Trip Report (August 13 – 20, 2017)
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Jay, Ernan, Joe, Herence, June, Ronnie, Ripon
Sunday afternoon we welcomed aboard our dive buddies for the week from different places in the world. As soon as everybody was on board we started briefing about the rooms and the guests set up their gears with the help of the crew. Then it was time for our buffet dinner and Captain’s Briefing, afterwards everybody went to get some rest for the next day of diving!
The following day we did our first dive of the week at Helmet Wreck as our check in dive. It is a Japanese War ship that was found only in the 1980’s and most of the artifacts are still intact. The divers checked out the different parts of the wreck and saw the sake bottles, depth charges, Mitsubishi plane engines and two crocodile fishes. It was followed by a dive at another WWII ship wreck called the Iro. Everybody explored the massive deck seeing lots of macro species and the highlight of the dive was the kin posts that have giant clams and tomato anemone fishes. As soon as we got back to the big boat the engines roared to life and we started making our way to German Channel then went diving at The Canyons. It is a sloping wall with big cuts and small swim through that the guests enjoyed. We also saw two big turtles that had remoras attached giving some of the guest good photo opportunities. Our last dive for the day was at Barnum’s Wall where we saw scorpion fish, turtles and some sharks. Dinner was ready as we got back to the big boat then the guests had their briefing about to use a reef hook for the next day diving.
Second dive of the day was getting more exciting as we started our day of diving at the famous Blue Corner. The divers dropped down to the incoming side of the corner and drifted until we reached the hook in area. We spend most of our dive time looking out to the blue seeing some good action from the sharks, barracudas and horse eyed jacks. Next stop is another famous dive site called the German Channel, we started off at the Koror side of the channel and saw the red anemone. Then we drifted until we reached the cleaning station and saw two feather tail rays buried in the sand. We continued swimming to the second cleaning station and saw one Manta Ray. After few minutes we took off and went inside the channel and spent the rest of our bottom time exploring. Back in the big boat it was time for our buffet sushi lunch then we went diving at New Drop-Off. The current was mild as we jumped in and as we were reaching the hook in area a big manta was swimming just below us. We spent most of our bottom time hooked in looking out into the blue watching the sharks as the current was getting strong. Ngedebus Corner was our next stop, the guests enjoyed a relaxing drift along the wall seeing the colorful soft corals. At night we had Surf and Turf for dinner and went for our night dive at Ngedebus Coral Garden where we saw lots of coral shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and a scorpion fish.
Early morning on Wednesday the engines started and made its way to the island of Peleliu. The guests woke up to a new view inside the lagoon of Camp Beck. After having breakfast we headed on to a dive at Purple Beach and saw lots of soft corals, turtles, and sharks. On the second activity of the day the guests were divided into two. The first group went on a guided land tour on the island were the bloodiest battle of the pacific during WWII happened. They checked out different areas like the previous headquarters of the Japanese, the air strip, and the caves were the soldiers were hiding while the remaining guests that preferred diving went to West Wall. At 12 noon everybody gathered back in the big boat and had lunch together. Before heading on to the third dive at Barracks Point, the engines started ready to leave Camp Beck. It was followed by a dive at Big Drop Off where we checked out a small cave that has five baby white tip sharks. After dinner we explored the German Coral Garden for our night dive and saw two crocodile fishes.
On Thursday after breakfast we headed to Blue Holes, we dropped into one of the holes leading into massive cavern where we spent most of our bottom time exploring. We saw the pygmy sea horse, disco clams, and turkey lion fish. For the second dive we decided to check out Blue Corner again, the current was moderate as we dropped down. As soon as we got to the hook in area there was a massive schooling fishes of Horse Eyed Jacks and Snappers, there were also sharks hanging around. When the current started to pick up we decided on unhook and went back to the big boat for lunch. Then once again we went diving at German Channel and had another manta experience, this time there were two mantas swimming around the divers at the cleaning station. For the fourth dive we head on to a relaxing dive just drifting along Ngemelis Wall. Afterwards we had a delicious dinner then went on our last night dive of the week at German Wall and spotted some nudibranch, pleurobranch, and different fishes tucked into the reef. As soon as we got back to the boat the engines started and made its way to Ulong Island.
The guests woke up to a new view the following morning and as the sun was shining into the beautiful island of Ulong everybody had breakfast. We started the day of diving at Siaes Tunnel and explored the area looking for the blue back pygmy angel fish and at the exit of the tunnel we spotted the Helfrich’s Dart fish. Sandy Paradise was our next dive site where we dropped down into a mooring and went swimming through the sloping coral garden until we reached the sandy area. We saw garden eels, anemone, sharks, the divers also checked out one particular coral head that has Leaf Scorpion Fish and Mantis Shrimp living in it. Back in the big boat it was time for our buffet lunch on a picnic set up at the bar counter of the salon. Afterwards we went to Ulong Channel and hooked in for a few minutes at the mouth of the channel seeing gray reef sharks swimming back and forth out in the blue. Then we decided to unhook and let the current push us into the channel where we drifted then saw the giant stacks of lettuce corals and at the end of the dive there were two giants clams. Our last dive around the area was at Ulong Coral Garden, we started off at the mooring and drifted along the wall then came up to the top of the reef until we reached a sandy patch in the middle of the corals and saw one giant clam. Everybody took photos then used their remaining bottom time to explore the rest of the coral garden. At the boat we had our buffet dinner then the captain talked about the remaining activities for the next two days on board. Afterwards it was time to watch the video of the week that Ernan had put together showing the whole week of diving.
On Saturday everybody woke up earlier than usual for a special dive at Sandy Paradise for the Bumphead Parrot Fish spawning. At six in the morning the bell rang and fifteen minutes after we were on our way to the dive site. As we got there, we dropped down to where the spawning was happening and without any disappointment thousands of Bumpheads were swimming altogether. The guests were amazed of the amount of the fishes and there were also few sharks hanging around the area. We spent the entire dive watching as they swim around and spawn giving the guests good experience and video opportunity. The guests were all excited about the dive as we got back to the boat, then we had our hot breakfast and settled the bills as we were underway to Malakal Harbor. At 10 am it was time for our last dive of the week at Chanderlier Cave, we entered the cave and popped up into the air chambers took our regulators out and talked to each other. After exploring the caves we headed outside just at the entrance and checked out the coral garden for the mandarin fish and devil scorpion fish. Lunch was served as we got back then the guests had the whole afternoon to themselves. At 6 pm everybody gathered once more in the salon for a cocktail party exchanging great stories and recapping the great moments while the photos throughout the week were being shown on the big screen. Few moments later the captain did a speech thanking everybody for a wonderful week and hopes to see everybody again. Afterwards everybody said their farewell to the crew then it was time for dinner off the boat at a restaurant of their choice. Late night some of the guests were dropped off to the dock for their transport to the airport.
The next day, the remaining guests went up to the salon for continental breakfast then gathered their luggage to be put on the skiff. At 8 am they were dropped off to the dock and picked up by their transfer to their designated hotel. Until then safe diving and hope to see you again!