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Palau Aggressor II
Republic of Palau, Micronesia
Charter Report: December 30, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Weather: winds from North East for the rest of the week
Water Temp: 78/82 degrees
Monday: Helmet Wreck, The Iro, Turtle Cove, Barnum’s Wall
Tuesday: Blue Holes, Virgin Blue Holes, Ngedebus Coral Garden, Orange Beach Coral Garden, West Wall
Wednesday: Peleliu Corner, West Wall, Barracks Point, New Drop Off, Big Drop Off
Thursday: Blue Corner, Blue Corner, German Channel, German Channel, German Coral Garden
Friday: Sandy Paradise, Siaes Tunnel, Siaes Corner, Ulong Channel
Saturday: Chandelier Cave, Jake Sea Plane
Sunday afternoon we picked up 17 guests from the dock and brought them on board. We started with an orientation of their cabins, and then on the dive deck they set up her dive gear. We checked certification card and headed up stairs. We covered the vessel orientation/safety briefing and then had welcome dinner.
Monday morning we stayed in the Malakal Harbor and we did our general dive briefing followed by our check out dive. Dive one Helmet wreck, the wreck is good for a check out as it starts at 45’ to 90’ full of artifacts, depth charges helmets rifles and many other things, the marine life seen free thin ghost pipe fish, shrimp, snappers and nudies. The second dive was the Iro, this wreck is a Japanese oil fleet tanker very large over 450’ long, the mooring is attached to the bow the first thing you see is the large bow gun then the towering king posts, we make our way to the stern of the boat making our was to the tripod where we can see the huge red anemone full of tomato clown fish. After the dive we catch up to the big boat as it was making way to German channel for third dive. The Third dive was Turtle cove and we start at the mooring line then swim on the surface to swim through the hole from the top of the reef that will end in a small cavern. Inside the cavern you’ll see disco clam on the wall with nudibranch and shrimp and gobies on the sandy bottom. After we swim out and head to the corner with wall on our right side. On our way to the corner we saw lots of different of Anthias, school of snapper and jack fish and hammerhead. We swim on top of the reef when we get to the corner seeing more fish like drummer, fusilier, barracuda and turtles. For our fourth dive it was Barnum’s wall and we started on the wall on our left hand side. As we swim to the sloping coral garden we saw octopus, couple turtles, magnificent anemones and variety of tropical fish.
Tuesday morning we started the day at Blue Holes and similar to Turtle Cove it has holes on top of the reef and end in huge cavern. Inside the divers take photos and videos of the scenic place while some are busy exploring looking for critters inside. We saw disco clam, hermit crab the lives on the ground, anemones with shrimp, lion fish and more. After the cavern we head out and go wall on the left. Some divers get low on air and deco time so decided to do safety stop and come up while the rest made it all the way on top of BLUE CORNER area seeing more fish like sharks and barracuda and napoleon wrasse. Our second dive was Virgin Blue Hole and the tide is high enough to swim over the reef and enter a hole that leads to a tunnel heading out the wall. Inside the tunnel we find cool things like pipe fish, leaf scorpion and decorated dart fish. Once we are out we swim wall on our right and we saw giant clam, turtles, puffers and nudibranch. At the end of the dive we swim in and out to the canyons look alike under water with over hangs swim though. After lunch our third dive was Ngedebus Coral Garden and this one is a sloping coral garden with a finger coral reef on our right side. Turtles and black tip sharks swim by on our left. On the coral garden we saw leaf scorpion fish, pipe fish, anemones and nudibranch. After the dive we came back to the boat and the big boat start heading way to Peleliu Island for our fourth dive and it was Orange beach coral garden where the first U.S. marines landed during WWII. On this dive site you will see lots and lots of artifacts like bullets, bombs, LVT, coke bottle, chain and anchor and more. The coral garden itself is pretty with tons of variety of tropical fish. We also saw a nurse shark on this dive site. We came back to the big boat for our dinner and soon after we head out to west wall for the night dive. We saw pipe fish, crabs, shrimp, and turtles.
Wednesday’s first dive was at the famous Peleliu Corner. The current was slack and we start in outgoing side called “The Cut”. The wall was pretty with lots of small yellow soft coral and long sea whips and big black coral bushes. When we reach the big cut we saw big school of yellow fin surgeon fish, big eye travally, black snapper s, sharks, turtles, palette surgeons and a giant grouper. Just after passed the cut the current pick up in opposite direction so we turn around to end the dive. After the first dive 8 guests get ready for WWII land tour and 9am they explore the beauty of Peleliu islands rich in History. For the rest of the guests they went to West Wall for second dive. it was vertical wall, very beautiful wall covered with soft coral and lots of big sea fan. Along the wall you’ll see lots of critters and fishes. In the blue they saw lots of sharks and school of dogtooth tuna and several turtles. Divers came back to the big boat and soon after the guests from land tour came a delicious lunch is ready and the guests start eating. After lunch we head out to Barracks Point and the big boat start heading way back to German Channel area. Barracks Point was another beautiful dive site in Peleliu. The dive site has both wall on each side and a beautiful coral garden in the middle covered with both soft coral and hard coral formation. Variety of tropical fish, several giant clam, and school of barracuda, sharks and lot of turtles can be seen on this beautiful dive site. For our forth dive it was New Drop Off and we start at the mooring on incoming side. We drifted alongside the wall with lots of soft coral and sea fans and in the blue schooling of fusilier and pyramid butterfly fish and red tooth trigger fish We come up to the plateau and hook in and watched the sharks swim back and forth. When the current switch we unhook and swim to the other side and hook back in. The current died and we explore the plateau instead and while doing so we encounter peacock flounder and an octopus hunting for dinner and put a great show to us. We came back to the big boat for dinner and soon after dinner we head out to Big Drop Off for night dive. we do live entry and drifted wall on the right hand side. The wall was so pretty at night because you’ll see bright color of corals as it was feeding during night time. Besides from that the wall was rich in critters at night. We saw nudibranch, shrimps, crabs, turtles, shark, morays that hunting and squids.
On Thursday morning we went to Blue Corner and when we get there the current is slack so we jump on top of the plateau and explore the top of the reef to incoming side of the wall. While doing so we saw lots of marine life such as school of reef jacks, blue line snapper, turtles, morays, groupers, bump head parrot fish, anemones and more, when we reach the hook in area on incoming side the current pick up so we hook in. Then the small fish start to come and so as the big fish and sharks. We stayed hook in and watch the show until we get low on air and start doing our safety stop. For our second dive we came back to blue corner but this time it was really good incoming current so we enter the water incoming side of the wall. Where we start the dive we saw a leopard shark resting at the sloping bottom. We then start making way to hook in area and explore the wall first. We saw several turtles resting on ledges and cracks and some swimming in the blue as well as sharks. Hook in area is close so we go on top of the reef and hook in. We saw tons of fish in front of the group at the hook in area like, big school of black snapper, jacks, fusilier, red tooth trigger and butterfly fish. We end the dive drifting and doing safety top on top of the plateau and come back to the big boat for lunch. After lunch we dive German Channel and we start at the Peleliu side on the mooring. We drop down to the sloping bottom and head to cleaning station. We waited but did not lucky to see Manta to get clean but we did saw several gray reefs stop by for cleaning at the cleaning station. Then several minutes later we swam across the channel and explore and look at lots of school of fish swimming by. Later we saw two mantas swimming close to the shallow water so we start swimming in the blue at shallow water and soon after mantas swimming in any direction collecting all the plankton they can gather as the incoming current brings in the food source. Time is up so we send goodbyes to the Manta that put a great show to our guests. For our forth dive we come back for German Channel and this time we start the dive on Koror side mooring. We dive down and start the dive at red anemone, when majority of the group are down we start taking them to first cleaning station we stay and move to 2nd cleaning station and manta did not show up either so we swam at the mouth still seeing tons of marine life like sharks, travally, barracuda and enter the beautiful channel and drifted to end the dive. We come back to big boat for dinner and soon after we head out for our night dive and we went to German coral garden. The dive started at the mooring with the shallow water on our right. It was a blast night dive for our guests because they saw 4 mantas and lots of critters. As the night dive ended and we are back to the big boat, the big boat starts making way to go to Ulong Island.
Friday morning we wake up in the beautiful Island called Ulong and we start the day diving Sandy Paradise. Our first dive was a special dive because it was bump head Parrot fish spawning. Same like common dive at Sandy Paradise we start at the mooring and do the same diving only this time we stop and wait at the sand channel for bump head parrot to gather and spawn. They did spawn and maybe they are at least a thousand all over the area so we start following them to end the dive. For our second dive we head farther out to dive Siaes tunnel so we start down to the reef to the entrance of the tunnel and spent some time inside. We saw nudibranchs, rare dart fish like decorated and helfrich dart fish, white tip shark and disco clam. Once done exploring inside we head out and explore the wall. Along the wall we found more critters, variety of tropical fish and in the blue sharks, jelly fish, and lots of fusilier. After the dive we came back to the boat and ad our lunch and after few moments of resting we went to our third dive of the day at Siaes Corner. There was no other boat at the site so we had the corner all to ourselves. We got hooked in on top of the plateau and waited for the sharks to come close but it seemed like they were swimming back and forth a little bit farther away in the blue so we decided to unhooked and went a little bit closer and saw about 50 gray reef sharks altogether. After a great show from the sharks we went back to the boat and our last dive was at Ulong Channel. We descended down and started with the wall on our right heading towards the channel. As we got to the mouth of the channel the current started to pick up and it was pushing us out in the blue so we couldn’t drift into the channel. We decided to continue on swimming to the other side of the channel and explored the coral garden where we saw a giant clam and an ornate eagle ray out in the blue. As soon as we got back from the dive the engine started and the boat started making its way back to Malakal Harbor. While we were underway everybody had dinner buffet that Chef Ronnie and after dessert our cruise director announced for everybody to head on close to the TV where he talked about the activities that will happen for the next few days left on board. After the briefing it was time to watch the video of the week that was put together by our Captain/Video Pro Jim. The guests enjoyed watching the movie remembering the great dives we had all week and the amazing marine life that we saw. Afterwards everybody had the night to themselves hanging out in the salon.
Last day of the charter there were only two remaining dives left, the first one was at Chandelier Cave. There are four air chambers that form inside the rock island that we can enter from underwater. So we went in the chamber starting from closest to the furthest then back out. At the outside of the cave is where we found the mandarin fish, signal gobies and razor fish. The last dive was at Jake Sea Plane which is a Japanese Spy Plane during the WWII. Everybody spent their time taking photos of the plane and exploring the coral garden around it. We returned to the big boat and the guest washed and dried their diving gears. We then had lunch and after some of the guest went ashore while others just relaxed on board. At 6pm we had our cocktail party and then sent the guests ashore for dinner. The guests came back from dinner around 9 and had the rest of the night to their selves.
Sunday morning continental breakfast was at 7am then 7:45 loaded up the skiff and said our goodbyes as we took the guests ashore to be transferred to their hotels. We would like to thank everyone for joining us this week on the Rock Islands Aggressor. The CREW hope to see you all again soon.
-Palau Aggressor II Crew