel, we started the dive off by hooking into the mouth of the channel where we saw numerous black tip sharks that swam as close as 3 feet to some of the guests. As we drifted up the channel we saw a massive and impressive patch of lettuce coral as well as a few giant clams near the end of the dive.
On our last day of the charter we dove the Chuyo Maru in the morning where we were able to find an octopus, a hand full of lion fish, and a frog fish swimming around the wreck. We went back to the boat and had a quick snack and then went out to dive Chandelier Caves. At the mouth of the cave our skilled guides spotted a rare mandarin fish to show to the guests hiding in a coral head. Inside the cave we took the guest to all three chambers and upon descending from the final and furthest chamberl we switched off our torches and swam toward the ambient light of another beautiful Palauan day. It was a wonderful way to wrap up the diving for the week. After lunch the guests were allowed some free time to go ashore and do a little shopping or visit the local spa. Finally, we had a cocktail party and swapped stories of the week with our guests about the fantastic and memorable time we shared.
We at the Palau Aggressor would like to thank the guests for a great week and hope to see you again.