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Rock Islands Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Jul 09, 2017
Entry By: Rock Islands Aggressor Crew









 



     Sunday afternoon we welcomed aboard 13 guests from around the world. We started with a quick introduction to the staterooms and then on the dive deck, everyone set up their dive gear. Once everyone was checked in, we headed up stairs to cover the vessel orientation & safety briefing and soon after we sat down to dinner prepared by our chef. After dinner some guests worked on camera gear, the others were heading to bed.4.45am morning 1 more guest arrived

  

   Monday morning we gathered around the TV in the salon for the general dive briefing then headed down to the dive deck. Also big boat move to other mooring. We moved the guests gear out to the skiff and headed out to the Helmet Wreck for our first dive. We tied the skiff up at the mooring and entered the water. All the guests did a quick weight check and descended down the mooring. We swam over to the stern of the wreck and entered the aft cargo hold, we saw the depth charges and the Japanese WWII helmets. We then continued down the deck and entered the middle cargo hold saw more depth charges and the spotlight. We swam through the cargo hold to the front hold and saw the Zero engines. We circled around at the bow and in the wire coral, found a zeno crab. We swam back up the wreck and spent some time viewing the artifacts at the stern before finishing our dive. Our second dive was at was at The Iro. This is one of the biggest wrecks and sits in the Western Lagoon. Starting down the mooring we descended down the bow of the wreck seeing the massive gun on the bow. We then continued along the deck of the wreck past the king posts finding two ringed pipe fish in a bush of black coral Crocodile fish. Along the way we found several types of nudibranchs as well. We looked down into the engine room seeing the large single motor, and turned around at the stern gun. We circled up the last king post we call the tripod to the group of red anemones at the top. The photographers took turns getting photos of the anemones and the tomato anemone fish. We then swam from king post to king post back to the mooring at the front of the ship to do our safety stop. During lunch the boat continued on to the Ulong area and after we covered the last briefing on how to use reef hooks. Dive three was at Siaes Corner. We started on the outgoing side of the corner and swam along the wall seeing the beautiful sea fans and soft coral. At the corner we hooking in coming side for a while but the current died off so we unhooked and spent the rest of the dive exploring the coral garden. We saw a turtle and schools of fish. For dive four we went to Ulong channel We started at the mooring from the wall exploring all the way to hooking area We saw a sharks, dog tooth tuna after unhook we see anemone, flatworms, and the big stacks of lettuce corals with plenty squirrel fishes hanging around it then we end of our dive 2 giant clams side by side cover with soft coral. We returned to the big boat, dinner was ready and during dinner a fish ID presentation was playing on the TV. After dinner most of the guests were off to bed to get ready for tomorrow.      

 

     Tuesday morning we started the day with a deeper dive at Siaes Tunnel. We tied the skiff off at the mooring and descended down to the entrance of the tunnel. Through the tunnel we saw the decorated dart fish, black and white butterfly fish nudibranchs and beautiful sea fans. We exited the tunnel and went out along the wall seeing a couple of sharks in the blue and turtles. Slowly we work our way up the wall as mentioned in the briefing earlier for the search of the beautiful display of the Peach Fairy Anthiases. As it is shallow enough to do our safety stop and enjoy the wonderful display of various reef fishes we decided to so before we all surfaced. Sandy Paradise the 2nd dive of the day. The wind direction had shifted already now coming from the south south east and by the looks of the white caps on the surface clearly it was an outgoing current. We all get in and head down to have a glimpse of the manta rock to see I we had any luck. None. Cruising to the leaf fish rock

We encountered 4 or 5 Gray reef sharks swimming around while the school of bar jacks and scads stay close to the sandy bottom side by side. At he leaf fish rock the residing leaf fishes were found and so was the hungry mantis shrimp. After our sushi lunch we did our third dive big drop off we started wall on right we saw nudibranchs, turtles, anemone, soft coral, sea fan and long nose hawkfish. We German Channel as our 4th. We started the dive from the Koror side and our first stop was at red anemone, we took photos and video and continued on the Koror side cleaning station. We kneeled down in the sand and waited but no mantas came in to be cleaned. So onto the otherside we went. No mantas cleaning as well. However, we did see a couple gray reef sharks circling the station taking turns waiting to be cleaned. After a while we decided to drift inwards in search for lettuce corals and such, then up to our safety stop and then out. We came back to the boat for a dinner and then back out again for the last dive. Our 5th and last was the German coral garden. We tied off on the red anemone mooring line and began the dive there. Slowly we descend and head towards the red anemone to see if she is in the mood to play as the moon was very bright. Most fishes were up and moving because of the moonlight . We managed to find a few flat worms and some nudibranchs as we were slowly combing the sloping rubbled reef to do our safety stop.

Wednesday morning we woke and started the day with our first dive at the world famous Blue Corner, the current was outgoing and we started with the wall on our left. We saw a couple of sharks in the blue before the hook in area and we hooked in for a while. There were sharks in the blue, a friendly napoleon wrasse swim in and out of all the divers and some guests had a big nose unicorn fish shaking in their bubbles when they exhaled. We unhooked and spent a short time exploring the top of the reef before heading up to start our safety stop. Dive two was at Blue Holes. We tied up the skiff to the mooring and did a surface swim over to the 4 holes on top of the reef. We picked the closest hole and descended into the chamber. We enjoyed the chamber with all the ambient light streaming in from above, found the disco clams and played with the hairy shrimp in their holes at the bottom. We headed along the wall towards Blue Corner and once there we came up on top the plateau to explore before ending our dive. We didn’t make it all the way to the hook in area at Blue Corner. After lunch dive three was at Turtle Cove. The tide was pretty low to tie off to the mooring line and the wind was also blowing from the south west so we went ahead and did a live drop not too far from the edge of the reef from the hole area. The top of the reef to the hole however was deep enough for everyone to access and do a safe descent despite the surface conditions. For the first 5 minutes we were head on with the opposing current. When the incoming current finally set into motion and moving, then the beautiful Turtle Cove slowly came life and revealed itself as we were all enjoying its fruitful display of overwhelming life. The came to an end as we drifted up over and around the corner. * The amazing incoming New Drop Off was our entertainment for the 4th dive of the day, and it was one of those dives where we literally had to force ourselves to unhook and move along. The current was a 5 and a half on a scale from 1 to 10. Enough to get the party started and popping with a sudden exploding display of fusiliers while a GT and Spanish mackerel attack simultaneously again and again. We ended the dive out in the blue with all smiles. I “ Angelo” felt like a star again as I patted on the back for organizing the dive and putting all together.LOL…. It gets old. We came back to the boat for another delicious dinner put together by Ronnie. Big Drop Off was the 5th and final of the day or night as it was a night dive. The usual findings. Flat worms ,slipper lobster and a couple other nocturnal wild life kept us entertained for the whole 45 minutes. Hot choco with mushrooms and beers of choice were awaiting the well earned divers at our arrival.

  

 

Early Thursday morning the big boat started up and headed down to the island of Peleliu. We secured the boat in South Dock aka Camp Beck and after breakfast, went to Peleliu Corner for our first dive. The current was outgoing and it was light. We did a live drop over the reef and descended down to the reef. We swam along the wall and hooked in around the cut. We saw a couple of sharks in the blue but soon unhooked and drifted across the plateau finding “Dory” before doing our ascent. After the dive 11 guests went on the Peleliu WWII land tour. They spent 3 hours exploring the island. They saw the museum, Japanese head quarters, Japanese tank and memorials. They also explored a cave on the north end of the island. For dive two the remaining 3 divers went back to west wall for dive two. After lunch our third dive is barracks point. This is beautiful coral garden with both hard and soft corals. We saw schools of snappers, jacks and 20 turtles and one giant clam after 30 mins. current switched so we turned go with current. Our 4th dive Peleliu orange beach coral garden the three bombs drifted along the slopping coral garden. We saw the 1940’s era coke bottles and bullets and parts of a landing craft. We also saw turtles, white tip sharks, and beautiful anemones. The current was pushing us along wall and we ended the dive at the mooring for West Wall. After the dive the big boat left Peleliu south dock. during dinner the big boat moved back to our mooring. For our last night dive was at turtle cove We started from the mooring wall on top the reef, we saw soft coral, yellow cup coral, leaf scorpion fish tucked in along the side and then went out to the wall. We saw other macro life and a white tip shark out hunting along the reef.

 

     On Friday we started the day with our first dive German channel. we started Peleliu side of the channel first stopped at Peleliu side cleaning station one manta. We headed across the channel to the Koror side cleaning station no manta Koror side we heading to the beautiful coral garden. we end of our dive red anemone. Our second dive world fomous blue corner It was a light outgoing current but before we reached the hooking area the current picked up. We stayed hooked in for 40 mins. We spent the rest of the dive exploring the plateau finding turtles, blue lined snapper and schools of fish. We noticed two groupers that were fighting for space and neither one backed down. They were looked together at the mouth and let the divers get close. After a while the broke apart in a very violent sounding tearing sound, that had too of hurt. Dive 3 we went to Dexters Wall. We descended down and on the sandy bottom. We continued the dive swimming along the wall seeing several turtles and nudibranchs. White tips were patrolling the blue waters and shallows occasionally allthe the fusiliers were scattered allout in the blue. The Pyramid Butterfly fishes covered the whole reef for the entire dive. We ended the dive around the other sand channel out and away from the disturbed shallow reef. For the last and final dive was the amazing Barnums Wall. Timing was perfect. An hour into the beginning of the incoming tide brought the fresh nutrients for all fish to feed and hunt before the sun went down on the other side. All the while, as the sun was setting on the west it was shinning directly onto Barnums Wall providing light creating an atmosphere both mysterious and colorful. The over hangs, the crevices and the contours are somewhat shaded from the unique angle of the sun ray beaming from the west making the reef light up with various spectacular colors provided by the thick sponges , soft corals and sea fans. WE head right back to the big boat after a fantastic day of diving to enjoy the sunset and dinner .Back at the boat the guests had a few drinks at the boats bar, and soon sat down to our final supper of prime rib, potatoes, mixed veggies, Yorkshire puddings, and salad. After dinner we moved over to the TV and watched our video pros movie of the week. All the guests enjoyed the look back at the week of diving. During dinner the big boat moved back over to the Ulong area to get ready for the next day of diving.

 

     Saturday morning the first dive was Ulong channel. We started went along wall We took some time looking at the two anemones and some. We swam further along the reef looking for the bumpheads; we saw a couple small groups of them but no mating. During our surface interval we returned the toys that were checked out to the guests because they don’t need them for the last dive, later we met up stairs for a group photo and our last dive of the charter was at Chandelier Cave. All the divers except one surfaced in all four air chambers to take photos of the stalactites and crystal formations that formed on the roof of the cave. Outside the cave we found the mandarin fish, signal gobies, and some nudi’s we only see on the inner reef. We were very lucky to find a spiny devil fish as well. Back at the big boat the guests washed and hung up their gear to dry, lunch was soon ready. After lunch we settled the bills and started free time. One guest check out the boat to check in one of the hotel in town and some guests went ashore to check email and at 6pm we gathered in the salon for the beer and wine party and watched a photo slideshow of the week of all the images our photo pro took this week and the guests received the images to take home with them. We wrapped up the party and all the guests went ashore for dinner at a restaurant of their choosing. We picked them up at 9 from dinner and some guests stayed up editing photos and chatting.

 

Sunday morning the rest of the guests woke up to continental breakfast. Just before 8am we loaded up the skiff with luggage, said our final goodbyes and skiffed the guests ashore to transfer them to their hotels for a least an extra day in Palau. The weather was great this week, we had some sunny days and some overcast days with rain. The water temperature was around 80 degrees all week but that changed slightly with the currents and how deep we dived. We would like to thank everyone for joining us this week and hope to see you all again soon.

 

         -Rock Islands Aggressor Crew