Palau Aggressor Charter December 11-18th 2016
Water Temp: 80-89 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Beau, Hector, Shea, Ronnie, Ripon, Edith, and Herence
This week we had a mixed group from all over the world. Some people from the US, Russia, France, and Switzerland. Quite a diverse group that would get to see some amazing things during the charter. We started out the week by getting them settled into the boat and then, Chef Ronnie would treat them to an amazing first meal. That night would be an early night.
The next day the guests awoke to blue skies. 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.
We had a light current on Tuesday when we went to Blue Corner, giving us the first chance to “Hook In”, lots of action on the corner, Sharks, Barracuda, Jacks, Turtles…..the list seems endless. Dive two was at Blue Holes. Dropping into the sink holes on the reef plateau which open up into a large cavern below, we saw the Fire or Disco Clams, and then worked our way along the wall back to the corner where we would get to see it all just one more time. After that we went to Canyons then ended our day at Turtle Cove for the late afternoon and night dives. Here we would see Turtles; Eels, Slipper lobsters, and Shrimps Everywhere.
The next morning we started at Purple Wall which is a steep drop-off which melts into a vast coral garden. On this dive we had a mild current, visibility beyond 100 feet and water temperature of 81 degrees. Here the wall is loaded with multihued soft corals and large sea fans. We saw a number of grey reef sharks, schools of fusiliers and pyramid butterfly fish along with several turtles, red tooth triggerfish a school of barracuda, some rainbow runners, a couple of barred jacks and a variety of anemone fish. Orange Beach and West Wall. These dives produced the best visibility so far which was well over 100 feet. Highlights included two eagle rays, groupers and large schools of snappers, big scale soldier fish, surgeon fish, Moorish idols and sweetlips. Barracks Point which had descent visibility and a mild current. On this dive we saw giant clams, a variety of angel fish, Moorish idols, Turtles, Sweetlips and a school of Barracuda along with mating octopi.
The next morning we returned to Blue Corner and jumped in for an epic day of diving. We hooked in and enjoyed the sharks swirling in the current along with the red tooth trigger fish, fusiliers and pyramid butterfly fish. There was a strong current, and the life was everywhere. Sharks were schooling and giving us quite the show. There was a Napoleon wrasse, and quite a few eagle rays. Then we went to New Drop Off, a hook in that is smaller, but sometimes as good if not better than Blue Corner. After unhooking we enjoyed the south side of the plateau where there were several feeding turtles who allowed us to approach them closely.
After that we went to German Channel again and had an amazing dive with 9 different Mantas. They were looping over us, around us and swimming right next to us. For 45 minutes the action kept up. It was fantastic, with all of the manta action. For sure a dive to remember for life! That night we dove German Channel Coral Garden. This is a beautiful site with hard and soft corals. It also has a ton of Nudibranchs, and Crabs.
OnFriday morning we would go to Ulong Channel where we would search the reef and see crocodile fish, Rock fish, and White tip sharks. Then we head off to Siaes corner. This is another hook in dive where the guests get better and better every time. We finished off the afternoon by going to Ulong Channel again and catching the current this time. An amazing dive and all seem to catch the wave as we get pulled down past the mouth and into the Channel. Seeing lots of sharks, and turtles.
The following day we would head back to Malakal and the Koror Moorings. For the morning dive we would go to lighthouse reef. A fast drift dive where you see a small boat wreck, and tons of life. Our last dive was at nearby Chandelier Caves where we explored the four chambers and stalactite formations inside, surfacing for a breath or two in the air pockets along the way. On the reef just outside the cave entrance mandarin fish scurry between the shallow corals posing for the final photographs of the week. 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. Some of the guests left on Saturday night so said our goodbyes and went to bed.
We here on the Palau Aggressor II would like to thank all who joined us this week and hope to see you again soon.