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Palau Aggressor 2
Republic of Palau, Micronesia
Charter Report July 29 – Aug. 5, 2018
Weather: Strong to light winds from South West, South
Water Temp: 80/82 degrees
Monday: Helmet Wreck, Iro, Barnum’s Wall and German Channel
Tuesday: German Channel, Blue Holes, Turtle Cove, New Drop Off and German Channel (night dive)
Wednesday: Blue Corner, Virgin Blue Hole, Ngedebus Coral Garden, Big drop off and German Coral Garden (night)
Thursday: Blue corner, German Coral Garden, Ngemilis Wall, German Wall and German Coral Garden (night)
Friday: Ulong Channel, Ulong Channel, Light House Channel and Mandarin Coral Garden
Saturday: Hafa Dai and Chandelier Cave
Sunday afternoon we welcomed 14 guests from around the world. We started with a quick introduction to their cabins, then back on the dive deck everyone set up their dive gear, we checked cert cards then headed upstairs to the salon for the captains briefing, soon after dinner was ready. After dinner most guests headed to bed.
Very early Monday morning we pick up the last of the 3 guests for our total of 17 guests. Everyone woke up around 6am and after breakfast we quickly covered the general dive briefing with all the guests. We loaded up the skiff and our first dive or check out dive was the Helmet Wreck. With the wind still being strong we spent the day in Malakal Harbor diving wrecks. We tied up the skiff to the mooring and entered the water. All guests did a weight check and descended down to the wreck. We entered the aft cargo hold and saw the three stacks of Japanese WWII helmets and depth charges. We swam by the engine room area and wheel house, dropped into the middle cargo hold and saw more depth charges and an anti-aircraft search light. We swam through the rotted partition to the forward cargo hold and saw the zero engines. We turned around at the bow and ascended along the deck to the stern where all the artifacts have been collected at placed for viewing. Dive two was at Iro. Another wreck from world war two and this wreck have tall king post with tomato anemone on top, Big gun, lots of black coral bushes with lots of shrimps. After lunch dive three was at Barnum’s wall. So we have a sloping coral garden in the middle with a shear walls on either side. We saw an eagle ray that most of the guest thought it was a manta. Turtles on the wall and sharks out in the blue. After some snacks and rest on the big boat we went to German Channel for dive 4. We started from the Koror side of the Channel and went straight to the manta cleaning station area kneeled on the sand and waited. About 15min. into the dive an Ornate Eagle ray (very rare species of the ray family) showed up but only passed by. Soon after a Manta came along but also just passed by. We waited for the Manta to return but it did not so we moved to the other cleaning station. We waited again for the Manta but it did not come to the station. W were able to see other marine life like sharks, schools of jacks and more sharks. We returned to the big boat showered got changed and had dinner and then went to bed. Well most us, some guest stayed up drinking and talking all night.
Tuesday morning, it’s back to German Channel to check for the Mantas. This time was good because there were 3 mantas at the cleaning station. So we stayed with the Mantas for the entire dive and just drifted into the channel to finish.
After we rested from the first dive we headed to Blue Holes for dive 2. We went down and into the holes from the top of the reef and once we were inside the scenery was amazing. The visibility was so clear making the inside of the holes beautiful. We went out from the holes and finished our dive along the beautiful wall. After we had our fill with lunch we headed to Turtle Cove for the dive 3. Usually we start from the top of the reef where there is a hole that goes down and out on the wall but there were swells so we decided just to start on the wall (for our safety). So it’s wall on the right and heading to the corner. Turtle Cove has a very beautiful wall with sea fans, soft corals, hard corals and alive with marine life. It is a corner dive but we do not hook in we just go with the current and drift. At the corner we saw sharks, jacks, snappers and turtles on the plateau. Our fourth dive of the day will be our first hook in dive of the week at New Drop Off. We got there and the current was a moderate outgoing so we started with wall on the left hand side. We arrived at the hook in area and stayed for about 40min. and then unhooked and continued to drift along the reef to the other side and exited. We saw a lot of Gray reef sharks and an eagle ray. We had dinner and went back to German Channel for the night dive. The current was mild incoming so we stared from the outside drifting in. We saw Thin Ghost Pipefish, giant Carrier Crab, Plurabranch, Puffer fish and many sleeping Parrot fishes. Came back to the big boat some of guest stayed up talking and drinking while others went to bed right away.
Wednesday morning after breakfast we headed out to the world famous Blue corner. When we arrived we could tell that the current was incoming so we did our entry starting with the wall on our right side. We drifted along the wall until we reached the hook in area at about 18m/60ft. on the edge of the plateau. Everyone was hooked in and enjoying all the action happening in front us. We saw many of sharks out in the blue, big school of jacks and the very the friendly Napoleon. About 45min into the dive we unhooked and drifted over the plateau and out into the blue to complete the dive. Got back to the big ship rested up and went back out to Virgin hole for dive 2. It’s a hole that on top the reef that goes down to about 100ft and comes out on the wall then we continue on the wall and then becomes into canyons. We were able to see a bunch of turtles, crocodile fish, giant clam and some sharks. We had our lunch and then for dive 3 went to Ngedebus Coral Garden, it’s a nice sloping coral and sandy bottom with no current so it makes for a nice slow and easy dive. We found a sting ray in the sand, some turtles, a couple of scorpion leaf fish and sharks in the blue. Dive 4 was at Big Drop off. We started from the ball and chain then moved on with the wall on the left hand side and came to the shark hole in the wall saw a couple of white tip reef sharks, continued on wall with lots of soft corals and sea fans. This time we are doing our night dive before dinner so we are going for the night dive a little early. The night dive will be at German coral garden. This site is actually the shallow area at the German channel so we started from the coral garden then moved inside the channel and drifted into the channel. We were able to find lots of lion fish, scorpion fish and some juvenile fish we could not identify. Returned to the big boat had dinner and some stayed up talking and drinking and others went to bed.
Thursday morning we started the day at the world famous Blue Corner. We started the dive again on the incoming side of the corner and this time it didn’t switch. There were huge schools of jacks and snapper, we hooked in and watched the sharks and a big Spanish mackerel swam in front of the divers. The napoleon wrasse were there swimming in and around the divers. We unhooked and spent a while exploring the plateau before coming up to start our safety stop. It was a great dive. Dive two was at German Coral Garden. Started at the shallow coral area and went down the sloping bottom then towards German channel area. We saw leopard shark and a bunch of feathertail rays that were probably mating. After lunch we went to Ngemelis wall for dive 3. We got in went straight on the wall on our right side. It was very good visibility and beautiful corals. We were to see lots of turtles and sharks out in the blue. Dive 4 was at German wall so it just a little further away from German channel. Wall on the left this time and again lots of turtles, beautiful sea fans and soft corals. The night dive is before dinner again so we went out to German coral Garden. This time encountered an octopus, Thin Robust Ghost pipe fish,Twin spot lion fish (rare) and giant crab. After dinner some guest were talking stories and others went to bed.
Friday morning we went to Ulong channel and the current was a good mild incoming current. We saw a lot of sharks at the mouth of the channel while we were hooked in. After that we drifted in the channel to the lettuce coral and giant clams. Came back to the big boat to rest and the wind started to get stronger so for dive 2 we did Ulong channel again and then we would move inside the harbor for the 2 afternoon dives. Dive 3 was the light house channel it is the channel on the east side of Malakal harbor. The current was ripping and there is a ship wreck (fishing vessel) at this dive site but the current was strong so we just passed by and continued the dive drifting through the channel. Dive 4 was the Madarin coral garden where we can see the very beautiful Madarin fish spawn. We were able to see 1 male Madarin mate with about 6 females (lucky guy). It’s Friday so its dinner and a movie night. As always the guest enjoyed the movie that produced by the video pro onboard.
We woke up Saturday morning and did our first dive at a ship wreck named Hafa adai. For our last dive of the charter we headed out to Chandelier Cave. The divers surfaced in all four air chambers to take photos of the stalactites and crystal formations inside the chambers. Then outside the cave we found the mandarin fish, some two spot signal gobies and some nudibranchs. Back at the big boat the guests broke down their gear, washed it and hung it to dry. We had lunch and next were an afternoon of relaxation, shopping in town or whatever else the guests wanted to do. At 6pm we gathered in the salon for the cocktail party and watched a photo slideshow of all the photos our photo pro had taken during the week and at 7pm we sent the guests ashore for dinner and picked them back up later to bring them back to boat for the night.
Sunday morning continental breakfast was at 7am then 7:45 loaded up the luggage on the skiff and said our goodbyes as we took the guests ashore to be transferred their hotels. We would like to thank everyone for joining us this week on the Palau Aggressor 2. We hope to see you all again soon.
- Palau Aggressor Crew