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Palau Aggressor II :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Jun 03, 2018
Entry By: Palau Aggressor Crew







 



Palau Aggressor 2

Charter June 3rd – June 10th, 2018

Water Temp: 80-85 deg F

Air Temp: 85-90 deg F

Dive Sites:

Monday: Helmet Wreck, Light House Channel, Hafa Dai, Mandarin coral garden

Tuesday: Chuyo Maru, Neco Channel, Wonder Channel, Clam City, Clam City

Wednesday: German Channel, Ngerchong Outside, Denges Passage, Ngerchong Inside, Ngerchong Inside

Thursday: Blue Corner, German Channel, Big Drop Off, Ngemelis Wall, German Coral Garden

Friday: Blue Corner, Ulong Channel, Ulong Channel, Sandy Paradise

Saturday: Jake Sea Plane, Chandelier Cave

 

On Sunday we picked up 14 guests and brought them out to the big boat. We showed them to the cabins then everyone set up their dive gear. We checked cert cards and headed upstairs for the safety briefing. The guests were then informed about the strong wind we have coming this week. It’s from the worst direction too, southwest. After the briefing we sat down to our first delicious meal prepared by our chef Ronnie. After dinner we picked up 3 other people at different times due to their flight schedules showed them around the boat then to their cabins to get some rest for the next day.

The following morning after having breakfast there was another briefing on how the dives will be conducted throughout the week and what the schedule is going to be like every day. Then it was finally time for the first dive of the charter at Helmet Wreck which a good site for a check in dive. The divers checked their gear and weights and as soon as everybody was good to go we descended down the mooring line and approached the wreck. Everybody explored and saw artifacts like rifles, soldier helmets, bombs, engines and sake bottles. After our surface interval we went on to a dive at Light House Channel, the current was moving so as soon as we dropped down we started drifting along the sloping coral garden and at the middle of the dive we stopped by a small wreck hiding from the current. We were able to check out the small wreck that has lots of reef fishes and macro species as well. Back in the big boat we had our buffet lunch then went diving at another wreck called Hafa Dai where we started at the very bottom going around few times until we reached the top deck. We spotted lovely looking nudibranchs such as the Blue Dragonet and Chromodoris Coi. Next we went to the Mandarin Coral Garden as our dusk dive and we were lucky enough to see the Mandarin Fish mating giving the guests good photo and video opportunity. At night it we had plated dinner and while having dessert our Cruise Director talked to everybody telling the situation of the weather and what are the possible dives for the next day.

Tuesday was one of our five dive day and the guests wanted to do diving first before breakfast. We went to Choyu Maru which was a Japanese war ship during WWII. It is also very deep so the divers only explored the top deck that is now covered with beautiful corals. After the dive it was time to have our hot breakfast back in the main boat then we started moving towards Wonder Channel mooring to protect us from the bad weather. After the boat was secured in place we headed diving at Neco Channel just drifting along the reef spotting some good photo subjects and also a huge sea fan that can probably fit 13 people in it. After our delicious lunch the guests had some time to digest their food and relax in their cabins or at the social area of the boat. Then it was time to go diving at Wonder Channel and just spend our bottom time exploring and spotted a lot of macro species like the Chromodoris Coi, flatworms, and a bunch of reef fishes as well. The next dive was at Clam City where the divers enjoyed looking at the giant clams scattered all over the sloping coral garden. There were also small critters and one of the divers saw a scorpion fish blended really well with the one of the clams. As requested by the guests they wanted to do the night dive first before having dinner so we went ahead and checked out Clam City again at night. The crustaceans came out at night so we spotted a lot of coral crabs and shrimps.

The engines started early morning the next day and we made our way to German Channel area and did our first dive of the day at German Channel hoping to see some mantas. As we dropped down along the mooring line the visibility was really good and we started swimming along the edge of the sloping coral garden. As we were on our way to the cleaning station we came across a big Sting Ray swimming into the blue. When we got to the first cleaning station, we spent few minutes of our bottom time waiting for a manta to get cleaned but nothing came. But on one of the coral heads close to the cleaning station there was an octopus that everybody took photos and videos of. On our way to the second cleaning station there was one Eagle Ray that came from the channel and swam pass the divers. We weren’t fortunate enough to encounter a Manta on this dive but everybody enjoyed seeing other cool creatures. The wind started to pick up again as we got back to the boat so we moved again and went Ngerchong area and did our dives there. After our hot breakfast our next dive was at Ngerchong Outside. We dropped down along the wall and started drifting with the current and saw lots of sharks pass by and also a baby Eagle Ray. Towards the end of our dive one of our guests spotted a whale shark swimming from the deep! He quickly went and got the attention of the lead dive master to inform everybody but only few people were able to see it as it was already swimming away. Back in the big boat another great lunch was being served and after few moments of relaxing we headed to Denges Passage. Our fourth dive of the day was as Ngerchong Inside which is just close to where the boat is moored. Everybody started swimming along the reef and got to see a huge patch of Cobble stones, then at the right side of it was another patch of coral head that had lots of glassy eyed sweepers. We did the same site for our night dive then afterwards we had dinner. The guests had the rest of the evening to themselves some stayed up in the salon watching a movie while others went straight to bed.

Thursday was getting more exciting as the weather was starting to calm down a little bit, so we decided to check if Blue Corner was alright to go diving. And fortunately it was okay, so the divers were very excited to jump in the water to see some action. We started on the incoming side and drifted with the current until we reached to hook in area. Without any disappointment everybody saw a great show from the sharks, schooling jacks, snappers, and barracudas out in the blue. After our delicious breakfast we decided to check out German Channel again to see some mantas. This time we were lucky enough to see total of three at the cleaning station on the Peleliu Side. The divers got great photos and videos of the majestic creature swimming around everybody giving a close encounter. After two awesome dives in the morning we had another great meal for lunch then had a little bit of time to rest before our next dives. We headed to a wall dive at Big Drop-Off and saw the big ball and chain left out by the Germans before the WWII when they were mining in one of the islands close by. We also saw the baby white tip sharks inside the cave and along the wall there were pretty nudibranchs and flatworms. Next we went to Ngemelis Wall which is just adjacent to Big Drop-Off. We drifted along with the current and explored the wall seeing lots of macro species and sharks cruising pass us. At night we went to German Coral Garden where and spotted some turtles a lots of sleeping reef fishes tucked in the corals. Dinner was served as we got back to the main boat.

Friday morning we did one last dive at Blue Corner. The weather was even better than yesterday and the swells have did down. The current was incoming and we did the incoming side of the corner. We hooked in at the 60 foot area and enjoyed the show. There were sharks, jacks, barracuda and so much more. It was a great dive. We returned to the big boat and moved to the Ulong area. Dive two was at Ulong Channel. When we got there it was an outgoing current so we decided to dive it inside out. We started by the giant clams and at the lettuce coral the current switched to incoming so we had to turn around. Dive three was again at Ulong Channel. This time it was a light incoming current and we started at the mouth of the channel. The current was too light to hook in so we started drifting into the channel. The groupers are starting to gather here in the channel and there were hundreds of them, they will be mating soon. The current switched again so we turned around and headed out the channel, as we did, we saw the baby eagle ray and three juvenile African pompano. We ended the dive by the mooring outside the mouth. Our last dive of the day was at Sandy Paradise. We started from the mooring and descended down to the slopping coral garden. We stopped at the rock where the cleaning wrasse comes out to clean your hands, then to the rocks with the glassy eyed sweepers. We found the leaf scorpion fish and mantis shrimp. For the rest of the dive we saw some sharks and had to dodge the trigger fish that were nesting. Back at the big boat we sat down to our final supper of prime rib and all the fixings. After we gathered at the TV and watched Jim’s video of the charter. All the guests enjoyed the look back at the charter.

Saturday morning with the big boat in Malakal Harbor we headed to our first dive at the Jake Sea Plane. This is a nice WWII Japanese sea plane that sits in only 40 feet of water. We explored the plane and the coral garden it and found a large great barracuda. Our last dive of the charter was at Chandelier Cave. The divers explored the cave popping out into air chambers being able to take out their regulators talk to each other and appreciate the rock formations. Outside the cave we spent the rest of the dive at the coral garden where we saw the Mandarin Fish. As we got back to the boat we started cleaning our gear and hung them to dry afterwards it was time for lunch and settling of bills. 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 crew 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, got dropped off to the island and headed to their destinations. It has been a great week full of experiences and great diving! Thanks again for joining us, safe travels and we hope to see you again soon!