Palau Aggressor Charter Jan. 14 – Jan. 21, 2018
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Ronnie, Hector, Ripon, Joe, Jim, Jay and Herence
Sunday afternoon we welcome aboard our dive buddies of the week from different parts of the world. Some guests came on board first and the others came late at night due to their flight schedule. We started the week by briefing the guests with their staterooms then setting up gears with the help of the crew members. Afterwards everybody went to the salon for the captains briefing and introducing everybody to each other. As soon as the briefing was done it was time for a delicious buffet dinner prepared by Chef Ronnie and Steward Jay. Then the guests headed on to their rooms to get some rest for the next day of diving!
The following morning everybody gathered again at the salon for breakfast and was able to meet the other guests that came late the previous night. Our check in dive was at Helmet Wreck where everybody checked their weights and made sure all of their gears are good to go. Once the divers are all set we descended down and explored the wreck that has lots of artifacts like depth charges, rifles, Japanese helmets and macro species as well. It was followed by a dive at another WWII wreck called the Iro Maru. The divers descended down along the mooring line and explored the top deck of the ship which now covered with soft and hard corals. At the kin posts everybody circled around taking photos of the tomato anemone fish and giant clams at the top. Back in the big boat buffet lunch was served then it was time for reef hook briefing for the third dive at Ulong Channel. We started at the left side of the channel then drifted along with the current until we’ve reach the hook in area. Everybody stayed hooked in for few minutes then we went into the channel seeing different types of nudibranchs and some sharks. The current was moving so we reached the stacks of lettuce corals and got to the giant clams that are about 100 years old at the end of the dive. Last dive of the day was at Sandy Paradise, it was very relaxing, the guests saw schooling barracudas and sleeping white tip sharks at the sandy bottom. We had dinner back in the boat then everybody had the evening to themselves hanging out at the salon.
Second day of the charter we went diving at Sandy Paradise once again and explored the reef seeing the different schooling fishes. Then it was followed by a dive at Siase Corner where we drifted along the current on top of the plateau seeing the beautiful reef covered with soft and hard corals. Sushi was our food for lunch then after our surface interval we headed on to a dive at Siase Tunnel. Everybody was enthusiastic on getting into the big cave and explored the walls with their flashlights. We spent most of our bottom time inside the cave and at the exit we were able to see the Decorated Dart Fish, Blue Back Pygmy Angel fish and the Black and White Butterfly fish. As we got back to the big boat the engines started and headed towards German Channel for our fourth dive of the day. We dropped down at the right side of the channel which is a part of the Koror State, and then we started swimming towards the cleaning stations but did not see any mantas so we decided to explore the channel itself and saw lots of schooling fishes and the beautiful formations of soft and hard corals. After our delicious dinner we did our first night dive of the week was at Alexis Coral garden where we got to see turtles, shrimps, crabs and lionfish.
On Wednesday it got more exciting as we did our first dive at the famous Blue Corner! We dropped down at the incoming side and drifted along with the current until we’ve reached the hook in site. The current was moving so we spent most of our bottom time hooked in and looking out into the blue. Everybody enjoyed watching a great show from the sharks, schooling snappers, jacks, and barracudas swimming in front of the divers. The very friendly Napoleon wrasse was also hanging around getting close to the divers every once in a while. One of our lovely guests started yelling “I love Palau!” as soon as he got to the surface which indicated how awesome the dive was! It was followed by a dive at another great site called Blue Holes where the divers dropped down into one of the holes leading to a massive cavern. We explored the cave and looked around the walls seeing nudibranchs, flatworms, and the disco clam. Afterwards we continued on to the wall outside and saw some sharks passing by. Then it was time for another delicious lunch back in the big boat and after few moments of resting we headed to Turtle Cove. It was a relaxing dive as everybody just spread out exploring the beautiful wall covered with colorful soft and hard corals with lots of macro species as well. For our fourth dive, we decided to head back to German Channel again hoping to see the mantas and finally this time they showed up! Five mantas in total where feeding at the surface giving everybody an amazing experience and photo opportunity. The guests were very happy as we got back to the big boat and talked about the amazing day of diving up until dinner. And for the last dive of the day we went to turtle cove and saw the wall transform at night turning into bright yellow as the cup corals feed. There were also shrimps, crabs, and lobsters with their eyes shining red as the divers shine their lights.
The engines started early morning the next day and headed to Peleliu Island, the boat got moored inside the lagoon of Camp Beck and the guests woke up to a new view. Everybody enjoyed their breakfast looking at the nice scenery of the lagoon and a lovely morning as the sun rise. Then it was time to go diving at Peleliu Corner which is very famous for its potential strong currents. We dropped down at the right side of the corner which is called “The Express” and the name says it all because the dive lasted for about 20 minutes due to the current moving really fast. The divers reached the corner in a short period of time but they were able to see lots of sharks out in the blue as they were drifting. Second dive was at West Wall where we started off with the wall on our right. There were schooling Orange Spine Surgeon fish, some turtles, and sharks along the wall. We had our lunch back in the big boat then went diving just outside the lagoon which is called the Orange Beach, a code name that the First Marine Division used to identify the different beaches in the island when they were about to invade it. At the dive site we saw plenty of artifacts left during the WWII such as bullets, coke bottle and landing crafts all covered with corals. As we got back to the boat the engines started and headed back to German Channel. Along the way the divers where dropped down with the skiff at Barracks Point to do the fourth dive of the day. Everybody explored the coral garden where we saw the colorful reef and some giant clams as well. After dinner the night dive was at Big Drop-Off, we drifted with the wall on our right side and explored different depths. We saw a big snail, hunting groupers, shrimps, crabs, and nudibranchs.
Friday morning we came back to Blue Corner wanting to see another action filled dive! The current was just mild so the divers were able to swim and explore the rest of the plateau playing with the Napoleon Wrasse, seeing different schooling fishes and sharks. The second dive was at New Drop-Off which is another hook in dive, we explored the wall until seeing turtles, nudibranchs, sharks until we reached the hook in site. Then it was time for lunch at the big boat, since the guests loved blue corner so much we went again for the third time! And without any disappointment the action was as good as the previous dives. And for our last dive of the day we went to German Channel for the last time to check out some mantas. There were three in total at the cleaning station where the guests had a close encounter as the majestic mantas swim around everybody. As we got back to the big boat it was time for dinner and head back to Koror. Afterwards it was time for the video of the week put together by our video pro Jim. The guests enjoyed watching and had the rest of the evening hanging out the salon.
The following day we did our two last dive of the week, the first one was at Chandelier Cave where the divers explored the cave popping out into air chambers being able to take out their regulators talk to each other and appreciate the rock formations. Outside the cave was a coral garden where we saw the Mandarin Fish and a pretty nudibranch. The second dive was at another WWII victim called the Jake Sea plane. It is a Japanese Spy Plane that crashed during the war and is now a dive site just close to Koror. Aside from the plane, it is also surrounded by a nice coral garden that the divers explored and spent their bottom time. After the dive we went into one of the island checking out some nesting sea snakes at the mushroom like rock islands. As we got back to the boat we started cleaning our gears and hung them to dry afterwards it was time for lunch and settling of bills. The guests had the rest of the afternoon for free, some decided to go ashore to check out what the island is like while the others decided to stay and pack their stuff. At 6 p.m. everybody gathered back into the salon for the cocktail party and the slideshow of photos throughout the week was playing on the big screen. The captain thanked everybody and it was time for dinner off the boat with their restaurant of choice. Late night there were guests who had flights and got dropped off to shore for their transport to the airport.
On Sunday the remaining guests had their continental breakfast and had their luggage ready to put on the skiff for their final departure. Everybody said their farewell, dropped off to the island and headed to their destinations. It has been a week full of experiences! Until then, safe diving and we hope to see you again soon.