Palau Aggressor Charter February 11-18th, 2018
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Ronnie, June, Joe, Jim, Shea and Herence
On Sunday we welcomed aboard 13 guests from Indiana. After a welcome drink and orientation to their staterooms we helped them to set up their gear. Once everybody was set, we gathered at the salon to introduce the crew and have the Captain’s Briefing. After the briefing we had dinner and the guests had the rest of the evening to themselves, some went straight to bed to get some sleep, some stayed up to catch up with their friends.
The following early morning we motor the boat all the way down to Ulong Island and started the week diving in the outer reef. The first dive was Sandy Paradise. A good dive site to do the check out dive with the sloping coral garden and not much current. This dive site has always big school of fish with lots of predator to watch and macro life on the coral garden itself. You’ll see turtles and sharks free swimming in the blue too. Our second dive was Siaes tunnel. This tunnel is more or less 150 meters with big opening at 90 feet. There is ambient light inside coming through two holes or exit on the other side of the tunnel. Some pretty rare fish can be found inside like black and white butterfly fish, blue back pygmy angel fish, decorated and helfrich dart fish and nudibranch as well. For our third dive was Siaes Corner. This one is a small corner and the plateau is covered with beautiful coral formation both hard and soft corals. Suppose to be a hook in dive but the current this week was unpredictable even though we are close to new moon. The current keep switching on us so we end up going left and right on top of the beautiful coral garden with turtles and sharks around. The fourth dive was the famous Ulong channel. Started on the mooring close to the wall and we make our way to the mouth. When we got there the current was slack so we did not hook in and head inside the channel. Several minutes later the current pick up out going current. When we get back to the big boat the supper was ready prepared by chefs Ronnie.
Tuesday we started the day with a dive at Sandy Paradise again but this time was special dive because of the spawning of Bump head parrot fish. We started at the mooring and stop by at the cleaning station. While waiting at the cleaning station we saw the school of bump head heading to the mouth of the channel where they going to do the spawning. We immediately follow them and waited for them to do their spawning. When it started we swim up in the shallow and watched the show till the end of the dive where we saw more than thousands of them. Our second dive was a repeat dive again due to the request of the group. We did Ulong Channel again and because the current is out going we started from inside the channel to outside reef. Two Giant clams at the beginning of the dive, then we pass the big patch of lettuce coral and as we drift outside the beautiful coral formation was scenic in the eyes of our divers. While the guest were diving, the big boat move a little closer to German Channel and the skiff catch up with the big boat. We arrived at German channel and we secured the boat on our mooring. After lunch we head out and do New Drop Off. It was a hook in dive, beautiful wall at the beginning and end up on the top of the reef to look for school of barracuda, lots of turtles and macro life. In between third and fourth dive we move the big boat on the outer reef at Turtle cove. For our fourth dive we dive the German Channel and we start on Koror Side. We swim straight to cleaning station and after 15 minutes of waiting the manta show up did couple loops on the cleaning station and took off. We then swim across the channel and checked the other cleaning station and saw another manta. We come back to the boat to get ready our equipment for night diving. Night dive was at Turtle cove. It was a vertical wall with lots of cup coral and soft coral along the wall. Turtles and parrot fish together with triggers can be found sleeping on the ledges too. You’ll see lots of red eye for crustaceans crawling on the wall as well.
Early Wednesday morning we start the engine and head down to Peleliu South dock and for our first dive in the morning we did Peleliu Cut. The wall is vertical up and down covered with small yellow soft coral, lot of long sea whips and big black coral. It was slack current so we did not hook in but still saw lots of marine life like schooling of surgeons, jacks and black snapper. we did manage to go down at the tip of the coral and saw big stuff like Marble and Malavar grouper, sharks, turtle and Napoleon wrasse. In between dives there were 6 guests decided to go on the land tour. For our second dive we go back to the corner and dive Peleliu express. Given by the name this time the current was not express so we have the chance of exploring more of the plateau and saw lots of marine life like the first one. Third dive was Orange beach coral garden where the marines landed during invasion of Peleliu, so on this dive site you’ll see lots of artifacts such as bullets, bombs, coke bottles, LVT’s, and more. Plus the marine life and beautiful coral garden of course. Fourth dive was Barrack’s Point. While the divers are down under water the big boat was currently moving back to turtle cove. Similar to orange beach coral garden this dive site have wall on both ends and sloping beautiful coral garden in the middle. You’ll see Giant clam, variety of angels and butterfly fish, anemones, nudibranch and school of different fish. On our way back to big boat while the sun is setting, there were big pods of dolphins that we play with. It was a quick turn over when we get back to the big boat for our night dive. We dive the Ngedebus Wall. There were lots of critters that we saw one of them was the squat lobster, crinoids shrimp, cowry shell, and the robust ghost pipe fish.
Thursday morning our first dive of the day was at the famous Blue Corner. The current was in coming so we dropped down with the wall on our right then drifted until we reached the hook in site. Everybody got hooked in and watched the show out in the blue with lots of sharks, snappers, barracudas, and many other fishes. Blue holes for our second dive and this one is one of the favorite of the photographer. It was beautiful and scenic inside the cavern. The sun ray makes the cavern looks like cathedral and beautiful shots of the diver silhouette with the blue water on the back ground. Third dive was turtle cove and similar to the last one it has hole on top and end up in small cavern. When you exit and turn right you’ll see vertical wall with lots of soft coral and sea fans plus macro life along the wall. We saw Sharks, turtles, Fusiliers, Jacks and Barracuda in the blue water. Fourth dive was repeat dive and we went to German Channel again but this time we started at the Peleliu side mooring. We check out the cleaning station in both side and decided to swim alongside the mouth of the channel where we saw sharks, school of fish and turtles. We swim back to Peleliu side cleaning station and saw two mantas to end the dive. For our night dive we went over to German Coral Garden where we saw nudibranch, slugs, shrimps and crabs and lots of sleeping fish.
Friday morning we start the day diving Blue corner one more time. Same like the first one it was incoming and just a little bit of current. We drifted all the way to 60 feet hook in area and hooked in there. Watch several sharks, couple tuna and Spanish mackerel and one big great barracuda. When the current switch we did swim to the other side and saw octopus on the other side. We drifted to the corner and saw more stuff like big school of barracudas and jack fish. For our second dive we went and dive Big drop off. It was a beautiful wall with the sun hitting the wall you’ll see lots of soft coral and sea fans scatters along the dive site. And of course the wall itself has a lot of critters to offer. While the guests are in the water the big boat move inside the lagoon and when the guests come back from the dive we start the big boat heading back close to the Harbor to do wreck dives. So for our third dive we dive The Iro. It was the largest wreck in Palau with 472 feet in length. It has two big guns in bow and stern, lots of king post, superstructure and critters like ringed pipe fish, nudibranch and lots of tomato anemones. For our fourth dive we went over Haf A Dai. It was another wreck that seats upright on depth around 80 feet. Blue dragon nudibranch is one of the special find on this wrecks, lion fish and spade fish are around the wreck too.
Saturday morning we went to the Jake Sea Plane for a unique photo opportunity. The visibility is great perfect for the chance like this. The pajama cardinal and sea slugs are good find on this dive site. Second dive was Chandelier Caves and the cave itself was stunning. After checking the air chambers we swim out and explore the coral garden outside and outside is where we saw mandarin, signal goby and Razor fish. After lunch the guests got some free time before the cocktail party and then headed into town for some dinner at one of Palau’s fine restaurants.
Sunday morning at 2:30 AM we skiff 11 guests to shore, helped them with their luggage and said our goodbyes to head home or continue on their journey. It was 8:00 AM when we say farewell to our 2 remaining guests. Thanks to everyone for joining us this week, from all of us here at on the Palau Aggressor II….stay safe and keep blowing bubbles!