Palau Aggressor Charter
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Scott, Shea, Hector, Ernan, Herence, Joe and Editha
On Sunday afternoon we welcomed aboard 17 guests from different parts of the world. As soon as they got on board we started briefing with the rooms, setting up their gears, handed weights and other safety equipments that they need for the week of diving. After everyone was set they all headed to the salon for a briefing from the captain of all the things they need to know about the boat and Palau. Then it was followed by a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Shea and Editha. When dinner was finished, everyone headed to their cabins to get some rest for the next day of diving.
After a good night’s sleep we started the day by having breakfast then another safety briefing on how the diving is done on the boat. Afterwards we did our first dive of the week at Helmet Wreck, it’s a small wreck that was recently found in the early 1990’s and still has its artifacts intact. We did our back rolls, entered the water and checked weights then descended down into the wreck. There we explored the different parts of the wreck and saw the depth charges, guns, sake bottles, and some of the divers went inside the ship to check out the engines. Our second dive was the Iro Maru, it’s a massive Japanese war ship that sunk during the World War II and is now a great dive site and home to different marine species. We explored the structure of the wreck and the highlight of the dive was the Kingpost where the Anemone Fishes and Giants Clams are located. After the dive we went back to the big boat had our lunch and went on to the next dive. We did the third dive at Fern’s Wall were we saw different types soft corals and sea fans along the wall. There were also some Turtles, Schooling Snappers and Fusiliers swimming with us as we were drifting with the current. For our last dive of the day, we went to Barnum’s wall and headed back to the big boat for dinner then did a briefing about to use a reef hook.
On the second day of charter, after breakfast we went to the famous Blue Corner. We dropped down to the incoming side and drifted along the beautiful wall. There were sharks, schooling Jacks and Snappers until we got to the hook in area. We spent some of our bottom time watching action from sharks out in the blue then decided to unhook and explore the plateau. The current pushed us to the other side of the corner and there we saw a Great Barracuda. Some of the divers had a close encounter with it and were able to take good photos. Next stop is another great dive site called German Channel. We started at the Peleliu Side of channel and as we were drifting there was a giant Manta swimming past us. As we approached the cleaning station there were other groups sat down on the sand and the Manta was hanging around getting cleaned. When the manta took off the other groups left as well and we’ve notice an octopus on the rock close to the cleaning station. The divers went close and the octopus came out of the hole giving our guests awesome photos and videos. When we were about to take off a baby manta was approaching and as we were headed to the next cleaning station, we’ve crossed by another one and it was time to end our dive. After lunch we went diving at Blue Holes were the divers entered into one of the holes leading to a big cavern and spend time exploring there taking pictures and got to see the Disco Clam. We then spend the rest of our bottom time on the wall outside the cavern and saw schooling Moorish Idols. On the fourth dive we did Turtle Cove which is another swim through and the divers entered a much smaller chimney leading to the cavern. After seeing the cavern continued outside and saw the beautiful wall all covered in colorful soft and hard corals and some square spot anthias. We then head back to the big boat had our delicious dinner and went out on our first night dive at Ngedebus Coral Garden. There were Mantis Shrimp, juvenile crocodile fish, scorpion fish, turtles, and plenty of Pleurobranchs.
The next day, early morning the boat started heading towards the island of Peleliu. By the time we reached Camp Beck, everybody was awake and had breakfast then went on the first dive of the day at Peleliu Corner. The current was incoming so we started at the “Express” side of the corner. We drifted along the sloping wall and enjoyed the ride seeing some sharks as the current pushed us towards the tip of the corner. After getting back to the big boat some of the guests went on a guided land Tour at Peleliu exploring the different parts of the island were some of the battles of WWII occurred. The guests that were left behind headed on a dive at West Wall and spotted Nudibranchs, Flatworms, Milkfish, some sharks, and snappers. Everybody came back to the boat at lunch time and afterwards went to Orange beach just outside of Camp Beck. There we saw a lot of artifacts like, ammunition, LVT’s, guns, and other marine species as well. On the fourth dive the boat left Camp Beck and the divers went to Barracks Point. After the dive we catch up with the big boat outside German Channel and had dinner. We did the night dive at Turtle Cove and saw the beautiful wall transform turning bright yellow as the cup corals feed. There were also turtles, nudibranchs, star baskets, plenty crabs and shrimps with their eyes flashing red as we shine our lights into the corals.
We decided to have another dive at Blue Corner on Thursday morning this time on the outgoing side. The sharks put up a great show and as we were exploring the plateau there was sea snake and the three eagle rays hang out with the divers as well. Next we went to New Drop-Off then head back to the boat to have our lunch on a picnic set-up at the bar enjoying the breeze and nice weather. Then we went on to German Channel for the second time but had no luck seeing some mantas. Instead we explored the channel and saw fusiliers, snappers, jacks and a bunch of unicorn fish schooling together. At the Big Drop-Off the divers enjoyed drifting along the wall then came back to the big boat had dinner and headed on to a night dive at German Coral Garden.
The engines roared to life again early on Friday morning and started making our way to Ulong area. We did our first dive at Siase Tunnel and everybody enjoyed swimming through and got to the the decorated dartfish then explored the wall outside. At Siase Corner we got to see some action again with the sharks and plenty of cool stuff at the plateau, followed by a lunch with a beautiful view close to the Ulong Island. The third dive was at Ulong Channel, and without any disappointment even without the strong current everybody spotted a lot of cool stuff like stone fish, flatworms, nudibranchs, giant clams, and massive schooling Horse Eyed Jacks as we were doing our safety stop. At Sandy Paradise we explored the beautiful sloping coral garden and saw Mantis Shrimp and Leaf Scorpion Fish. We had a buffet dinner and Ernan showed his video of the week as the big boat was on the way back to Malakal Harbor.
The last day of the charter was a special planned dive at Shark City. At 5:30 in the morning the bell rung and we all headed to the dive site hoping to see the schooling red snappers that might bring in some bull sharks. And without any disappointment everybody was amazed by thousands of snappers spawning together. Afterwards the skiff chased down the big boat as it was heading back to Koror and had breakfast. Then at Chandelier Cave we explored all the air chambers and checked out the Mandarin Fish at the shallow coral garden outside. After lunch everybody had free time for the whole afternoon, some decided to go on shore and at 6:00 p.m. everybody gathered together again at the salon to have a cocktail part. Everyone had drinks and talked about how great the week while the slide show of all the photos Scott has taken throughout the week was being played on T.V. Then it was time to give out awards and a speech from the captain thanking everybody for a wonderful week of diving.
At 8 o’clock on Sunday morning the remaining guests on board had breakfast and gathered all of their things ready to get off the boat. Everybody said their farewell and went to shore. Until then safe diving and hope to see you again!