Palau Aggressor Charter November 19th-26th 2017
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Shea, Herence, Dustin, Hector, Ernan, Joe and Ripon
On Sunday we welcomed back a group of 15 divers from Russia. The crew helped to set up the guests dive gear, and make sure everything was ready, after which we gave an orientation to the vessel and safety briefing, before sitting down to dinner prepared by Chef Shea. After dinner we made some final preparations and then hit the sack to get a good night’s rest, ready for the week ahead.
Monday we did our “check out” dive on the Teshio Maru, a Japanese Cargo Vessel that was sunk in WWII during the Desecrate One operation. Decent vis, and we found some Crocodile fish, twin spot gobies, and some Nudibranchs. At 1030 we did a second wreck, The Iro, another casualty of the war. Tomato anemones cover the stern king posts, and a bunch of Squid around the mooring line and an octopus made for some nice photos. During lunch the Palau Aggressor made her way to the reef and was now moored at German channel. Our third dive was Barnums wall then it was the famous German channel look for some Mantas, lucky enough to find two Mantas feeding above the cleaning station.
Our first dive on Tuesday was at Blue Corner and our first hook in of the week. As we cruised down the wall on the way to the corner we passed quite a few reef sharks and just before arriving to our hook in spot we were greeted by the ever curious and friendly resident Napoleon Wrasse. Next dive was at Blue Holes, a very large cathedral like cavern with holes looking up to the sky and out to the blue. Light streaming in from all around makes for a magical feeling in the cave. After spending some time poking around in the cave with our lights we headed out and cruised back down the wall to have a second helping of Blue Corner to end the dive. Our last dive of the day was at Turtle cove and allowed us to drop into the chimney on the reef, which exits on the wall at about 90 feet. Afterwards we explored the most amazing reef top, which is like swimming in a huge aquarium.
Wednesday, the engines fired up early and we motored south in the gentle swell as the sun came up over the islands. With the big boat safely anchored at Camp Beck, on Peleliu Island we headed out for dive number one, Peleliu Express! Peleliu was the site of some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific, and the island still bears some of the scars that serve as a reminder to that time. This week everyone was keen join the land tour which takes in the Museum, and the cave system that the Japanese soldiers took refuge in while the Island was shelled. After Lunch we went to Orange Beach which was one of the beaches that the US Marines assaulted during WWII. Now a beautiful slopping coral garden where every now and then on can find some artifacts from the invasion. At Ngesebus gardens on the night dive we were lucky to spot a Leopard Shark.
Our Thursday trip to Blue Corner had a nice current and even more sharks than the previous day. After watching the sharks put on a show we drifted across the plateau again to find a few turtles and the school of barracuda, and as predicted the friendly Napoleon Wrasse. Our second dive of the day was at German Channel and today we were blessed with a show from three Mantas at the cleaning station.
Having made our way over to Ulong Island in the night we started Friday with an exciting drift dive at Ulong Channel which ends with a spectacular patch of Lettuce Coral and some Giant Clams. Heaps of Current and Sharks plus three eagle rays at Siaes Corner made Dive two Super fun! And at Sandy Paradise after lunch we found some leaf scorpion fish and mantis shrimp around a coral head.
Our first dive on Saturday morning was at Chandelier caves which comprises of a series of air chambers running back into the rock islands. Surfacing inside the air pockets divers can take out their regulators and breathe while checking out the stalactites and crystals. Out the front of the caves is a good spot to see Mandarin fish darting around the coral rubble and a spiny devil scorpion fish. The last dive of the week was at the Helmet wreck one of the casualties of WWII. Unlike many wrecks in Palau, which were salvaged after the war, the Helmet wreck wasn’t discovered until the eighties. As a result the divers can find many artifacts like sake bottles, weapons, cooking pots and gas masks on the wreck.
After breakfast on Sunday we said our farewells as the guests departed for their hotels, and journey home. We have had a good week of sightings with Mantas and heaps of Sharks, and everyone had a good time. We wish everyone safe travels and hope to see ya’ll again soon on the Palau Aggressor II. Keep blowing Bubbles!