Palau Aggressor Charter February 18-25, 2018
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Ronnie, Shea, June, Jim, Dustin, Herence and Editha
On Sunday we welcome aboard 17 guests from different parts of the world to be our dive buddies for the week. As soon as everybody got to the big boat we started right away by briefing them with their staterooms and set up their gear with the help of the crew members. Afterwards we gathered in the salon for the captain’s briefing then had buffet dinner prepared by Chef Ronnie and our stewardess Editha. The guests had the rest of the evening to themselves hanging out in the salon while the others went straight to bed.
The next morning we had breakfast and another safety briefing on how we’re going to do the dives throughout the week. Then we did our first dive of the week at Helmet Wreck also as our check in dive, the skiff got tied to the mooring and the divers entered the water via back roll. Everybody checked their weights and gear then descended down the mooring line approaching the stern of the boat. We explored the wreck seeing the depth charges, stacks of helmets, rifles, and sake bottles. The divers still had bottom time so we explored the coral garden where we spotted an octopus. It was followed by a dive at Iro Maru which was a Japanese tanker during the WWII. We dropped down the mooring line attached to the ship itself and started exploring the top deck. The highlight of the dive was the kin posts covered in corals and at the top there were giant clams and tomato anemone fishes. Back in the big boat we had lunch then we moved to German Channel area for our third dive of the day at Barnums Wall. The divers drifted with the current picking their depths along the wall seeing lots of critters and sharks out in blue. On the fourth dive we went to German Channel, we started at the Koror Side of the channel and as we approached the cleaning station there were 10 mantas feeding at the surface so we all came up shallower to get a close encounter. Everybody enjoyed a breathtaking experience getting close to the mantas swimming around the surface. The divers were very happy as we got back to the boat talking about how great the first day of diving was. We had dinner then another briefing on how to use a reef hook.
On Tuesday our first dive of the day was at Blue Corner, we started at the incoming side and just drifted along with the current until we reached the hook in site. There were sharks, barracudas, jacks and the friendly Napoleon Wrasse. The second dive was at Blue Holes where the guests picked one of the holes leading into a massive cavern and spent most of our bottom time exploring the walls. We continued swimming to the wall outside seeing sharks and a great barracuda at the end of the dive. After our delicious sushi lunch the boat moved again to Turtle Cove for our next dive. The current was moving so we drifted with the wall on our right seeing the square spot Anthias, lots of soldier fish and on the middle of the dive everybody saw a hammerhead which is very unusual in this dive site. The guests were able to have a close look at it as it was swimming past everybody. On the fourth dive we headed to New Drop-Off for another hook in dive. The current was just mild so after few minutes of hooking in we were able to explore the top of the plateau seeing lots of turtles, an octopus, sharks, and schooling barracudas. Our dinner was surf and turf then we went on a night dive at Ngedebus Coral Garden, the guests enjoyed looking at the reef fishes sleeping as they were tucked in to the corals.
The following morning the engines started early and the boat made its way to Peleliu Island. Everybody enjoyed breakfast while looking at the beautiful scenery as the sun rise lighting up the lagoon. After breakfast did the first dive of the day at Purple Beach, it was one of the areas where the 1st Marine Division landed during the WWII as they were invading the island. After the dive the guest where split into two, ten guests went on a guided land tour on the island to see where the bloodiest battle in the Pacific happened. The remaining guests went on a dive at Barracks Point and saw the giant clams. At noon everybody got back to the boat and had lunch together then went on the next dive at Orange Beach which is another landing area during the world war that had lot of artifacts scattered around the coral garden like coke bottles, bullets, and landing crafts. The fourth dive was at West Wall where the divers had a relaxing dive drifting along with the current seeing plenty of sharks and friendly turtles passing by. After our surface interval we went to Orange Beach once again for our night dive then it was time for dinner. While everybody was enjoying their meal the engines started and we headed to Turtle Cove again to spend the night.
On Thursday we decided to go back to the famous dives sites again to see more action. The first dive of the day was at Blue Corner, everybody was able to hook in and enjoy the show from the sharks out in the blue. There where schooling Horse Eyed Jacks, Barracudas and plenty of fishes on top of the reef. The current was a bit strong so we spent most of our time hooked in and as soon as we unhooked the current pushed us to the other side of the plateau where we finished our safety stop. We went back to German Channel for our second dive hoping to see the Mantas again and this time we saw 11 mantas in total feeding at the surface swimming in circles in front of the divers. Everybody was very happy as we got back to the boat. We had burger for lunch and after few minutes of resting we did our third dive at Dexter’s Wall then the fourth dive at Big Drop-Off. We had dinner first before heading on to our night dive at German Coral Garden where spotted some white tip sharks hunting at night and the Twin Spot Lion fish. After the night dive the engines started once again and we headed to Ulong Island for the next day of diving.
The guests woke up to a new view of Ulong Island where the boat was moored and after breakfast we headed on to our first dive at Siaes Corner. We dropped down along the wall and drifted with the current until we reached the hook in site where we saw lots of sharks and the schooling Moorish Idols on top of the reef. On the second dive we went to Siaes Tunnel where we spent most of our bottom time inside the tunnel to look for the Blue Back Pygmy Angel Fish, Black and White Butterfly Fish, and the Decorated Dart Fish at the sandy bottom of the exit. After the dive we had lunch then continued on to our third dive at Ulong Channel. The divers were able to hook in at the mouth of the channel and after few minutes we unhooked and let the current push us into the channel until we reached the big stacks of lettuce corals and giant clams. Sand Paradise was our fourth dive where we dropped down along the mooring line and started swimming until we reach the area where the coral garden and the sandy area meet. We continued swimming along the edge and checked out few coral heads that had cleaner wrasses, leaf scorpion fish, mantis shrimp, and moray eel. After the dive we had dinner in the boat while heading back close to Malakal Harbor. While having dessert our cruise director discussed about things that will happen for the next two days that the guests will be on board afterwards it was time to watch the video of the week put together by our video pro. The guests enjoyed watching the highlights of the trip remembering all the fun times and great diving.
Saturday morning after having breakfast we did our last two dives for the week. The first was at Chandelier Cave where the divers explored the cave popping out into the air chambers being able to take out their regulators talk to each other and appreciate the rock formations. Then outside the cave we spent the rest of the dive at the coral garden looking for the Mandarin Fish. While we were on our surface interval the guests settled their bills then went on the last dive of the week at 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 we saw a great barracuda swimming around the coral garden then we spent the rest of our bottom time exploring the dive site. As we got back to the boat we started cleaning our gears and hung them to dry then had our lunch. 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.
On Sunday the 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 an amazing week with our lovely guests! Thanks again for joining us, safe travels and we hope to see you again soon!