Palau Aggressor Charter February 25 – March 4, 2018
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Dan, Ronnie, Shea, Hector, Jim, Dustin, Herence and Editha
Sunday afternoon we welcome aboard our guests from different parts of the world for a week of diving with the Palau Aggressor II. Thirteen people came on board first and the others arrived late night due to their flight schedule. We started right away by briefing everybody with their stateroom and setting up gear with the help of the crew members. After checking in with the captain we gathered up in the salon for the briefing about Palau and the boat itself as well as introducing of the crew. Then we had buffet dinner and the guests had rest of the evening to themselves.
The following morning everyone had breakfast and our first dive of the week was the Helmet Wreck which was only discovered during early 1990’s and most of its artifacts are still intact. This was also our check in dive so as soon as the divers had their weights and gear good to go we descended down the mooring line and started exploring the wreck. There were helmets, depth charges, rifles, sake bottles and we also spent some of our bottom time at the coral garden where we saw an octopus. The next dive was at Choyu Maru which is another WWII wreck; the divers explored the top deck of the wreck seeing the ship’s structure covered in corals and reef fishes. Lunch was served as we got back to the main boat and afterwards the guest had a briefing on how to use a reef hook while we were moving towards Ulong Island where we did the next two dives of the day. We did the next dive at Ulong Channel and saw nudibranchs in the channel as we drifted until we reached the big stacks of lettuce corals and giant clams at the end of the dive. Fourth dive was at Sandy Paradise where the divers enjoyed swimming along the edge where the corals and sandy area meet seeing lots of schooling barracudas, snappers, trevally, sleeping sharks, and the leaf scorpion fish living in a coral head. We had a delicious dinner after the dive and called it a day.
On the second day, we woke up to beautiful scenery as the sun rise lighting up Ulong Island. The guests enjoyed breakfast and headed on to a special dive at Shark City because of the snappers spawning. Everybody was amazed by the thousands of snappers gathered together on top of the reef and this occasion also brings in the bull sharks ready to charge in for their meal of the day. Next dive was at Siaes Corner where we saw plenty of sharks cruising out in the blue as we were hooked in. After lunch we went to Siaes Tunnel to see the Decorated Dart fish then spent the rest of our bottom time on the wall outside. As we got back to the main boat the engines started and we moved on to German Channel for the next dive. The divers saw a total of six mantas some in the cleaning station and the others cruising around the dive site. Everybody had a close encounter with these majestic creatures giving them great photo and video opportunity. We had surf and turf for dinner then did our night dive at Ngedebus Coral Garden where we saw a stone fish, a snake eel, a big lobster, lots of shrimps, and crabs.
The next day we had our first dive at the famous Blue Corner, everybody was able to hook in on top of the plateau and enjoyed to action from the sharks, schooling barracudas and jacks out in the blue. Blue Holes was our next dive which is a dive site connected to the wall leading to Blue Corner as well. We dropped down into one of the holes leading into a massive cavern where we spent most of our bottom time taking photos and checking out the disco clams. As we got out from the cavern we started drifting with the current on the wall outside until we reach the top of the plateau where we ended our dive. After another delicious meal our next dive was Turtle Cove, some of the divers dropped down to a chimney on top of the reef leading to the wall outside. We drifted with the current seeing lots of small critters at the wall and about 30 minutes into the dive we came up shallower and explored the top of the reef where we also did our safety stop. It was followed by a dive at Barnum’s wall where we checked out a large coral head which is a cleaning station for sharks then divers picked their depth exploring the sloping coral garden. At the end of the dive before we made our safety stop we saw a Leopard Shark just sitting on top of the reef. We had dinner and checked out Turtle Cove at night where we saw nudibranchs, lots of groupers and the wall transforming to bright yellow as the cup corals feed.
Early morning the engines started and the main boat started making its way to Peleliu Island. As we entered in to the lagoon of Camp Beck, the guests took photos and enjoyed breakfast while looking at the lovely scenery. First dive of the day was at Peleliu Corner, we dive the express and the current is moving nice and easy. So we drift along the wall first and come up and hook in. While at the hook in area we saw sharks passing by, turtles free swimming and big school of Giant travally. We unhook and swim to the wall and drifted again. Eagle ray passes by as we drift to the corner where we saw more sharks and lots of huge grouper. We come back to the big boat and 7 guests went on the land tour. The remaining guests dive West wall for second dive. This wall was vertical and it was covered with yellow soft coral mixed up with many big sea fans. Macro life can be seen at this wall, scorpion fish, nudibranch, wired coral shrimps and gobies, squat lobster and more. While in the blue you’ll see big animals like sharks, tuna and turtles. The guests that went to land tour came back as well as the divers and Chef Ronnie prepared delicious soup, slider, greens and fruits. After lunch we went out and dive Orange beach coral garden. This dive site is rich in coral and tropical fish too but one of the main attractions here are the relics from WWII. This sloping coral garden has bombs, bullets, coke bottles, chains, anchors and LVT. Fourth dive was Barrack’s point. It has walls on both side and sloping coral garden in the middle. Wherever the current goes we start at the wall and if the current is moving you end up at the other side of the wall. Like Orange beach coral garden it was covered with coral formation both hard coral and soft coral on the sloping bottom mixed with several Giant clams. Schooling of fish can be found around the place, like black snapper, barracuda and fusiliers. During the fourth dive the big boat move to Turtle cove so after the dive the skiff go straight North to meet up with the big boat. After dinner divers went over to Big drop off for our last night dive. The wall itself is right next to the island. It was a beautiful wall especially at night with all soft and hard coral are feeding and you’ll see their true colors. Creature like grouper, white tip shark as well as moray eel were hunting at this point.
Friday morning we start the day diving back to Blue corner. Started in outgoing side with strong current we hook in and in front of us are sharks on parade. Big number of fish in front and being chase with some tunas and mackerel. When we unhook we shoot fast on the top of the reef and end the dive in blue water. Second dive was scenic dive. We went over to Virgin blue holes. There is hole on top of the reef where we swim through and swim further more to a tunnel and exit at the wall. We drifted wall on the right and swim in and out to this Canyons. After lunch we dive Ngedebus Corner, yes it is a corner but not a hook in dive. Unpredictable current on this wall as the current seems to be go back and forth because of cuts along the wall. Wall is covered with soft coral and sea fans. Turtles and sharks are free swimming in the blue while lots of macro life if you focus and move slow close to the wall. Fourth dive was German Channel again. We started at the Koror State side and head our way to cleaning station. There is 1 Manta show up at the cleaning station while 5 Mantas are feeding up in the shallow water together with big bait ball. After 25 minutes of waiting at the bottom we finally swim with the Mantas and big bait ball up in the shallow water and spent the rest of our dive time. As we got back to the main vessel the boat started making its way back to Malakal Harbor while we were having our buffet dinner. Afterwards the captain talked about the things that are going to happen for the next two days that the guests are going to be on board. Then it was time to watch the video of the week put together by our video pro showing the highlights of the week. 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!