Palau Aggressor Charter April 1-8 2018
Water Temp: 80-85 deg F
Air Temp: 85-90 deg F
Crew: Jim, Shea, Dustin, Ronnie, Joe, Editha, Hector
Sunday afternoon we welcome aboard our guests from different parts of the world for a week of diving with the Palau Aggressor II. 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.
After a good night’s sleep, we began our day with a check out dive on the Helmet Wreck. Having not been salvaged after the war, due to a late discovery, the wreck is still home to many artifacts from the time she sank, making it an interesting dive of discovery and history. She also now plays host to a great number of critters, all to be found by the exploring macro photographer. Saw-Blade Shrimp, Crabs, and Crocodile Fish are among what can be seen by those with a keen eye. Dive two was another wreck inside the harbor called the Iro, sometimes missed called the Iro Maru, “Maru” meaning cargo vessel. As the Iro was a fleet oil tanker she doesn’t get that title. One of the larger and deeper wrecks here in Koror, it would take multiple dives to fully explore this wreck. Our brief intro to the Iro, had us swimming with some schooling Fusiliers, a Cuttlefish and checking out the Tomato anemone fish that live on top of one of the king posts. During lunch we made our way out the reef with our first stop at German channel. Our third dive was Big drop off then it was the famous German channel look for some Mantas, lucky enough to find two Mantas feeding above the cleaning station.
Our first dive on Tuesday was at Blue Corner and our first hook in of the week. As we cruised down the wall on the way to the corner we passed quite a few reef sharks and just before arriving to our hook in spot we were greeted by the ever curious and friendly resident Napoleon Wrasse. Next dive was back to Blue corner because it was just too good that the guests demanded more of it. Then it was to new drop of for another hook in dive. Our fourth and last dive of the day was at Turtle cove which allowed us to drop into the chimney on the reef, which exits on the wall at about 45 feet. Afterwards we explored the most amazing reef top, which is like swimming in a huge aquarium.
Wednesday, the engines fired up early and we motored south in the gentle swell as the sun came up over the islands. With the big boat safely anchored at Camp Beck, on Peleliu Island we headed out for dive number one, Peleliu Express! We saw a bunch of sharks and schooling sea breams. !). Dive two at West Wall, produced a couple of Turtles! After lunch we headed to barracks point and saw some huge giant clams. Dive four was to Orange Beach, more Clown Trigger fish, Moorish Idols, and buried in the corals, some .50 Caliber rounds, and Mortar and Artillery shells, and again for our night dive.
On Thursday morning we headed to our first dive at German channel and we were lucky enough to see three types of rays during the dive, Eagle ray, Manta ray, and a feather tailed ray. Our second dive was at Ngemelis wall then it was off to blue holes. A site with another big cavern, a few disco clams (we make people disco dance to show them) and a beautiful wall at the end of the dive you finish at the blue corner. After that we go to Barnum’s wall. Here we would see the crocodile fish and a few nudibranches. We would finish at German coral garden with a night dive. A greet dive as always.
Having made our way over to Ulong Island in the night we started Friday with an exciting drift dive at Ulong Channel which ends with a spectacular patch of Lettuce Coral and some Giant Clams. We then went to Siaes Tunnel to try and find some of the rare critters that call it home, including Frog Fish, Pygmy Seahorses and Decorated Dart Fish. Next we would go to Siaes Corner where there would be lots of Reef sharks and white tip sharks in abundance. We would also get to see an Anthias, Barracuda, Nudibranchs and even a couple large Moray eels. Then Sandy paradise for our fourth dive, this site is a crew favorite. It’s got a sandy area where we would see a large Marble Ray swim by to start the dive. Then on the right is the entire pristine reef where we would get to see a yellow reef scorpion fish, two mantis shrimp, a couple large eels, and a few very large Nudibranchs to round out the dive.
Our first dive last day 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 regulators 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. Then with our 2nd and final dive was 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.
Saturday night we gathered in the Salon to watch the Photo slide show and had 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.
Sunday morning at eight o’clock some of the guests will be returning home while others will continue their travels throughout the Pacific. Either way we wish everyone a safe trip and we cannot wait until you return to dive with us again. Thanks for the great week!!