Palau Aggressor Charter July 2nd to 9th 2017
Water Temp: 27- 28 deg C
Air Temp: 30-32 deg C
Wetsuit recommendation. Rash guard/Skin or 3mm
Crew: Dan, Shea, Scott, Editha, Hector, Ernan, and Joe
On Sunday afternoon we welcomed a group of 16 divers from around the World, onboard the Palau Aggressor II. We helped them set up their dive gear and then showed them to their cabins, which would be our home for the next week. We then called them into the lounge for a quick safety briefing from the Captain, and a delicious supper or fresh caught fish, prepared and served by Ronnie and Editha. It was one of guests birthdays, so we all sang a quick chorus to celebrate. After final gear preparations were done the guests turned in for the night, to get some rest before our week of diving begins.
We started out on Monday morning with a check out dive on the Helmet wreck to dust off the cobwebs. The wreck is like a museum, still covered in artifacts from WWII, such as rifles, gas masks, Sake bottles and of course the stacks of Japanese Helmets from where the wreck gets its name ( real identity unknown!) Dive two was on the wreck of the IRO also from the War. Great opportunities to photograph the Dusky anemone fish on the king posts. During lunch we motored down to Ngemelis Island and did our first reef dive at German Channel. While most of the guests headed straight for the cleaning station, I made a quick detour with a couple who had decided to upgrade their dive skills and do their advanced course. And we did some skills for the Deep dive.
In the gentle swells on Tuesday morning we motored down to Peleliu. With the Palau Aggressor safely at anchor inside the Island, we headed out for our first hook in dive on Peleliu corner where we got to see lots of Grey reef Sharks. Most of the group went on the Peleliu land tour after dive one, to take in some of the islands rich history and learn about the very costly battle fought here in WWII. We saw lots more Turtles at Orange Beach after Lunch and some Giant Clams at Barracks Point on dive four. The night dive at Alexis coral garden produced lots of cool critters and was the first night dive for the advanced students.
On Wednesday we went to the World famous Blue Corner for some Shark, Turtle, and Barracuda action, and then to Blue Holes were we saw the disco clams and a tiny Denise’s Pygmy Seahorse. After lunch we went to Turtle Cove for a very beautiful dive with rich sea fans schooling Anthias and Basslets.
We went back to Blue Corner on Thursday morning and along with more sharks found the resident Napoleon Wrasse that lives there. New Drop Off was our second dive with some more Turtles, and schooling Blue lined Snappers. We finished of the day with a dive at German Channel, did some Navigation skills and had a fun drift passed some huge coral formations, and more Giant clams. On the night dive tonight a couple of people took out the Black light for some fluro fun!
Friday was an early start as we had wanted to go see something special; as it was three days before the Full Moon, the Red Snapper aggregate at a particular dive site for a spectacular spawning event. I was a challenging dive as there was some strong current to deal with, but totally worth it as we saw thousands of Snappers schooling together. In amongst all of the Snapper we saw a couple of Bull Sharks up close and personal, and there is some discussion amongst the crew as we are not sure if it was a Silky or an Oceanic Black tip. This dive was dive 100 for one guest and 500 for another, maybe it was the good mojo, but this was our best spawning to date! Dive two at Siaes Tunnel was the place to see some rarer species, and a good opportunity to do the Fish Id specialty dive. Dive three at Sandy Paradise has Leaf Scorpion fish and Mantis shrimp are on the dive card! We finished of this amazing dive day with a cool drift past the Lettuce corals and Giant Clams at Ulong Channel!
Saturday began with a dive at the “Jake” sea plane. Once used for aerial reconnaissance this Jake now sits in a coral garden in about 50ft of water making it ideal for the last advanced dive of Peak Performance Buoyancy, which was a lot of fun playing games to hone the skills. It is also great for Photographers as the plane is largely intact and would have to be one of the most photographed underwater plane wrecks anywhere.
Our last dive of the charter 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 regs 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.
Saturday night we gathered in the Salon to watch the Photo slide show and have a few drinks to celebrate another wonderful week of diving onboard the Palau Aggressor 2, before going out to dinner in one of Koror’s fine restaurants.
Great food, great company and great diving. Hope to see you all again soon!