Palau Aggressor II Captain's Logs

Discussion in 'Aggressor Fleet and Dancer Fleet' started by Aggressor Fleet, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Aggressor Fleet

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    What a fantastic way to start the New Year in Palau!!!

    Water temp: 84º F
    Air Temp: 86-92º F
    Visibility: 60–110+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Andy, Agnes, Nadia, John, Hector & Jason

    Sunday
    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor II is happy to welcome onboard Petra & Hans, Elliott & Suzanne, Leanne, Mireille, Willem & Margeriet, Yuri & Tatiane, David, Clark, Chris, Vineta and Armands. After a delightful dinner we followed with the safety orientation and were off to bed for a peaceful night’s rest.

    Monday
    Flat calm conditions inspired us to head out toward the Teshio Maru to set the stage for a wonderful day’s diving. And that it was. This marvelous check out dive is a favorite wreck dive for many visitors. Everyone chose their comfortable depth to explore this beautiful wreck with an array of hard and soft corals. Nudibranchs and flat worms came out for a leisurely stroll on the metal bits that are now so encrusted with coral that is their home; a school of snappers came swimming by. What a fabulous check-out dive.

    We returned to the yacht for a snack and a little hammock time and then headed out to the Iro Maru. This larger wreck has much to explore. As we descended we could see the stern gun covered with coral growth. Off to the side of the wreck the glistening of a large school of jacks caught our attention. As we started exploring the deck of the ship we came across some beautiful nudibranchs and stunning soft coral. We also discovered a juvenile sweetlips wiggling about. Another great wreck dive!

    After a short journey we arrived at Ulong Island and splashed into Siaes Corner. This amazing little dive site has a little something for everyone. Here we found nudibranchs and flatworms, turtles and sharks. A little down time followed and then the dive bell rang. Ulong Coral Gardens was up next. This delightful dive gave us reef sharks off the wall and batfish curiously swimming up to us. Nudibranchs and flatworms were seen in the shallows with anthias and fusiliers whizzing by us. This was a great way to end a wonderful days diving.

    Tuesday
    A beautiful day broke over Ulong Island and it was time for Ulong Channel. The famous channel lived up to its reputation with sharks, jacks and bait balls cruising by the mouth of the channel as we anchored ourselves with our reef hooks. The show was busy and once we saw 20 minutes of pelagic action it was time for meander into the channel. Sleeping white tips in the sand scurried as we approached them. Groupers darted into their coral homes as we passed by. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive.

    After a tasty snack the dive skiff headed to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every nook and cranny for little critters. We came across a large long nose hawk fish that posed for the photographers. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action. We then headed to Ngemeli’s Wall. This colorful wall is incredibly rich with soft corals and sea fans. We found nudibranchs, flatworms and eels.

    We decided to then head to the famous Blue Corner. with a great current we were lucky to get fantastic action on the corner. Sharks galore and massive schools of jacks and barracuda left us in awe as we were hooked in for the show. front row seats and the entire corner to our selves. When an incredible experience to end an already great days diving.

    Wednesday
    A beautiful morning broke and it was time for the famous Blue Corner beckoned again. Initially a casual swim along the stunning wall as we headed toward the corner. Along the way the hustle and bustle of giant trevally, barracuda, snapper and pyramid butterfly fish made our heads spin again. Then the inbound white tip sharks appeared followed by some large black tip reef sharks, both making extremely close passes. With very little current, we decided to explore the plateau with all its life. First we came across a large school of blue lined snapper that would hardly move as we approached. Then large schools of barracuda circled us followed by a very friendly green turtle that casually swam around the group eventually devouring a jellyfish. What a fantastic dive at the corner.

    A quick snack followed and then the dive bell rang. New Drop Off. was next. This dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some, offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. We descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks. We hooked in for a while and watched some reef sharks cruising by. We then unhooked and explored the plateau and came across a leaf scorpion fish, moray eel, coral crabs and a sleeping green turtle.

    After a delectable lunch and a little break we headed out to Turtle Cove. This dive has something for everyone. We started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 70 foot off the wall. Then we discovered nudibranchs and flatworms along the wall. Further along the wall we found ourselves in a forest of beautiful soft coral exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. Then as the dive site name suggests the turtles came out to play. Green and hawks bill turtles were swimming off the wall, feeding and some taking their afternoon nap. Back to the yacht for a break.

    The dive bell rang and it was time for German Channel. We had great photo opportunities with the pink anemone with anemone fish and then headed to the manta cleaning station. It was not long until the giant mantas flew in. These majestic creatures have such amazing dispositions and moved in close to us for a better look. We found ourselves ducking fairly often to avoid touching them. After some incredible manta encounters we headed into the channel to enjoy the variety of coral life on a nice little drift. What an amazing dive.

    Thursday
    A beautiful morning broke as the Palau Aggressor II made passage over to Peleliu. We started our day exploring West Wall. Here the unmistakable yellow soft coral gets everyone’s attention. This stunning wall, which is very sheer, is filled with color and macro critters. A turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. Sharks cruised by us along the wall with pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered around us in the glistening sun rays. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive.

    We then decided to stretch our legs a bit and go on a Tour of Peleliu. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Tangi showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves.
    Lunch and a little nap and it was time to visit Peleliu Corner. Famous for it’s strong currents, Peleliu Corner is not for the faint hearted. We started the dive by cruising along the wall where we were at the mercy of the current and simply enjoyed the life that passed us by. Turtle and grey reef sharks seemed to be the main attraction with oriental sweetlips sheltering from the current inside lettuce coral. We then armed our reef hooks and hooked in for a little while to enjoy a more stationary view of the sharks. The remaining part of the dive was enjoyed drifting along the plateau.

    Our next adventure takes us to Orange Beach. This wonderful sloping wall housed numerous nudibranchs and flatworms and we encountered more turtles and large schools of snapper. This was a very relaxing and enjoyable dive. We then returned to Orange Beach for the night dive. We enjoyed a mild drift along the reef as we came across crabs, sleepy angel fish and more nudibranchs.

    Friday
    A beautiful morning broke and it was time for the famous Blue Holes. With beautiful visibility, Blue Holes provided a unique experience with four holes on top of the reef that all lead into one large chamber. From within the holes we looked up and enjoyed the sun rays breaking through the ceiling. Numerous photos were taken. We then exited the holes through a large exit and drifted with the current along a stunning wall toward Blue Corner. Next up was Fern’s Wall. This leisurely wall dive was a very relaxing way to spend the rest of the morning as we explored all the macro critters. Nudi’s and flatworms were the stars. An encore dive was enjoyed at both Blue Corner and German Channel and both were just as exceptional as the last. What a great way to end a fabulous day’s diving!

    Saturday
    Another gorgeous morning broke and our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. This stratified marine lake houses the unique non-stinging jellies. They were everywhere you looked and it felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. After getting our jellyfish fix we headed back to Koror and meandered through the rock islands and stopped at the famous archway for a photo shoot. Then back to diving. We decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy or take some photos before continuing your dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.

    So the week comes to a close. We would like to congratulate Hans on his birthday. Also, Elliott completed his 300th dive onboard.

    All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish all our friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!

    Capt. Marc
     
  2. Aggressor Fleet

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    Palau Aggressor Trip Report January 8-15, 2012

    Water temp: 82º F
    Air Temp: 82-87º F
    Visibility: 60–110+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Andy, Agnes, Nadia, John, Hector & Kris

    Sunday
    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Hugh & Judy, Audrey, Noriko, Steph, Gary, Cory, Christine & Olaf, Peter K & Markus, & Peter M. Acquaintances were made during a delightful dinner and then we followed with the safety orientation. Everyone then enjoyed a peaceful night’s rest.

    Monday
    With flat calm seas the Palau Aggressor set course for Carp Island. For our first dive we splashed into Ngedebus Coral Gardens. This marvelous check out dive has a nice shallow reef that slopes with finger-like coral structures. Everyone chose their comfortable depth to explore this beautiful array of hard and soft corals. Nudibranchs and flat worms came out for a leisurely stroll on the reef and a turtle, unperturbed by our presence, casually swam by. This was a nice relaxing check out dive to start the week.

    We returned to the yacht for a snack and a little hammock time and then headed out to Ngedebus Corner. There we discovered nudibranchs, flatworms and a scorpion fish along the wall. Further along the wall we found ourselves in a forest of beautiful soft coral with turtles cruising by us. Chef Andy had a scrumptious lunch waiting for our return.

    A little down time followed and then the dive bell rang. Turtle Cove was next. This amazing little dive site has a little something for everyone. We started off by descending down a chimney starting at 10 feet and opened up to the wall around 65 feet. Here we found nudibranchs, flatworms and a well-camouflaged scorpion fish. Further along the wall we discovered a forest of soft coral exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors making this a photographers dream. Eventually we headed up to the plateau and found a plethora of black snapper followed by barracuda, anthias, and butterfly fish and as the dive site’s name suggests, a cruising turtle was also seen.

    A quick snack and we were off diving again. German Channel was our next site. The dive started with a visit to the amazing pink anemone with the playful anemone fish then we ventured toward the channel. We stopped at the cleaning station to visit the mantas. After waiting for about 5 minutes, 2 marvelous mantas graced us with their presence cruising gracefully above us. Then we found ourselves enveloped by snapper with trevally and black tip reef sharks circling a large school of snapper. After all the frantic activity we decided to take a leisurely cruise and drift into the channel to witness a vast array of colorful corals and giant clams. Superb! The famous German Channel did not disappoint.

    Tuesday
    A beautiful morning broke and it was time for the famous Blue Corner. With beautiful visibility, Blue Corner lived up to its reputation. Initially a casual swim along the stunning wall as we headed toward the hook in area. Along the way the hustle and bustle of giant trevally, barracuda, snapper and pyramid butterfly fish made our heads spin. Then the white tip sharks appeared followed by some large grey reef sharks, both making extremely close passes. To take full advantage of the beauty of Blue Corner with it’s known current we anchored ourselves to the edge of the wall with our reef hooks. We easily set-up our hooks that allowed us to effortlessly enjoy the magic that the current presents. Sharks, barracuda, turtles, trevally and various snapper love the nutrient rich flowing water and we were right in the middle of it. Then our friend the napoleon wrasse made an appearance. Very approachable, this affable wrasse with its puppy dog eyes makes its rounds to every one of us and made some new friends. Hector seemed to be his best friend. Outstanding!

    A quick snack and we headed to Blue Holes. A stone throw away from Blue Corner, Blue Holes is an awesome chamber with skylights overhead allowing streams of light rays in. We perused the chamber looking for little critters and found the disco clams that started everyone moving like John Travolta. As we headed out of the holes we were greeted by wall-to-wall pyramid butterfly fish.

    After a delectable lunch the dive bell beckoned. Ngemeli’s Wall was calling. With lovely visibility this was another fantastic dive. Here we enjoyed the beauty along the wall that consisted of an arrangement of stunning soft colors in shades of pink, purple, yellows and oranges. Nudibranchs and flatworms were out and about and we saw a turtle cruising by. A delightful dive.

    Because we had such a great dive at German Channel the day before, we decided to go back. With similar action as before we also encountered 3 mantas feeding. They remained with us for about 35 minutes performing aerial acrobatics that would be comparable to professional stunt pilots at an air show. Barrel rolls were the stunt of choice with the occasional extreme close flyby. This was a very memorable experience. For our nighttime delight we plunged into Turtle Cove to see crabs, shrimps and baskets stars.

    Wednesday
    We started our day making passage to Peleliu. Our morning was spent exploring the famous Peleliu Express. Famous for it’s strong currents, Peleliu Corner is not for the faint hearted. Cruising along the wall, we were at the mercy of the current and simply enjoyed the life that passed us by. Turtle and grey reef sharks seemed to be the main attraction with oriental sweetlips sheltering from the current inside lettuce coral. We then armed our reef hooks and hooked in for a little while to enjoy a more stationary view of the sharks. Then the current subsided a bit, which gave us a perfect opportunity to explore the corner itself. Dory from Finding Nemo was also spotted on the famous Peleliu Corner. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive.

    We then decided to stretch our legs a bit and go on a tour of Peleliu. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Godwin had a wealth of information to share with us and showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. What a touching tour.
    Lunch and a little nap and it was time to visit West Wall. Here the unmistakable yellow soft coral gets everyone’s attention. This stunning wall is very sheer and filled with color and macro critters. We discovered porcelain crabs and tomato anemone fish along the wall before a turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. Sharks cruised by us along the wall with pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered around us in the glistening sunrays.

    Snack and hammock time followed and the dive bell rang again. Orange Beach was our next choice. Here we simply enjoyed a relaxing drift along the sloping bottom and came across a few anchors, turtles and schooling snapper. We also discovered the unusual looking crocodile fish. This was a fabulous way to end the day.

    Thursday
    The Palau Aggressor then made way to Carp Island during a scrumptious breakfast. Then we headed to the Virgin Blue Holes. This unique dive started off with a swim down a chimney that then turned into a tunnel that headed toward the wall. As we exited the hole we came across a beautiful green anemone with Clark anemone fish. As we cruised along the amazing wall we were taken aback by the gin clear water and glistening sun rays that lit up the reef. Here sharks patrolled the wall with pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered like wallpaper in the azure blue.

    After some hammock time and a snack we headed to New Drop Off. After practicing our hook-in techniques at Blue Corner this dive was a ‘breeze’. The dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some, offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. We descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks. We hooked in for a while and watched some reef sharks cruising by. We then unhooked and explored the plateau and came across a leaf scorpion fish and sleeping white tip sharks. A large school of blue lined snapper parted as we swam right through the middle of them. Another great hook in dive was enjoyed by all.

    After a great lunch it was time for Big Drop Off. We hopped in and followed the current along this colorful wall. Soft corals and tubestria along with red fern-like coral turned our heads as we looked out for macro life. We discovered nudibranchs and flat worms crawling on some coral and the occasional shark cruised below us aimlessly patrolling the wall.

    Taking full advantage of the currents and exclusivity of one of the world’s best dive Blue Corner to ourselves proved to be an amazing experience. With a mild current flowing it was like visiting grand central station. The hustle and bustle of life was astounding and made our heads spin. Sharks, massive schools of jacks and barracuda, giant travallys and red snappers were literally everywhere along the edge of the wall. Our friendly napoleon came to say hello and a hawksbill turtle sat down for dinner and hard coral buffet was on the menu. This must be why Blue Corner is considered one of the world’s best dive sites.

    Friday
    A beautiful day broke over Ulong Island. The famous Ulong Coral Channel gained our attention next. This delightful dive gave us reef sharks off the wall and batfish curiously swimming up to us. Then we got to the channel and the shark action was very busy. Then the current subsided and we took advantage of it by exploring the coral gardens with its prolific coral life. We enjoyed the rest of the dive enjoying the amazing variety of coral.

    After a tasty snack the dive skiff headed to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every nook and cranny for little critters. We managed to find the elusive pigmy blue back butterfly fish and a flatworm. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action.

    Time then for a snack and the dive bell beckoned all the divers for some more of Palau’s under water wonders. This time it was Siaes Corner. With gin clear water this dive produced quite a fair amount of marine life. The plethora of fish life found on the corner was bewildering. With a mild current in the beginning of the dive we could easily position ourselves to where the best action was. As we settled the current picked up and brought in all the life. We then explored the shallow reef and found anthias, eels and a turtle.

    Then we returned to the channel. The famous channel lived up to its reputation with plenty sharks cruising by the mouth of the channel as we anchored ourselves in with our reef hooks. The show was busy and once we saw 20 minutes of pelagic action it was time for a ride down the channel. We saw sleeping white tips in the sand and a hawks bill turtle swam by. The most prolific coral life in Palau was seen on the magical ride with tabletop corals galore and beautiful soft corals paving the way for us down the channel. Then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive followed by two beautifully set giant clams. An exquisite sunset followed this amazing dive and end to a fine days diving.

    After dinner we all enjoyed watching the wonderful weeks diving through the lens of our video pro, Nadia.

    Saturday
    Another gorgeous morning broke and our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. This stratified marine lake houses the unique non-stinging jellies. They were everywhere you looked and it felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. After getting our jellyfish fix we headed back to Koror and meandered through the rock islands and stopped at the famous archway for a photo shoot. Then back to diving.

    We decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy or take some photos before continuing your dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.

    So the week comes to a close. We wish to congratulate Christine for completing her 500th dive and Olaf for completing his 555th dive, on the same dive! All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish all our friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!

    Capt. Marc
     
  3. Aggressor Fleet

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    Air Temperature: 83-88 deg
    Water Temperature: 81-83 deg F
    Visibility: 50-200+ ft
    Wetsuits: 3 mil
    Weather: Sunny skies, light morning showers, mild winds and calm seas.

    Crew this week:
    Captain Ike
    Photo Pro John
    Instructor Andrew
    Divemaster Jim
    Video Pro Kris
    Chef Andrew
    Stewardess Loly

    Mating season begins here in the month of January for many of Palau’s marine animals. From the area of Ulong to Ngemelis Island, you could witness the beginning to Palau’s ever growing circle of life. Just outside the tunnel of Siaes we find hundreds of Orange Spine Surgeon fish rubbing bellies with one another. Later that afternoon as we made way down to New Drop Off we find even larger schools running full speed ahead in perfect formation. It’s sweet candy to the eyes when you see these various schools in action. It’s a wonder as to how they do it. Hundreds of them flank left and right in perfect synchronization as if they were a military platoon. For the few seconds of fame, you may only see a thick black cloud in a distance, and suddenly be engulfed from every direction as swarm in between our divers.
    The sharks amongst Blue Corner have been getting playful with one another as well. Female sharks twist, turn, and jump about as the males aggressively make their way with them. Some of their activities have taken its toll upon the females. We find some covered in bite marks and deep cuts resulting from their clash upon the reef.
    The same activity was witnessed upon our dive within German Channel. It was one for the books. Two Manta Rays fed upon the shallows, while our frisky sharks frolicked just below them upon the cleaning station. Travelling deeper into the channel you find a cloud of silver jacks so massive they cast a shadow upon our presence.
    As we bring our charter to a close, it only marks the beginning to another adventure for some of our guests. Herve and Ramna will carry on to the Tropic Dancer for an extensive ten day tour of our archipelago. Marty will head deeper into the pacific to the island of Yap, and John and Tom will continue their experience for an encore presentation here on the Palau Aggressor II.

    2nd Captain Andrew
     
  4. Aggressor Fleet

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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Report: Jan 29 - Feb 5, 2012

    ©Watermarc Photography  0195.jpg ©Watermarc Photography  0173.gif ©Watermarc Photography  0151.gif ©Watermarc Photography  0239.gif ©Watermarc Photography  0184.gif
    Water temp: 81º F
    Air Temp: 82-87º F
    Visibility: 60–110+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Andy, Agnes, Nadia, Kris, Hector, Marc & Nick

    Sunday
    A fantastic week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Mike & Cathy, Butch & Andy, Rick & Brina, Matt, Lisa, Elena & Mauro, Mary & Charles and back to back guests Tom & John. After a quick orientation, our quests got better acquainted and were off to bed.

    Monday
    The day started with Chef Andy’s breakfast spread that would fuel our bodies for some great diving. The wreck of the Teshio welcomed us with amazing visibility and an immense amount of soft and hard coral growth that housed nudibranchs, crabs & shrimp. What a fantastic checkout dive.

    The wreck of the Iro Maru then gained our attention with anemone fish and nudibranchs and a crocodile fish all out for our enjoyment. During lunch the Palau Aggressor made passage over to German Channel. Ngemeli’s Wall was our next dive adventure. This amazing wall looked like an artists pallet splashed with stunning color. The soft corals were painted with pastel pinks, purples, yellows and oranges. Large schools of fusiliers whizzed by us as we swam by a ledge with a white tip shark cozily enjoying their afternoon nap. After a quick bite we returned to the water.

    Ngedebus Corner was up next. The late afternoon sun glistening on the beautiful soft coral complimented this stunning wall. A leisurely dive along the wall gave us nudis, fusiliers, jacks and a friendly turtle that cruised by. We all enjoyed a fantastic day and this was a perfect way to start our Palauan adventure.

    Tuesday
    A beautiful morning broke as we journeyed to Blue Corner. With beautiful visibility, Blue Corner lived up to its reputation. This is the Grand Central station of fish commuting. The hustle and bustle of giant trevally, barracuda, snapper and pyramid butterfly fish made our heads spin. Then the inbound white tip sharks appeared followed by some large black tip reef sharks, both making extremely close passes. To take full advantage of the beauty of Blue Corner with it’s life-generating current we anchored ourselves to the edge of the wall with our reef hooks. Sharks, barracuda, turtles, trevally and various snapper love the nutrient rich flowing water and we are right in the middle of it. Then suddenly a napoleon wrasse makes an appearance. Very approachable, this affable wrasse with its puppy dog eyes makes its rounds to every one of us and made some new friends. Outstanding!

    After a little more hammock time we splashed into German Channel. We started the dive visiting the cleaning station waiting for some manta rays and after about 12 minutes we started seeing them appear above us. In order to get a closer look we headed up toward them. With practically no current we were able to stay up by them for some time to witness a mating ritual as 3 mantas were spiraling with their bellies toward each other. This seemed to last for moments at a time. We then entered the channel to see the healthy coral life that German Channel has to offer only to see the same three mantas whizz by us.

    After lunch we headed to Turtle Cove. This amazing little dive site has a little something for everyone. We started off by descending down a chimney starting at 10 feet and opened up to the wall around 65 feet. Here we found nudibranchs and flatworms. Further along the wall we discovered a forest of soft coral making this a photographers dream. Eventually we headed up to the plateau and found a plethora of black snapper followed by barracuda, anthias, butterfly fish and a whole family of turtle. Chef Andy had snacks waiting as we returned to the Palau Aggressor. After a brief lay in the hammock the dive bell rang.

    Big Drop-off was next. This was a leisurely dive along another stunning wall with a plethora of tropical fish. A very enjoyable night dive at Turtle Cove brought to a close another wonderful day.

    Wednesday
    Another gorgeous day broke as we headed to Peleliu. Peleliu Corner gained our attention first. Here we found the current to be on the express side of the corner, which brought us amazing visibility, and big schools of snapper, turtles, oriental sweetlips and patrolling reef sharks making pretty close passes. We hooked in for a while to witness the life from a more stationary perspective before exploring the plateau. What an exceptional dive.

    We decided to stretch our legs a bit and go on a tour of Peleliu. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back in time to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Godwin had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. Very interesting yet sad. Chef Andy had a scrumptious lunch prepared and soon thereafter it was time to dive again.

    West Wall was our dive choice and what an amazing dive it was. This spectacular sheer wall is filled with so much color that even Picasso would be impressed. Hard and soft coral here are painted with pastel reds, pinks, oranges, yellows and many other variations. Yellow polyps were scattered everywhere the eye could see. Even without fish life, this wall would be a wonderful dive. We found nudibranchs and flatworms out and about with anthias darting back and forth from the wall with pulsating rhythm. Fusiliers were darting back and forth and the occasional reef shark came by us as they patrolled the wall. Then a rather large eagle ray made an appearance off the wall before disappearing into the blue. This was a fantastic dive.

    Orange Beach was up next. The visibility was exceptional at the sloping wall with a unique combination of coral sand and boulders. Off the bat we discovered broken up landing crafts, artillery shells and bombs. The rest of the dive was a relaxing drift where we found a school of barracuda and an eagle ray. Yet another amazing day comes to a close.

    Thursday
    We started our day with the famous Blue Holes. This amazing dive started with an adventuresome swim into a hole on the top of the reef that opens up into a large cavern descending to around 90 feet. Here we found some nudibranchs, shrimps and a flatworm. Once we explored the caverns we exited and headed along the wall toward Blue Corner. Along the way we encountered a huge school of pyramid butterfly fish, white tip reef sharks, a turtle and our friendly napoleon wrasse.

    A quick bite to eat and we were back diving. New Drop-off was next. This dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some, offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. We descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks. We hooked in with our reef hooks for a while and watched some reef sharks cruising by. This quick and easy set-up allows us to effortlessly enjoy the magic that the current presents. After spending some time with the pelagics we unhooked and explored the plateau. We then came across and leaf scorpion fish and a sleeping green turtle followed by some beautiful blue line snappers.

    After a little lunch break it we were off to German Channel for an encore dive. This time we started the dive from the southern end of the channel. On our way to the cleaning station we came across massive bait ball that was heavily attacked by giant trevallies and grey reef sharks. What an intriguing sight. This wonderful dive ended with a leisurely cruise into the channel where we were amazed by the coral diversity and stunning color. A well-deserved snack break energized us for the famous Blue Corner dive.

    We had such an amazing time at Blue Corner before that we thought it rude not to dive it again. With similar action, this dive produced some large trevally and dogtooth tuna darting back and forth among the snapper. Sharks were out again as was our friend the napoleon wrasse. Then the action started with hundreds of Moorish idols fleeing from the mouths of the feeding grey and white tip reef sharks. The action was bewildering as they darted back and forth right in front of us. A spectacle that is simply amazing. For the nighttime underwater delight we took a trip to Ngemelis wall.

    Friday
    Morning broke over Ulong Island and we headed off to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every nook and cranny for little critters. We managed to find the elusive pigmy blue back butterfly fish and a few flatworms. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action. A break for some hammock time and then the dive bell rang.

    A trip to Palau would not be complete without visiting Ulong Channel, so we did. What a delightful dive. With an incoming current we started outside the channel working our way to the mouth. The current was fairly mild but the shark action was still great. Then it was time to explore the channel with its astounding diversity of coral. As we drifted along the channel we came across a prolific amount of hard and soft coral including a massive patch of lettuce coral with big eyes sheltering inside. We also found groupers galore and white tip reef sharks relaxing in the sand.

    Time then for a snack and the dive bell beckoned all the divers for some more of Palau’s under water wonders. This time it was Siaes Corner. The plethora of fish life found on this dive was bewildering. With a mild current in the beginning of the dive we could easily position ourselves to where the best action was. As we settled the current picked up and brought in all the life. It started with a feeding turtle followed by several very hungry sharks; some bump head wrasse and a turtle. A leisurely cruise down the wall followed with rainbow runners and blue snappers enveloping us.

    We then visited the famous Ulong Beach before the dive bell rang again and this time it was time to visit Ulong Gardens. This relaxing dive with great visibility produced more sharks off the wall and colorful coral gardens on the plateau with amazing giant clams resting in the sand. This was a nice way to end the day. After dinner we all enjoyed watching the great weeks diving through the lens of our video pro, Nadia.

    Saturday
    Another wonderful day begins here in Palau. Our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. These non-stinging jellies were so thick you could hardly see the person next to you. It felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. As we free dived just below the surface and see thousands of jellyfish surrounding us, we are reminded of what a strange yet wonderful world we live in. Getting our jellyfish fix we refueled with a snack and headed back out.

    We decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy before continuing you dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.

    Congratulations to Mike, Kathy, Butch, Andy, Elena & Mauro for completing their Nitrox certifications.

    From all of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish our friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!

    Capt. Marc
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Aggressor Fleet

    Aggressor Fleet ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    567
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    Palau Aggressor Trip Report February 5-11, 2011

    _JDS0409.gif
    Water temp: 81º F
    Air Temp: 75-86º F
    Visibility: 30 –100+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Marc, Agnes, Nadia, John, Kris, Nick & Hector

    Sunday
    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us and the Palau Aggressor II is happy to welcome onboard Mark, Bobby, Ron, Jack & Kelli, Gail, Keith, Gary & Wendy, Lori & Bill, Steve & Blair, Antonio, & Rafael and Yvonne. After a quick orientation, our guests acquainted themselves with the yacht and each other and then received a peaceful nights rest.

    Monday
    Weary bodies started appearing to enjoy Chef Marc’s breakfast spread that would fuel our bodies for a great days diving. The Helmet Wreck welcomed us with calm conditions. On the wreck we found an immense amount of soft and hard coral growth that housed nudibranchs, crabs, pipefish & shrimps. We had much to explore including of course the wreck itself. What a fantastic checkout dive.

    The wreck of the Iro Maru then gained our attention with anemone fish and nudibranchs taking the center stage. This 470-foot wreck allowed us to spread out and explore many nooks and crannies. The bow gun is quite impressive once your eyes make it out from all the encrusted coral growth on it. Another lovely wreck dive.

    During a scrumptious lunch we journeyed over to Ulong Island to explore the wonders of Ulong Channel. The famous channel lived up to its reputation with sharks, jacks and bait balls cruising by the mouth of the channel as we anchored ourselves with our reef hooks. The show was busy and once we saw 20 minutes of pelagic action it was time for a ride down the channel. Sleeping white tips in the sand scurried as we approached them. The most prolific coral life in Palau was seen on the magical ride down the channel. Groupers darted into their coral homes as we whizzed by and then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. A quick snack and we returned to Ulong Channel by popular demand. This time the current was a little stronger. We also visited the beautiful giant clams that we missed on the first dive. With so much activity on our first day we were spoiled with a great days diving. What a way to start our Palauan adventure.

    Tuesday
    We started to day the right way with a trip over to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every little crack for little critters. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action.

    Time then for a snack and the dive bell beckoned all the divers for some more of Palau’s under water wonders. We decided to visit Ngemeli’s Wall. This stunning wall is filled with all colors imaginable. Soft corals flourished along the wall, which looks like a florist store with exotic colorful flowers set in a perfect bouquet. To top it all the macro life was quite abundant with nudi’s, flat worms and long nose hawk fish, to name a few, along this magnificent sheer wall.

    A quick bite to eat and we were off to Turtle Cove. This dive has something for everyone. We started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 70 foot off the wall. Then we discovered nudibranchs and flatworms along the wall. Further along the wall we found ourselves in a forest of beautiful soft coral exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. Then as the dive site name suggests the turtles came out to play. Green and hawks bill turtles were swimming off the wall, feeding and some taking their afternoon nap. Speaking of which, it was hammock time for us.

    Our next dive adventure took us to Blue Corner. This popular dive showcases much of the best Palau has to offer. From the get go we were greeted by a plethora of black snappers, barracuda and blue lined snapper on the edge of the wall. As we reached the plateau it was time to arm the reef hook and anchor in to enjoy the show. With a fairly mild current, hooking-in was quick and easy. Then black tip reek sharks and white tip reef sharks started making rather close passes. These majestic creatures glided without effort into this moderate current. Then out of the blue a rather affable napoleon wrasse beckoned for attention as he make his way to each of us. After a while we unhooked to explore more of the plateau. The wrasse followed. On the plateau we came across turtle, grouper, a massive school of pyramid butterfly fish and countless anthias and other reef fish. Then the Moorish idols in a school of a few hundred appeared to join the show. Scurrying from the mouths of the white tip reef sharks and grey reef sharks, these guys were darting back and fourth in perfect synchronization. Unfortunately this amazing dive had to end at some point; after all it was time to eat again. We enjoyed another brilliant days diving.
    _JDS0322.gif _JDS0055.gif _JDS0203.gif
    Wednesday
    Morning broke over the rock islands of Palau and it was time to revisit Blue Corner. With similar action as before we started the dive on the other side of the corner. This time the shark action was impressive. We could clearly see the results of viscous mating on the females. They made very close passes and we all thoroughly enjoyed the encore show.
    _JDS0046.jpg

    Then we headed to Blue Holes. A stone throw away from Blue Corner, Blue Holes is an awesome chamber with skylights overhead allowing streams of sunrays in. We perused the chamber looking for little critters and then headed to the corner. We were accompanied by a turtle; white tip reef shark and wall-to-wall pyramid butterfly fish. At the corner we hooked in for a while before boarding the express. After a little snack break it we were off to New Drop Off. After practicing our hook-in techniques at Blue Corner this was a ‘breeze’. This dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some, offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. With crystal clear water we descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks. We hooked in for a while and watched the giant sharks cruising and then enjoyed a casual drift along the plateau.

    German Channel was up next. We started our dive at a beautiful pink anemone and then made our way to the cleaning station to see if any mantas would show up. It was not long before we spotted them above us feeding. Initially we saw 3 maybe 4. When we moved closer to them it became clear that there were many more. Some counted 15 manta rays performing graceful manta ballet with barrel rolls being the dance of choice. With gaping mouths these majestic creatures would scoop up plankton while dancing, we thought, for us. It is indescribable to imagine what is must be like to be completely surrounded by manta rays dancing all around you. This was a fantastic way to end the day.

    Thursday
    A beautiful day broke as we journeyed south toward Peleliu. Peleliu Corner was up first. This amazing dive allowed us to enjoy the stunning wall before hooking in and watching the sharks cruise by. Large schools of black snappers and barracuda came out before we explored the plateau.

    Snack time was followed by a little tour. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back in time to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Godwin had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. Very interesting yet sad.

    After lunch we decided to head to West Wall. Here the unmistakable yellow soft coral gets everyone’s attention. This stunning wall which is very sheer is filled with color and macro critters. A turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. Sharks cruised by us along the wall with pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered around us in the glistening sunrays. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive.

    Our next adventure takes us to Orange Beach. This wonderful sloping wall housed numerous nudibranchs and flatworms and we encountered more turtles and 2 crocodile fish. This was a very relaxing and enjoyable dive. We then returned to Orange Beach for the night dive. We enjoyed a mild drift along the reef as we came across crabs, sleepy angelfish and more nudibranchs.

    During lunch the Palau Aggressor made passage for Ulong Island. The dive bell rang and it was time to visit Ulong Gardens. This relaxing dive produced more sharks off the wall and colorful coral gardens on the plateau with amazing giant clams resting in the sand. The coral in the gardens are amazing and so diverse. The colors astounded us as we explored every nook and cranny and had a great time doing so. This was a very enjoyable and relaxing dive. We then made time for a quick snack and lay in the hammock and back out we went. This time Sandy Paradise got our attention. Again a nice relaxing dive was enjoyed with large schools of blue line snapper, batfish, barracuda and a few patrolling sharks. For the night dive we enjoyed a leisurely cruise through the channel and were buzzed a few times by curious grey reef sharks. This unique dive was thoroughly enjoyed by Hans, Vassili and Kelly!

    Friday
    Morning broke and it was then time for an encore dive at Blue Corner. The same ensemble was back. The action at the corner was again head turning and lively with some exceptionally close passes of grey reef sharks and white tip sharks. Our friend the napoleon wrasse again visited us. It was an amazing dive!

    We then splashed into Ngedebus Corner. This gorgeous wall has bunches of soft coral, a variety of anemones and sea fans that we always had something to look at. The macro life was also quite prolific with 4 different nudibranchs and crabs. After lunch we dived into Big Drop Off. More soft coral was admired by all with more macro life and a turtle casually swimming by.

    Then it was time for an encore dive at German Channel. Again we were not disappointed and found more mantas and also large schools of scad being attacked by sharks and giant trevallys. After all the action we took a leisurely drift into the channel to enjoy the diverse coral life. What a great dive! Dinner and a movie followed where we reminisced fondly on what a wonderful week we had.
    IMG_6202.gif
    Saturday
    Our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. These non-stinging jellies were so thick you could hardly see the person next to you. It felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. Getting our jellyfish fix we decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy before continuing you dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.
    IMG_6260.gif
    We would like to congratulate Bill for completing his 200th dive , Mark for successfully completing the Digital UW Photo class and Lori for completing both Advanced Open Water and Nitrox courses! So the week comes to a close. All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish our friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!
    Capt. Marc
     
  6. farsidefan1

    farsidefan1 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah USA
    1,292
    162
    63
    Sigh, just one yr ago I was aboard. My wife wanted to me to take one for the team and see if I thought she would prefer the liveaboard or the shore based operation so I had to sacrifice and spend a week with each. Oh the things we suffer to make our spouses happy. My wife is adverse to heavy seas (on our honeymoon we were on the Spoilsport and no, I'm not Gabe Watson, my wife is alive and well) which we experienced on the great barrier reef. On that trip it was an adventure to walk across the dining room, requiring lunges from pole to pole. On the Palau Aggressor I was pleased to note that the seas were virtually flat for that week I was aboard and that they anchored in places that the sea was dead flat. We were absolutely treated like royalty. The chef had learned his craft from all over the world. Plan on gaining 5 pounds if you decide to just "let it go" for the week. The diving was simply the best I have ever experienced. the Divemasters made "hooking in" the first time a nonevent. I had been concerned a bit about this as I didn't want to harm the reef. No worries, the name "reef hooks" is a misnomer. Rock hooks would be a more appropriate name. You never hook into living reef, NEVER. For big stuff I just don't know how Palau could be beat. For small stuff, also tough to beat. Just a great experience. It should be on your "bucket list".
     
  7. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Great White

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Santa Monica Bay/Los Angeles California, USA
    4,025
    497
    83
    Nice itinerary & report! My first liveaboard was the Sun Dancer II Palau in 1999, but I've been using Fish n' Fins or SamsTours land based ever since (the best hour long scenic ride to dive sites of anywhere in the world) . . .

    The greatest advantage of a Palau Liveaboard (especially the Ocean Hunter Liveaboards) is that you'll be the first divers on the reef even before the hordes at the Koror land based operations start loading up their diveboats at 830am.
     
  8. Dancer Fleet

    Dancer Fleet ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Palau Aggressor Trip Report February 12-19, 2012 ​
    Water temp: 81º F
    Air Temp: 82-89º F
    Visibility: 60–110+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Andy, Loly, Nadia, John, Hector & Stephen

    Sunday

    An awesome week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Scott, Libert, Peter, Evi & David, Sjef & Murielle, Phil & Val, Bob & Adrienne, Andy & Lindsay; David, Marie & Kaynan; and of course Charlie and Frank! Acquaintances were made during a delightful dinner followed by the safety orientation and then we all enjoyed a peaceful nights rest.
    Monday

    Morning broke as the Palau Aggressor made an uneventful passage to Carp Island. For our first dive we splashed into Ngedebus Coral Gardens. This marvelous check out dive has a nice shallow reef that slopes with finger-like coral structures. Everyone chose their comfortable depth to explore this beautiful array of hard and soft corals. Nudibranchs and flat worms came out for a leisurely stroll on the reef and a turtle, unperturbed by our presence, casually swam by. Sightings of a manta was also reported. This was a nice relaxing check out dive to start the week.
    We returned to the yacht for a snack and a little hammock time and then headed out to Turtle Cove. This amazing little dive site has a little something for everyone. We started off by descending down a chimney starting at 10 feet and opened up to the wall around 70 feet. Here we found nudibranchs and flatworms. Further along the wall we discovered a forest of soft coral making this a photographers dream. Eventually we headed up to the plateau and found a plethora of black snapper followed by barracuda, anthias, butterfly fish and as the dive site’s name suggests, a cruising turtle was also seen.
    Lunch followed and then the dive bell beckoned. Fern’s Wall was next. Here we enjoyed the beauty along the wall that consisted of an arrangement of stunning soft colors in shades of pink, purple, yellows and oranges. Red whip like coral was scattered along the wall, which is the signature for this dive resembling a fern plant. Nudibranchs and flatworms were out and about and we saw a turtle cruising by. A delightful dive. A quick snack and it was time to discoverGerman Channel. The hustle and bustle of German Channel was evident from the start of the dive. Sharks were getting cleaned at the cleaning station with a large school of black snapper just above us. Then a manta appeared and graced us with its presence. This majestic creature flew above us for a while before disappearing into the blue. The sharks and giant trevallys continued to attack the large school of jacks that were circling around the mouth of the channel. This was a great way to end a wonderful day’s diving!
    Tuesday

    A beautiful morning broke and it was time for the famous Blue Corner. With amazing visibility, Blue Corner lived up to its reputation. Initially a casual swim along the stunning wall as we headed toward the hook in area. Along the way the hustle and bustle of giant trevally, barracuda, snapper and pyramid butterfly fish made our heads spin. Then the white tip sharks appeared followed by some large grey reef sharks, both making extremely close passes. The current started playing tricks on us and we immediately headed across the plateau to get to where the big schools had relocated to. To take full advantage of the beauty of Blue Corner with it’s known current we anchored ourselves to the edge of the wall with our reef hooks. We easily set-up our hooks that allowed us to effortlessly enjoy the magic that the current presents. Sharks, barracuda, turtles, trevally and various snapper love the nutrient rich flowing water and we were right in the middle of it. Then our friend the napoleon wrasse made an appearance. Very approachable, this affable wrasse with its puppy dog eyes makes its rounds to every one of us and made some new friends. Outstanding!
    A quick snack and we headed back to German Channel for an encore dive. Lunch was next and then the dive bell rang. New Drop-off was next. After practicing our hook-in techniques at Blue Corner this dive was a ‘breeze’. The dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some, offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. We descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks making really close passes. We hooked in for a while and watched some reef sharks cruising by. We then unhooked and explored the plateau and came across a leaf scorpion fish and coral crabs. A large school of blue lined snapper parted as we swam right through the middle of them.
    Back to the yacht for a quick snack and then we geared up for Ngedebus Corner. This dive produced a colorful reef consisting of pastel pink, purple and orange soft corals scattered along the wall. Here we encountered a few turtle, large schools of pyramid butterfly fish, anthias and fusiliers whizzing by us. The dive continued with anemones with their cute anemone fish playing peek-a-boo with the gaggle of divers passing by. Another wonderful day’s diving was enjoyed by all.
    Wednesday

    We started our day making passage to Peleliu. Our morning was spent exploring West Wall. Here the unmistakable yellow soft coral gets everyone’s attention. This stunning wall is very sheer and filled with color and macro critters. We discovered 2 porcelain crabs along the wall with tomato anemone fish scurrying about the anemone before a turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed us. Sharks cruised by us along the wall with pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered around us in the glistening sunrays. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive.
    We then decided to stretch our legs a bit and go on a tour of Peleliu. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. We were shown the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. What a touching tour. Lunch and a little nap and it was time to visit Orange Beach. Here we simply enjoyed a relaxing drift along the sloping bottom and came across a few anchors, landing craft bits and pieces, turtles and schooling snapper. We also discovered the unusual looking crocodile fish. This was a fabulous way to end the day.
    Thursday

    The sun broke over Omekang Island and the skiff headed to the Blue Holes. A stone throw away from Blue Corner, Blue Holes is an awesome chamber with skylights overhead allowing streams of light rays in. We perused the chamber looking for little critters and then headed to the corner. We were accompanied by a turtle; white tip reef shark and wall-to-wall pyramid butterfly fish. The current was perfect to take us to the corner. Sharks galore and massive schools of jacks and barracuda made our heads spin.
    After a quick snack we decided to splash into Virgin Blue Holes. Here we descended into a chimney that took us down to 90 feet. What a thrilling experience. After our tunnel experience we cruised along the wall and discovered more little swim throughs and gullies that made exploring an adventure. Lunch was served and then we headed back out to Ngemelis Wall. We enjoyed a relaxing drift dive along this colorful wall that brought us long nose hawkfish, schools of butterfly fish, cruising sharks, turtle and some flatworms. Snack time was followed by an encore dive to Blue Corner. There was similar action as our earlier dive here with a larger school of jacks swirling around us. We then explored the plateau to find sleeping white tip sharks that scurried away as we approached them. Then our friendly napoleon wrasse appeared beckoning for attention, which he duly received. We must have played with our wrasse for a good 20 minutes and then we got on with exploring the plateau. We came across a big school of barracuda, blue line snapper and black snapper. Another wonderful experience at the corner.
    Friday

    A beautiful day broke over Ulong Island. After a tasty breakfast the dive skiff headed to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every nook and cranny for little critters. We managed to find the elusive pigmy blue back butterfly fish and a few flatworms. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action.
    Time then for a snack and the dive bell beckoned all the divers for some more of Palau’s under water wonders. The famous Ulong Channel was next. We decided to experience the channel slightly differently this time. We did the channel in reverse. Our dive started at the amazing giant clams and then we enjoyed the ride through the channel. We witnessed the most prolific coral found in Palau on our ride toward the mouth of the channel. Sleeping white tip sharks scurried and groupers came out of their hiding places as we passed. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. Lunch was prepared by both Chef Andy and Chef Kaynan. Thanks for great pizza Kaynan!
    Then the dive bell rang. This time it was Siaes Corner. With gin clear water this dive produced quite a fair amount of marine life. The plethora of fish life found on the corner was bewildering. With a mild current in the beginning of the dive we could easily position ourselves to where the best action was. As we settled the current picked up and brought in all the life. Sharks came out in large numbers and made extremely close passes. We then explored the shallow reef and found anthias, eels and a turtle.
    Next up was Ulong Coral Gardens. This relaxing dive allowed us to explore the coral formations around the channel. Here we came across head shield slugs, jacks and sharks off the wall and a couple of bat fish swimming on by. This was a very enjoyable dive. After dinner we all enjoyed watching the wonderful weeks diving through the lens of our video pro, Nadia.
    Saturday

    Another gorgeous morning broke and our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. This stratified marine lake houses the unique non-stinging jellies. They were everywhere you looked and it felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. After getting our jellyfish fix we headed back to Koror and meandered through the rock islands and stopped at the famous archway for a photo shoot. Then back to diving. We decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy or take some photos before continuing your dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.
    So the week comes to a close. I would like to congratulate David, Evi, Libert, Scott, Charlie and Frank for completing their Nitrox certification. All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish all our friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!
    Capt. Marc
     
  9. Aggressor Fleet

    Aggressor Fleet ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Palau Aggressor Trip Report February 19-26, 2012
    Water temp: 81º F
    Air Temp: 75-86º F
    Visibility: 30 –100+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Cameron, Loly, Nadia, John, Marc, Ben & Drew

    Sunday

    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us and the Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Juan, Sherry, Jane & Woody, Bart & Cindy, Mary & Brant, Marie-Elizabeth & Taylor, Joanna & Greg, Mike, Dan, Susan & Mark, Shelly & Eric. After a quick orientation, our guests acquainted themselves with the yacht and each other and then received a peaceful nights rest.

    Monday

    Weary bodies started appearing to enjoy Chef Cameron’s breakfast spread that would fuel our bodies for a great day’s diving. The Helmet Wreck welcomed us with calm conditions. On the wreck we found an immense amount of soft and hard coral growth that housed nudibranchs, crabs & shrimp. We had much to explore including of course the wreck itself. What a fantastic checkout dive. The wreck of the Iro Maru then gained our attention with anemone fish and nudibranchs taking the center stage. This 470-foot wreck allowed us to spread out and explore many nooks and crannies. The bow gun is quite impressive once your eyes make it out from all the encrusted coral growth on it. Another lovely wreck dive. During a scrumptious lunch we journeyed over to Omekang Island to explore the wonders of Ngemeli’s Wall. This shear wall looked like an artist pallet splashed with stunning color. The soft corals were painted with pastel pinks, purples, yellows and oranges. Sea fans that stretched out off the wall sheltered the stealthy long nose hawk fish. Then we took a plunge into German Channel. We started at the beautiful pink anemone. It was not long before we found ourselves enveloped by snapper with trevally and grey reef sharks circling us. Then we enjoyed the manta cleaning station with three majestic mantas making extremely close passes. Superb! The famous German Channel did not disappoint. What a way to start our Palauan adventure.

    Tuesday

    Our next dive adventure took us to Blue Corner. This popular dive showcases much of the best Palau has to offer. From the get go we were greeted by a plethora of black snappers, barracuda and blue lined snapper on the edge of the wall. As we reached the plateau it was time to arm the reef hook and anchor in to enjoy the show. With a fairly mild current, we did not find the need to hook in. Then grey reef sharks and white tip reef sharks started making rather close passes. Then out of the blue a rather affable napoleon wrasse beckoned for attention as he make his way to each of us. We continued exploring the plateau. The wrasse followed. On the plateau we came across turtle, grouper, a massive school of pyramid butterfly fish and countless anthias and other reef fish. Unfortunately this amazing dive had to end at some point; after all it was time to eat again. A quick bite to eat and we were off to Turtle Cove. This dive has something for everyone. We started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 70 foot off the wall. Then we discovered nudibranchs and flatworms along the wall. Further along the wall we found ourselves in a forest of beautiful soft coral exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. Then as the dive site name suggests the turtles came out to play. Green and hawks bill turtles were swimming off the wall, feeding and some taking their afternoon nap. Then it was our turn. After a little snack break we were off to New Drop Off. After practicing our hook-in techniques at Blue Corner this was a ‘breeze’. This dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some, offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. With crystal clear water we descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks. We hooked in for a while and watched the giant sharks cruising and then enjoyed a casual drift along the plateau. This lovely wall provided us with amazing coral and nudibranchs, crabs and large schools of anthias, snapper and jacks just off the wall. We enjoyed another brilliant days diving.

    Wednesday

    Morning broke with calm conditions and a wonderful sunrise saw the Palau Aggressor make passage to Peleliu Island. Peleliu Corner was our first dive of the day. Famous for it’s strong currents, Peleliu Corner is not for the faint hearted. Cruising along the wall, we were at the mercy of a very mild current and simply enjoyed the life that passed us by. No hook in was required but the sharks were abound. Dory from “Finding Nemo” was also spotted on the famous Peleliu Corner. It was snack time and we then decided to stretch our legs a bit and go on a tour of Peleliu. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back in time to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Godwin had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. Snack and hammock time followed and the dive bell rang again. West Wall was next. This stunning wall, which is very sheer, is filled with color and macro critters. We discovered a well camouflaged scorpion fish along the wall before a turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. The tomato anemone gained Marie-Elizabeth’s attention for the entire dive, which happened to be her 400th dive. Then further along the wall a few folks were fortunate enough to see a sailfish. Lunch and a little nap and our next adventure takes us to Orange Beach, the dive site. Yet again we splashed into astounding visibility and enjoyed a rather relaxing drift along the sloping bottom. Turtles seemed to be out and about as we enjoyed the beautiful coral and bottom formations with some remnants of landing crafts, shells and bombs. For our nighttime delight we dived into Ngedebus Coral Gardens and we were treated to nudi’s and crabs. This ends another lovely days diving in Palau.

    Thursday

    Blue Holes was up first. With good conditions we descended into the holes on the reef that lead to one large chamber. Beautiful light rays showered down on us through the holes creating a surreal atmosphere. Disco clams were spotted and then the John Travolta moves started. After exploring the holes we headed toward the famous Blue Corner. This stunning wall produced pyramid butterfly fish and cruising grey reef sharks. Snack and hammock time was followed by the beckoning dive bell. Virgin Blue Holes was next. This dive started with a swim through chimney that popped us out on the wall at 85 feet. Then the meander along the wall was quite an adventure with beautiful coral formations and more swim throughs and channels. What a great dive. After lunch we enjoyed Big Drop Off. This peaceful dive with its sheer wall graced us with turtle, nudibranchs and anemones with playful anemone fish. Hammock time followed and then the dive bell beckoned. An encore dive at German Channel was next. This time we started on the southern end of the channel and explored the shrimp gobys with their symbiotic partners the bulldozer shrimps. The large school of snapper was again circled by grey reef sharks and trevally. Then a manta made a brief appearance as we drifted into the channel. Simply amazing! We then splashed into German Coral Gardens for our night dive. Another wonderful day’s diving!



    Friday

    We started to day the right way with a trip over to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every little crack for little critters. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action. Time then for a snack and the dive bell beckoned all the divers for some more of Palau’s under water wonders. Ulong Channel was the obvious choice for our next under water adventure. The famous channel lived up to its reputation. We started at two beautifully set giant clams and rode the current toward the mouth of the channel. The most prolific coral life in Palau was seen on the magical ride. Groupers darted into their coral homes as we whizzed by and then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. For our last adventure of the day we visited Siaes Corner. This dive was highlighted by some as the best dive of the trip and with good reason. The plethora of fish life found on this dive was bewildering. With a mild current in the beginning of the dive we could easily position ourselves to where the best action was. It started with a feeding turtle, some black snappers, and plenty sharks. Then the current stepped up a notch and the sharks came in even closer. A leisurely cruise down the wall and onto the plateau followed with rainbow runners and blue snappers enveloping us. After a visit to Ulong Island and a stroll on survivor beach it was decided that Ulong Channel was so good that it would be rude not to do it again. So we did. The sequel was just as spectacular! What a great dive! Dinner and a movie followed where we reminisced fondly on what a wonderful week we had.

    Saturday

    Our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. These non-stinging jellies were so thick you could hardly see the person next to you. It felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. Getting our jellyfish fix we decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy before continuing you dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.

    We would like to congratulate Shelly for completing her 200th dive, and Marie-Elizabeth for completing her 400th dive while onboard the Palau Aggressor. Also, Shelly and Eric completed their Digital UW Photography course. So the week comes to a close. All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish our friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!

    Capt. Marc
     
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    Palau Aggressor Log February 26 – March 4, 2012
    Air Temperature: 83-88 deg
    Water Temperature: 81-83 deg F
    Visibility: 50-200+ ft
    Wetsuits: 3 mil
    Weather: Sunny skies, light morning showers, mild winds and calm seas.

    Crew this week: Captain Drew, Chief Engineer Hector, Photo Pro John, Assistant Instructor Jason, Divemaster Marc, Instructor Stephen, Chef Mani, Stewardess Loly

    Our debut dive was taken upon a road less travelled to a wreck that is rarely visited. A cargo vessel called the “Teshio Maru”. The Teshio made an ideal introduction to Palau with calm waters, good visibility, and little bit of history to go along with it

    The District of Ulong Island is a marine sanctuary to Palau. Ulong's reefs appear untouched, with vast displays of various hard corals. “Such a beautiful coral garden”, says Jorge. Our debut hookin' dive was in an area just north of Ulong upon a reef better known as Siaes Corner. “Good dive”, says Maurizio… “Very little current, yet very good action”. Later that afternoon we made our to a to the coast of Carp Island where we made our fourth dive of the day within a tranquil little cove… “Turtle Cove” that is. There within the coral gardens we find Palau’s elusive cuttlefish. This is our third sighting within the past three months. These clever little creatures always come to our surprise being so early in the season.

    Tis the season for nearly everything here in these cold winter months. Our Moorish idols can still be found frolicking in unison along the wall sides from time to time. Upon the plateau of Turtle Cove was our latest sighting. Their numbers are dwindling, but they were schooling nonetheless.

    Blue Corner was one for the books this week. Even more so for the crew. Our engineer Hector has been with the Palau Aggressor II since the vessel first came to Palau in 1996 and he too was impressed with our Blue Corner presentation. Sharks for as far down as the eye could see. They too are mating this season, and if you’re lucky enough to see such a thing, you’ll find a violent display of sexual aggression. As our luck had it, we were certainly lucky enough to see this display.

    Paul made his 100th dive this week, and there couldn’t be a better time or a better place to accomplish such a milestone then here in Palau.

    Captain Andrew
     
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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Log March 4 - 11, 2012
    by Aggressor Fleet on Monday, March 12, 2012 at 10:22am ·
    Air Temperature: 83-88 deg
    Water Temperature: 81-83 deg F
    Visibility: 50-200+ ft
    Wetsuits: 3 mil
    Weather: Sunny skies, light morning showers, mild winds and calm seas.

    Crew this week:
    Captain Marc
    Chief Engineer Hector
    Video Pro Nadia
    Skiff Driver Nick
    Instructor Andrew
    Chef Andrew
    Stewardess Agnes

    Dolphin Scuba from Sacramento California joins us this week. Early Sunday morning we make a break for the outside reef, holding our debut dive sites within the area of Turtle Cove. Everyone always speaks of Palau’s most popular dive sites such as Blue Corner, German Channel, or the area of Ulong; rarely anyone will make mention of their neighboring dive sites such as Ngedebus Corner, Turtle Cove, or various coral gardens.
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    The greater majority of dives this week ranged between 80 to 100 feet of visibility. “A beautiful shade of blue”, Josh explains at Turtle Cove. Blue Corner lays home to hundreds of sharks during this time of year, and Ngedebus Corner laid home to the most beautiful display tropical fish I had ever seen within 200 foot radius. It was a mixture of hundreds of triggerfish, cleaner wrasse, parrotfish, surgeonfish and turtles all focused within the very tip of the corner. A three foot cloud of cleaner wrasse covered the top of the plateau performing their own functions. Sectioned areas were cleaning stations for the sweetlips and other fish, while the other wrasse performed their mating rituals.
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    Josh got to see his long awaited showing of a manta ray this week, and Jon taught me the value of a “Shark Rattle”. With the use of an empty plastic bottle, you can roll it between your hands to make what appears to the sharks as the sound of breaking bones. I couldn’t believe it worked. Within seconds, roughly 20 sharks rushed to my proximity. They were in search of “left overs” from a potential victim to feast upon. To their disappointment they found nothing, but to our delight, we found everything we were looking for.
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    When you take a step back and get a good look at the full picture; you see that nearly every dive site lays home to the same general array of marine life as you would expect to find within the popular areas. Some dive sites may hold more regular sightings of the various extravagant creatures then others such as the Napoleon wrasse of Blue Corner, or the manta rays of German Channel, but every dive site holds the potential of these unique discoveries. Not only is it about the extraordinary sightings, but it’s also about the interaction and behavior of these creatures that keep Palau in the top dive destinations of the world.
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    2nd Captain Andrew
     
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    Palau Aggressor Trip Report March 11-18, 2012

    Palau Aggressor Trip Report March 11-18, 2012

    Water temp: 81º F
    Air Temp: 75-86º F
    Visibility: 30 –100+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Andy, Loly, Nadia, John, Jason & Nick

    Sunday
    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us and the Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Justice & Liz, Erin & Julie, Martin, Dennis, Kim, Kathrin, Scott, Harvey, Gerald & Lisa, Keith, David, Ron & Melanie, Jim & Bob. After a quick orientation, our guests acquainted themselves with the yacht and each other and then received a peaceful nights rest.
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    Monday
    Weary bodies started appearing to enjoy Chef Andy’s breakfast spread that would fuel our bodies for a great days diving. The Helmet Wreck welcomed us with calm conditions. On the wreck we found an immense amount of soft and hard coral growth that housed nudibranchs, crabs, pipefish & shrimps. We had much to explore including of course the wreck itself. What a fantastic checkout dive.

    The wreck of the Iro Maru then gained our attention with anemone fish and nudibranchs taking the center stage. This 470-foot wreck allowed us to spread out and explore many nooks and crannies. The bow gun is quite impressive once your eyes make it out from all the encrusted coral growth on it. Another lovely wreck dive.

    During a scrumptious lunch we journeyed over to Ulong Island to explore the wonders of Siaes Corner. This delightful wall is pretty sheer with amazing soft coral and massive sea fans. Some patrolling sharks gained our attention, as did the plethora of anthias on the edge of the wall. We were armed to with reef hooks and with a mild current it was perfect conditions to practice in. We enjoyed the show of grey reef sharks and barracuda with the occasional giant trevally whizzing by. Once the sharks moved on, so did we to explore the beautiful shallows captivating us with tropical fish galore.
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    After a quick snack in it was time for the famous Ulong Channel. The famous channel lived up to its reputation with sharks, jacks and bait balls cruising by the mouth of the channel. The show was busy and once we saw 15 minutes of pelagic action it was time for a ride down the channel. Sleeping white tips in the sand scurried as we approached them. The most prolific coral life in Palau was seen on this magical ride down the channel. Groupers darted into their coral homes as we whizzed by and then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive and then to see 2 beautifully set giant clams was amazing. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive.

    Tuesday
    We started to day the right way with a return trip over to Ulong Channel by popular demand. This time the current was a little stronger and just as enjoyable with plenty shark action and amazing life in the channel. Our next dive takes us to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every little crack for little critters. We found a Hilfich’s dart fish and a flat worm. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action.

    Time then for lunch and some hammock time and the dive bell beckoned all the divers for some more of Palau’s under water wonders. We decided to visit Fern’s Wall. This stunning wall is filled with all colors imaginable. Soft corals flourished along the wall, which looks like a florist store with exotic colorful flowers set in a perfect bouquet. To top it all the macro life was quite abundant with nudi’s, flat worms and long nose hawk fish, to name a few, along this magnificent sheer wall. Next up was Ngedebus Corner. The late afternoon sun lit up the corner nicely to reveal all the magnificent soft corals and sea fans. A hawks bill turtle made a brief appearance. The wall was also filled with fusiliers and anthias shimmering against the beautiful azure water. This lovely dive brought to a close the days diving.

    Wednesday
    Morning broke over the rock islands of Palau and it was time to visit Blue Corner. This popular dive showcases much of the best Palau has to offer. From the get go we were greeted by a plethora of black snappers, barracuda and blue lined snapper on the edge of the wall. As we reached the plateau it was time to arm the reef hook and anchor in to enjoy the show. With a fairly mild current, hooking-in was quick and easy. Then black tip reek sharks and white tip reef sharks started making rather close passes. These majestic creatures glided without effort into this moderate current. Then out of the blue a rather affable napoleon wrasse beckoned for attention as he make his way to each of us. After a while we unhooked to explore more of the plateau. The wrasse followed. On the plateau we came across turtle, grouper, a massive school of pyramid butterfly fish and countless anthias and other reef fish. Unfortunately this amazing dive had to end at some point; after all it was time to eat again.

    A quick bite to eat and we were off to German Channel. This amazing dive started off with an iridescent pink anemone with anemone fish snuggled up inside. Then we explored the cleaning station and the mouth of the channel, which had a large school of jacks, black snappers and barracuda. Grey reef sharks were cruising by quite often. After enjoying all the schooling fish we took a relaxing ride down the channel as we drifted across stunning coral formations and giant clams. It was then time for lunch.

    The dive bell rang. Turtle Cove was our next adventure and this dive had something for everyone. We started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 70 foot off the wall. Then we discovered nudibranchs and flatworms along the wall. Further along the wall we found ourselves in a forest of beautiful soft coral exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. Then as the dive site name suggests the turtles came out to play. Green and hawksbill turtles were swimming off the wall, feeding and some taking their afternoon nap. Speaking of which, it was hammock time for us.

    Our next dive adventure took us to New Drop Off. After practicing our hook-in techniques at Blue Corner this was a ‘breeze’. This dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some, offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. With crystal clear water we descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks. We hooked in for a while and watched the sharks cruising by and then enjoyed a casual drift along the plateau where we came across a juvenile rock mover wrasse and a stonefish. A large school of blue line snapper then gained our attention as they hardly even parted as we approached.

    Thursday
    A beautiful day broke as we journeyed to Blue Holes. A stone throw away from Blue Corner, Blue Holes is an awesome chamber with skylights overhead allowing streams of sunrays in. We perused the chamber looking for little critters and then headed to the corner. We were accompanied by a turtle; white tip reef shark and wall-to-wall pyramid butterfly fish. It was not long before our friendly napoleon wrasse came to greet us. This was another fabulous dive.

    The Palau Aggressor then made passage down south to Peleliu Island. Peleliu Corner was up next. This amazing dive allowed us to enjoy the stunning wall with oriental sweetlips in lettuce coral and sharks cruising by. Large schools of black snappers and barracuda came out before we explored the plateau.

    Lunch was followed by a little tour. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back in time to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Godwin had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. Very interesting yet sad. After lunch we decided to head to West Wall. Here the unmistakable yellow soft coral got everyone’s attention. This stunning wall, which is very sheer, is filled with color and macro critters. A turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. Sharks cruised by us along the wall as did a large spotted eagle ray with pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered around us in the glistening sunrays. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. Our next adventure takes us to Orange Beach. This wonderful sloping wall housed numerous nudibranchs and flatworms and put to a close a wonderful days diving.

    Friday
    Morning broke and it was then time for an encore dive at Blue Corner. The same ensemble was back. The action at the corner was again head turning and lively with some exceptionally close passes of grey reef sharks and white tip sharks. Our friend the napoleon wrasse again visited us. We then came across a banded sea snake busy feeding around the coral. It was an amazing dive!
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    Then it was time for an encore dive at German Channel. Again we were not disappointed and found scad being attacked by sharks and giant trevallys. After all the action we took a leisurely drift into the channel to enjoy the diverse coral life and it was not long before we came across a leopard shark sleeping in the channel. Lunch followed and then the it was time to dive again. Ngemeli’s Wall was a very enjoyable dive with soft corals scattered about and nudis and long nose hawkfish. More sharks were seen cruising below us and tropical fish were abound. What a great dive! By popular demand we took another dive into Blue Corner and enjoyed another spectacular dive there. Dinner and a movie followed where we reminisced fondly on what a wonderful week we had.
    IMG_7421.gif
    Saturday
    Our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. These non-stinging jellies were so thick you could hardly see the person next to you. It felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. Getting our jellyfish fix we decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy before continuing you dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.

    We would like to congratulate Gerard for successfully completing the Digital UW Photo class and Bob, Jim and Julie for completing their Nitrox courses! So the week comes to a close. All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish our friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!

    Capt. Marc
     
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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Report March 18-25, 2012

    Water temp: 81º F
    Air Temp: 86-90º F
    Visibility: 60–110+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Andy, Agnes, Nadia, John, Hector & Jason

    Sunday
    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard the Russian dive club of SPLAV including Anatoly N, Sergey & Olga, Tony & Nelya, Alexander & Elena, Andrey & Lana, Vladimir & Natalia, Maxim & Irina, Alexey, Vitaly, Andrey & Alexander. After a delightful dinner we followed with the safety orientation and were off to bed for a peaceful nights rest.

    Monday
    Flat calm conditions inspired us to head out toward the Teshio Maru to set the stage for a wonderful days diving. And that it was. This marvelous check out dive is a favorite wreck dive for many visitors. Everyone chose their comfortable depth to explore this beautiful wreck with an array of hard and soft corals. Nudibranchs and flat worms came out for a leisurely stroll on the metal bits that are now so encrusted with coral that is their home, a school of spade fish and a turtle, unperturbed by our presence, casually swam by. What a fabulous check-out dive.

    We returned to the yacht for a snack and a little hammock time and then headed out to the Iro Maru. This larger wreck has much to explore. As we descended we could see the stern gun covered with coral growth. Off to the side of the wreck the glistening of a large school of jacks caught our attention. As we started exploring the deck of the ship we came across some beautiful nudibranchs and stunning soft coral. We then explored the king posts and enjoyed a parade of batfish cruising by.
    Another great wreck dive!

    After a short journey we arrived at Ulong Island and splashed into the famous Ulong Channel. The famous channel lived up to its reputation with clear water. Sharks, jacks and bait balls cruising by the mouth of the channel as we anchored ourselves with our reef hooks. The show was busy and once we saw 20 minutes of pelagic action it was time for a ride down the channel. Sleeping white tips in the sand scurried as we approached them. The most prolific coral life in Palau was seen on the magical ride. Groupers darted into their coral homes as we whizzed by and then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. Some more hammock time followed and then we jumped into Ulong Coral Gardens. This dive too was met with great visibility and an extensive collection of table top corals stag horn corals, colorful soft corals and large schools of jacks and snappers. It was quite magical having the late afternoon sunrays glistening through the surface and the dive ended with an incredible sunset. This was a great way to end a wonderful days diving.
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    Tuesday
    A beautiful day broke over Ulong Island. After a tasty breakfast the dive skiff headed to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every nook and cranny for little critters. We managed to find the elusive pigmy blue back butterfly fish and a few flatworms. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. We all delighted in the action. Then it was time for Siaes Corner. We descended into startling clear water again and the colorful wall with magnificent soft corals and giant sea fans emerged. Anthias by the thousands as well as fusiliers and red fang triggerfish completely surrounded us. They ushered us all the way to the hook in point where we took a more stationary vantage point to enjoy the patrolling grey reef sharks. It was quite amazing to watch them gliding effortlessly in the medium strength current and on occasion they made some pretty close passes. The remainder of the dive was spent exploring the plateau and finding a moray eel and turtle.
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    For lunch we decided to have a picnic on the beach. This idyllic setting of a tropical paradise seemed a perfect place to refuel for more great diving ahead. Next up was Ngerchong Inside. This gem of a dive delivered yet again with a sighting of 2 cuttlefish with one of them laying eggs gently into the staghorn coral. We clearly saw the fruits of her work as the ping-pong ball size eggs were lodged in the coral. We then continued down to a coral bommie with 2 leaf scorpion fish and some feisty damselfish protecting their territory. The remainder of the dive was spent in the shallow reef with sparkling sunrays lighting up the exquisite blue stag horn coral.
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    With a little snack and some time in the hammocks we took a plunge into German Channel. What an amazing dive that started with a gorgeous pink anemone that gained everyone’s attention. Then we headed to the cleaning station. The activity was frantic. Mantas started appearing. These gentle giants were sweeping in from all directions and barely missing us on occasion. Their grace was just jaw dropping as they flew by us and then hovered inches above the cleaning station. What an amazing spectacle! The famous German Channel did not disappoint. This drew to a close another great days diving.
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    Wednesday
    A beautiful morning broke and it was time for the famous Blue Holes. Blue Holes provided a unique experience with four holes on top of the reef that all lead into one large chamber. From within the holes we looked up and enjoyed the sunrays breaking through the ceiling. Numerous photos were taken. We then exited the holes through a large exit and drifted with the current along a stunning wall toward Blue Corner. Large schools of snapper, barracuda, sharks and giant trevallies were all out and about. A quick snack followed and then the dive bell rang. It was time for Ngedebus Corner. Here we enjoyed a casual swim along the wall finding nudibranchs and flatworms. Here the macro life seemed to be out and about with most of the divers focused on small critters on the wall. Not long after everyone spread out and an eagle ray appeared. Outstanding!
    After a delectable lunch and a little break we headed out to Turtle Cove. This dive has something for everyone. We started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 70 foot off the wall. Then we discovered nudibranchs and flatworms along the wall. Further along the wall we found ourselves in a forest of beautiful soft coral exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. Then as the dive site name suggests the turtles came out to play. Green and hawks bill turtles were swimming off the wall, feeding and some taking their afternoon nap. Back to the yacht for a break.
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    Blue Corner was next. Initially a casual swim along the stunning wall as we headed toward the corner. Along the way the hustle and bustle of giant trevally, barracuda, snapper and pyramid butterfly fish made our heads spin. Then the inbound white tip sharks appeared followed by some large black tip reef sharks, both making extremely close passes. Our friendly napoleon wrasse also came to greet us. Then we decided to explore the plateau with all its life. First we came across a large school of blue lined snapper that would hardly move as we approached. Then large schools of barracuda circled us followed by a very friendly green turtle What a fantastic dive at the corner. Our nocturnal delight was found at Ngedebus Coral Gardens with crabs, nudibranchs and lobsters out. A great way to end the day.

    Thursday
    A beautiful morning broke as the Palau Aggressor made passage over to Peleliu. We started our day exploring Barracks Point. Blessed with some more amazing visibility we started the dive with a wall dive filled with soft coral, sea fans, cruising sharks and a plethora of tropical fish whizzing by. Then the bottom topography changed on us turning into a sloping wall. Big boulders packed with coral housed some nudibranchs and flatworms. A turtle and eagle ray also made an appearance to make this a very delightful dive.

    A quick break and we were off to Peleliu Corner. Peleliu Corner, famous for it’s currents, is not for the faint hearted. We started the dive by cruising along the wall where we were at the mercy of a mild current and simply enjoyed the life that passed us by. Turtle and grey reef sharks seemed to be the main attraction. We then armed our reef hooks and hooked in for a little while to enjoy a more stationary view of the sharks, which came in extremely close. The remaining part of the dive was enjoyed drifting along the plateau.

    After lunch we decided to stretch our legs a bit and go on a tour of Peleliu. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Godwin showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. What a touching tour. Lunch and a little nap and it was time to visit West Wall. Here the unmistakable yellow soft coral gets everyone’s attention. This stunning wall, which is very sheer, is filled with color and macro critters. We found a large anemone with tomato anemone fish shyly playing with us and in the same anemone, a large porcelain crab grabbing floating bits of food. A turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. Sharks cruised by us along the wall with pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered around us. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive.

    Friday
    Morning broke with a wonderful sunrise as we headed to Virgin Blue Holes. We stared off exploring this stunning chimney that popped us out on the wall at around 90 feet. We perused this colorful wall and found schools of snapper, bump head parrotfish and sharks off in deeper water. Our next dive adventure takes us to New Drop Off. This dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some, offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. With crystal clear water we descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks. We hooked in for a while and watched the sharks cruising by and then enjoyed a casual drift along the plateau. A large school of blue line snapper then gained our attention as they hardly even parted as we approached. Next up was Ngemelis Wall. This great dive was enjoyed with its rich colors scattered along the wall. Soft corals galore and the macro life was abounding. The photographers found it hard to leave. Snack time again and then back to diving. An encore dive at Blue Corner produced, sharks, large schools of barracuda and our friendly napoleon wrasse that would not leave us. Another amazing dive at the famous corner. What a great way to end a fabulous days diving!

    Saturday
    Another gorgeous morning broke and our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. This stratified marine lake houses the unique non-stinging jellies. They were everywhere you looked and it felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. After getting our jellyfish fix we headed back to Koror and meandered through the rock islands and stopped at the famous archway for a photo shoot. Then back to diving. We decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy or take some photos before continuing your dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.
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    So the week comes to a close. All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish all our new friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!

    Capt. Marc
     
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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Report March 25-April 8, 2012

    Jim Church School of U/W Photography & Video 2-Week Charter

    Surface Temperature: 33º C / 86º F
    Water Temperature: 28º C / 82º F
    Weather: Mostly sunny skies with scattered showers

    Crew: Captain Marc, Engineer Hector, Photo Pro John, Video Pro Nadia, Asst. Instructor Jason, Instructor Andrew, Chef Andrew and Stewardess Agnes

    Guests: Michael, Paolo, Douglas, Donna, Larry, Joan, Peter, Merle, Stewart, John, Teresa, Jane, James, Lix, Patrick and Mike & Mike
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    Michael Haber and Mike Mesgleski of the Jim Church School of Underwater Photography join us for our special two-week charter this year. It consists of an expedition to the unexplored northern areas of Palau, and later making our way down south to the more commonly known areas such as Blue Corner.

    Some of our guests earned bragging rights to the sight of a manta ray spotted within a dive site known as “Devil Fish City”. This area is located in the western central state of Palau called Ngardmau. Within the state of Ngardmau, I think everyone understood the full extent of what it means to drift dive. The northern channel of “Aiwokako Passage” packs a powerful punch in beautiful scenery and dramatic seascapes relatively unknown by the general dive community.
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    Nearly every guest on board owned photo or video equipment of their own. In between dives, as we progress our way up north, Mike and Mike held a captive audience for their debut photography classes. The dives progressed into somewhat of a scavenger hunt for some of our guests. It was a search for the greatest picture in its most raw form.
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    The corals within the Northwest Reef can be described as nothing less than spectacular, pristine, or as Jim phrased it after the “Southern Corner”, “That was the most beautiful reef I have ever seen”.
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    We found that the marine life were far more shy than what you would expect. Turtles, Napoleon wrasse and even the little anthias kept their distance. They’ve never seen divers, yet they were curious to see what we were. The sharks had no problem with us. Being the top of their food chain I believe they fear no man or animal. As Captain Marc learned firsthand through the use of a shark rattle. Giving off the sounds of breaking fish bones, he literally came face to face with a whitetip reef shark.
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    As we progress down south we spend a couple of days within Palau’s central area for wreck dives known as Malakal. There we spent all of Thursday and half of Friday exploring sunken cargo ships, sub chasers, enemy aircraft and finishing off with famous cave dive known as Chandelier Cave. The wrecks of Palau are relatively identical to the wrecks you would expect to find in Truk lagoon. These wrecks come from the same generation of the World War II era. The only real difference is that the good majority of our wrecks lay well within recreational depths for any divers delight.
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    “Ngerchong Inside” was dubbed the “Best Dive” of the charter, “So far”. As it was described in conversation, “It was like a real life slideshow as we progressed down the reef. It was one unique encounter after another. Leaf scorpionfish, two cuttlefish, pipe fish, octopus and turtles all lined up for our enjoyment.” Later that day Chef Andy prepared a plate lunch for everyone and we made our way out to “Two Dog Beach” on an island just outside of German Channel.
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    From the beauty of Siaes Corner to the adrenaline rush in Peleliu Corner and Blue Corner, all of our corner dives have been one for the books this week. The group was adored the spectrum of colors in Siaes Corner. A wall covered in sea fans and corals of all colors. Siaes Corner has one of the lushest coral gardens you can ever expect to find upon a plateau.
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    Upon our Blue Corner and Peleliu Corner dives we all learned the extended use of our reef hooks. Safely secured along the edge of the plateau, we’re consumed by fusiliers and red tooth trigger fish all around us while sharks, Napoleon wrasse, jacks and snappers feed within an eight foot proximity around us. As Mike Haber described our corner dives, “It’s a great way to wake up in the morning”.

    On board the Palau Aggressor II, you can see the best of everything. The beauty of a live-a-board diving in Palau is that you have flexibility. It’s the freedom to find the optimum dive of the day and it’s the pleasure of diving these areas as many times as you need to get the full effect of what each dive site has to offer. Majority of Palau’s day boats are restricted to dive sites south west of Palau, whereas the Aggressor holds the freedom to explore Palau in its entirety. From North, South, East and West you can find everything Palau has to offer on board the Palau Aggressor II.

    2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain Andrew
     
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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Report -April 8 - 15, 2012

    [FONT=&quot]Palau Aggressor Trip Report April 8-15, 2012[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Water temp: 81º F[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Air Temp: 75-86º F
    Visibility: 30 –100+ feet[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Cameron, Agnes, Nadia, Marc, Todd & Nick [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Sunday[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us and the Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard a wonderful group from Rainbow Scuba: Weerasak, Eric, Phillippe, Riewseng, Kris & Gary, Nick, Oystein, John, Adam, Alex, Ed, Graham, Trevor, Sue, Michelle, Geoffrey & Kai. After a quick orientation, our guests acquainted themselves with the yacht and each other and then received a peaceful night’s rest.
    [/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  0011.jpg [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]Monday[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Weary bodies started appearing to enjoy Chef Cameron’s breakfast spread that would fuel our bodies for a great days diving. The Helmet Wreck welcomed us with calm conditions. On the wreck we found an immense amount of soft and hard coral growth that housed nudibranchs, crabs, pipefish & shrimps. We had much to explore including of course the wreck itself. What a fantastic checkout dive. The wreck of the Iro Maru then gained our attention with anemone fish and nudibranchs taking the center stage. This 470-foot wreck allowed us to spread out and explore many nooks and crannies. The bow gun is quite impressive once your eyes make it out from all the encrusted coral growth on it. Another lovely wreck dive. [/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  0022.jpg

    [FONT=&quot]During a scrumptious lunch we journeyed over to Ulong Island to explore the wonders of the famous Ulong Channel. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]The famous channel lived up to its reputation with sharks, jacks and bait balls cruising by the mouth of the channel. The show was busy and once we saw 15 minutes of pelagic action it was time for a ride down the channel and what a ride it was. Sleeping white tips in the sand scurried as we approached them. Groupers darted into their coral homes as we whizzed by and then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive and then to see 2 beautifully set giant clams was amazing. The most prolific coral life in Palau was seen on this magical ride down the channel. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. [/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  0099.jpg

    [FONT=&quot]Tuesday[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]We started to day the right way with a return trip over to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every little crack for little critters. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action.
    [/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  0044.jpg [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]Time then for lunch and some hammock time and the dive bell beckoned all the divers for some more of Palau’s under water wonders. We decided to visit Sandy Paradise. This stunning dive greeted us with nice visibility with macro life being quite abundant. Nudi’s, flat worms, long nose hawk fish and crocodile fish came out to play. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Next up was [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Siaes Corner[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. This delightful wall is pretty sheer with amazing soft coral and massive sea fans. Some patrolling sharks gained our attention, as did the plethora of anthias on the edge of the wall. We were armed to with reef hooks and with a mild current We enjoyed the show of grey reef sharks and barracuda with the occasional giant trevally whizzing by. We then took time to explore the beautiful shallows with captivating tropical fish galore. [/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  0055.jpg

    [FONT=&quot]We decided to visit Ulong Coral Gardens for a relaxing dusk dive and watch the change of shift from day creature to nocturnal ones. This was a wonderful way to end the day![/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Wednesday[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Morning broke over the rock islands of Palau and it was time to visit [/FONT][FONT=&quot]German Channel[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. This amazing dive started off with an iridescent pink anemone with anemone fish snuggled up inside. Then we explored the cleaning station and we were in for a treat. As we were leaving the cleaning station a graceful giant manta appeared. Effortlessly flapping it’s 3-meter wings and cruising straight for us. It made a few passes over the cleaning station before disappearing into the blue below. That was breathtakingly beautiful. Then we explored the mouth of the channel, which had a large school of jacks, black snappers and barracuda. Grey reef sharks were cruising by quite often. After enjoying all the schooling fish we took a relaxing ride down the channel as we drifted across stunning coral formations. It was then time for lunch. [/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  01010.jpg

    [FONT=&quot]The dive bell rang. Turtle Cove was our next adventure and [/FONT][FONT=&quot]this dive had something for everyone. We started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 70 foot off the wall. Then we discovered nudibranchs and flatworms along the wall. Further along the wall we found ourselves in a forest of beautiful soft coral exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. Then as the dive site name suggests the turtles came out to play. Green and hawksbill turtles were swimming off the wall, feeding and some taking their afternoon nap. Speaking of which, it was hammock time for us.
    [/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  0077.jpg

    [FONT=&quot]Our next dive adventure took us to Blue Corner. [/FONT][FONT=&quot] After practicing our hook-in techniques at Ulong Channel this was a ‘breeze’. This dive offers fantastic pelagic action. On this occasion it was no different. With crystal clear water we descended into a thick school of pyramid butterfly fish and patrolling reef sharks. We hooked in for a while and watched the sharks cruising by and then enjoyed a casual drift along the plateau where we came across our friend the napoleon wrasse. As playful as always he approached everyone in the group to say “hi”. A large school of blue line snapper then gained our attention as they hardly even parted as we approached. What a fantastic dive! We then took a plunge back into Turtle Cove for out nighttime delight.[/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  0033.jpg [FONT=&quot] [/FONT] ©Watermarc Photography  0066.jpg ©Watermarc Photography  01111.jpg

    [FONT=&quot]Thursday[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] The Palau Aggressor then made passage down south to Peleliu Island. West Wall was our first dive of the day. This amazing dive allowed us to enjoy the stunning wall with yellow polyps scattered everywhere along the wall. Giant sea fans and soft coral made beautiful photos and also housed long nose hawk fish and shrimps. The occasional shark and turtle made an appearance and we found numerous nudibranchs and flatworms. Large schools of black snappers and barracuda also came out. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The land tour was next. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back in time to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Tanji had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. Very interesting yet sad. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]After lunch we decided to head to Barrack’s Point. This stunning wall starts off very sheer and then turns into a sloping bottom is filled with color and macro critters such as nudis and scorpion fish. A turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. Sharks cruised by us along the wall as did pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered around us in the glistening sunrays. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. Our next adventure takes us to Ngedebus Corner. This wonderful wall housed numerous nudibranchs, flatworms and a forest of soft coral bouquets. This put to a close a wonderful days diving.
    [/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  0088.jpg [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]Friday[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Morning broke and it was then time for an encore dive at German Channel. Again we were not disappointed and found scad being attacked by sharks and giant trevallys. Then the mantas started appearing. First a large one off in the blue then a baby whizzed by us followed by another getting cleaned at the cleaning station. Unbelievable! [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Snack and a bit of hammock time and we were off to Blue Corner. The same ensemble was back. The action at the corner was again head turning and lively with some exceptionally close passes of grey reef sharks and white tip sharks. Our friend the napoleon wrasse again visited us. It was an amazing dive! [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]After another delectable lunch we visited Blue Holes. A stone throw away from Blue Corner, Blue Holes is an awesome chamber with skylights overhead allowing streams of sunrays in. We perused the chamber looking for little critters and found a disco clam and helfich’s dart fish. We then cruised the wall heading to Blue Corner. We were accompanied by a turtle, white tip reef shark and wall-to-wall pyramid butterfly fish. It was not long before our friendly napoleon wrasse came to greet us. This was another fabulous dive. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Snacks followed and then the it was time to dive again. Ngemeli’s Wall was a very enjoyable dive with soft corals scattered about and nudis and long nose hawkfish. More sharks were seen cruising below us and tropical fish were abound. What a great dive! Dinner and a movie followed where we reminisced fondly on what a wonderful week we had.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Saturday [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. These non-stinging jellies were so thick you could hardly see the person next to you. It felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. Getting our jellyfish fix we decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy before continuing you dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.[/FONT]
    ©Watermarc Photography  01313.jpg
    ©Watermarc Photography  01212.jpg

    [FONT=&quot]We would like to congratulate Adam, Geoffrey, Ed, John, Trevor and Graham for successfully completing the Digital UW Photo class and Kai, Trevor, Ed, Graham, Gary and Alex for completing their Nitrox courses! So the week comes to a close. All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish our friends from Rainbow Scuba a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way![/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Capt. Marc[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
     
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    Surface Temperature: 33º C / 86º F
    Water Temperature: 28º C / 82º F
    Weather: Mostly sunny skies with scattered showers
    Crew: Captain Andrew, Engineer/Divemaster Hector, Photo Pro John, Video Pro Todd, Divemaster Marc, Chef Andrew and Stewardess Agnes

    Guests: Cyndi, Beth, Asheefa, Max, Marion, Ulri, Ralf, Steve, Jeff, Dave, Chris, Josie, Paul, Esteban and Jacques
    IMG_8110.gif
    A handful of achievements and milestones came about on this charter. Not only did Asheefa complete her Enriched Air Diver course, but she also made her 100[SUP]th[/SUP] dive on Palau’s famous “Blue Corner”. Blue Corner made the debut hookin dive of the charter. With the use of our reef hooks, it allowed us to hang within a given area of the wall where numerous sharks, barracuda, jacks, Napoleon wrasse, and snappers all come to feed. For an entire hour long we remained suspended in this area as the marine life engulfed our surroundings.
    _JDS0116.jpg
    Beth made her 50[SUP]th[/SUP] dive upon one of our most southern dive site called, “West Wall”. It’s an area full of colorful macro critters. Conversations arose over all the various nudibranchs and flatworms within the area. With a sharp eye some came across the local leaf scorpion fish. With the keen eye of our divemaster Hector, we observed the elusive arangatang crab. A crab so well camouflaged it can easily be mistaken for algae.
    _JDS0139.gif _JDS0120.gif
    It was a milestone for some who had never received the chance of seeing a manta ray until one faithful dive within the German Channel. The fearless Jacques also came face-to-face with a banded sea snake… literally face-to-face. So close he could have kissed it.
    _JDS0162.gif _JDS0060.gif
    Nearly everyone had a milestone of some kind to talk about. Whether it’s an intimate moment with a poisonous reptile, or an observation of the most beautiful creature you may ever see, Palau holds a milestone in every divers dream.

    Captain Andrew
     
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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Report -April 22 - 29, 2012

    Palau Aggressor II Captain’s Report April 22 – 29, 2012

    Crew: Captain Marc, Photo Pro Ben, Video Pro Nadia, Instructor Todd, Instructor Andrew, Chef Andrew and Stewardess Loly

    Guests: Peter, Barbara, James, Kenneth, Sarah, Marjorie, Jacquelyn, Andrey, Natalia, Jack

    Zegrahm Expeditions join us this week to explore everything Micronesia has to offer. Palau made their first of two stops within their journey. Before coming aboard, they all partook on a rock island tour by kayak throughout the eastern side of Palau.
    PA4-4-29.jpg PA10-4-29.gif PA12-4-29.gif

    A small portion of the group was divers and the rest were all snorkelers. I think the greatest part about this expedition was that regardless to whether you were a snorkeler or diver you still have the chance to see Palau at its very best… Most of the time. The Zegrahm Company hired a second skiff operated by Sam’s Tours that allowed our snorkelers to experience Palau’s reef on their own time.
    PA1 4-29.gif PA2 - 4-29.gif

    With the help of their group leader Jack, the group received extensive knowledge regarding Palau’s marine life characteristics and behavior. Not only did our guests learn more about the underwater environment, but we ourselves did as well.
    PA6-4-29.gif PA7-4-29.gif

    Upon our snorkel atop Ngemelis Wall, Jack pointed out two bird wrasse in the mists of spawning. The large colorful male fidgets and shakes erratically to entice the nearby female in hopes that they might spawn. In due time, the male successfully seduces the female and they continued the process for the final 20 minutes of our snorkel. Meanwhile in the very same location Jack points out the strange interaction between a triggerfish and a surgeonfish. These two fish coming from entirely different backgrounds flaunted about trying to court one another in their own spawning rituals. It was an x-rated snorkel that morning, yet having no children nearby it was accepted for our enjoyment.

    PA8-4-29.gif PA9-4-29.gif

    Wednesday morning our snorkel team was one up on the dive teams unique sightings. Upon their snorkel within German Channel we found a very large cuttlefish trying to camouflage within its surroundings as we passed by. “Team Snorkel” held bragging rights until later that afternoon when “Team Dive” gazed upon a scalloped hammerhead shark as they rode within the current. It became a tie by the end of the week in unique sightings. As I said before - here in Palau, whether you’re a diver or a snorkeler, you can expect to see the same variety of marine life at the surface as you would at depth… Most of the time.

    2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain Drew
     
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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Report -April 29 - May 6, 2012

    Theresa and Michael celebrate their honeymoon this charter week while Mike received a deck cake after his morning birthday dive at Blue Holes. We got the very best of Blue Holes dive that day. We begin with the luscious topography of the cavern and chimneys and later catch an ideal current that sent us all down to the northern wall of Blue Corner. It was a two for one dive or maybe we’ll just call it a birthday present for Mike.
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    Aside from the special occasions, we came across very unique sightings as well. Cuttlefish were mating within Ngedebus Coral Gardens. Blue Corner held the center stage for a feeding frenzy of grey reef sharks and it all began upon the Helmet Wreck. Our debut dive brought us a crocodile fish in plain sight and two thin pipefish who were almost out of sight had it not been seen by our Photo Pro Ben.
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    Captain Marc divulged his secrets in photography to his student Vanessa who accomplished her Underwater Photography course. Jason and Justin became the newest members of the Nitrox club allowing them to explore the most of our dive sites for longer periods of time.
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    Whether it’s a milestone, special occasion, unique sighting, or accomplishment, we’ll take care of it here on the Palau Aggressor.
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    2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain Drew

    Crew: Captain Mike, Divemaster Marc, Photo Pro Ben, Video Pro Nadia, Instructors Todd and Andrew, Chef Andrew and Stewardess Loly

    Guests: Richard, Justin, Hiroko, Francesco, Theresa, Rich, Patrick, Daneen, Jason, Koji, Vanessa, Michael, Ken, Mary and Mike
     
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    Captain Marc, please e-mail me about the strobes, Thanks, Doug Greene
     
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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Report - May 6 - 13, 2012

    Palau Aggressor Trip Report May 6-13, 2012

    Water temp: 81º F
    Air Temp: 86-92º F
    Visibility: 60–110+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Andy, Agnes, Nadia, Nick, Todd & Dive Master Marc

    Sunday
    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Fred & Diane, Kevin & Libby, Tara & Bill, Lisa & Jim, Jeannie, Edward, Jim, Jeff & Kathie.

    Monday
    Flat calm conditions inspired us to head out toward the Teshio Maru to set the stage for a wonderful day’s diving. And that it was. This marvelous check out dive is a favorite wreck dive for many visitors. Everyone chose their comfortable depth to explore this beautiful wreck with an array of hard and soft corals. Nudibranchs and flat worms came out for a leisurely stroll on the metal bits that are now so encrusted with coral that is their home. What a fabulous check-out dive. We returned to the yacht for a snack and a little hammock time and then headed out to Siaes Corner. This amazing little dive site has a little something for everyone. Here we found nudibranchs and flatworms, turtles and sharks. Anthias were scattered along the edge of the wall pulsating with the mild surge. A little down time followed and then the dive bell rang. Ulong Channel was up next. The famous channel lived up to its reputation with sharks, jacks, hump head parrot fish and bait balls cruising by the mouth of the channel as we anchored ourselves with our reef hooks. The show was busy and once we saw 20 minutes of pelagic action it was time for a ride down the channel. Sleeping white tips in the sand scurried as we approached them. The most prolific coral life in Palau was seen on the magical ride. Groupers darted into their coral homes as we whizzed by and then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. This was a great way to end a wonderful day’s diving.
    PA2May12.gif
    Tuesday
    A beautiful day broke over Ulong Island. After a tasty breakfast the dive skiff headed back to Ulong Channel. Another fantastic dive through the channel with milder current. Then we took a plunge into Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and incredible wall in one dive. We started off in the tunnel exploring almost every nook and cranny for little critters. We managed to find the elusive pygmy blue back butterfly fish and a few flatworms. Then as we swam out of the tunnel a whole new world opened up. The wall was rich with colors and fish life. Schools of snapper, anthias and barracuda were waiting for us. Photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action. For lunch Chef Andy prepared a posh picnic lunch on Long Beach. What an idyllic tropical setting. Then it was time for Ngemelis Wall. This shear wall looked like an artist pallet splashed with stunning color. The soft corals were painted with pastel pinks, purples, yellows and oranges. Sea fans that stretched out off the wall sheltered the stealthy long nose hawk fish; nudibranchs while a large green turtle swam by. A banded sea snake was also found hunting on the edge of the wall. This was a very enjoyable drift dive. A quick break and we jumped into German Channel. From the beginning of the dive we were surrounded by large schools of fish. A massive school of jacks enveloped us followed by a school of barracuda and black snapper. Then the sharks showed up with a half dozen jacks following close behind taking turns rubbing against the shark. They were cleaning the parasites off their body with the sand paper like skin of the shark. After all the action at the mouth of the channel we enjoyed a leisurely drift through the channel. This was a perfect way to end the day.
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    Wednesday
    A beautiful morning broke and it was time for the famous Blue Corner. The dive started with a casual swim along the stunning wall as we headed toward the corner. Along the way the hustle and bustle of giant trevally, barracuda, snapper and pyramid butterfly fish made our heads spin. Then the inbound white tip sharks appeared followed by some large black tip reef sharks, both making extremely close passes. With a mild current, we found it easy to hook in and get into a good position to enjoy the show. Sharks were making close passes with jacks, snappers & red tooth triggerfish scattered in the blue. Our friendly Napoleon wrasse made a special guest appearance too. Then we unhooked and explored the plateau with all its life. First we came across a large school of blue lined snapper that would hardly move as we approached. Then large schools of barracuda circled us followed by a very friendly green turtle that casually swam around the group. What a fantastic dive at the corner. A quick snack followed and then the dive bell rang. Turtle Cove was next. This dive has something for everyone. We started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 70 foot off the wall. Then we discovered nudibranchs and flatworms along the wall. Further along the wall we found ourselves in a forest of beautiful soft coral exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. Then as the dive site name suggests the turtles came out to play. Green and hawksbill turtles were swimming off the wall, feeding and some taking their afternoon nap. Back to the yacht for a break. The dive bell rang and it was time for New Drop Off. Considered a mini Blue Corner by some this turned out to be an amazing dive. A casual drift along the wall found us surrounded by a large school of barracuda and black snappers. Then we started finding nudibranchs, flatworms, porcelain crabs, and a scorpion fish. A moray eel was on the prowl as it snaked gracefully along the reef occasionally disappearing.
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    Thursday
    A beautiful morning broke as the Palau Aggressor made passage over to Peleliu. We started our day exploring Peleliu Corner. Famous for its currents; Peleliu Corner is not for the faint hearted. We started the dive by cruising along the wall where we were at the mercy of a moderate current and simply enjoyed the life that passed us by. Turtles and grey reef sharks seemed to be the main attraction. We then armed our reef hooks and hooked in for a while to enjoy a more stationary view of the sharks, which came in extremely close. We also found a leaf scorpion fish and mantis shrimp in a coral bunker seeking shelter from the current. The remaining part of the dive was enjoyed drifting along the plateau. We then decided to stretch our legs a bit and go on a tour of Peleliu. This exceptionally interesting tour took us back to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Tangi showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. What a touching tour. Lunch and a little nap and it was time to visit West Wall. Here the unmistakable yellow soft coral gets everyone’s attention. This stunning wall which is very sheer is filled with color and macro critters. We found a large anemone with tomato anemone fish shyly playing with us and in the same anemone, a large porcelain crab grabbing floating bits of food. A turtle causally swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. Sharks cruised by us along the wall with pyramid butterfly fish and anthias scattered around us. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. Our next adventure takes us to Orange Beach. This wonderful sloping wall housed numerous nudibranchs and flatworms and we encountered large schools of snapper, turtle and hump head parrotfish. We also came across a large collection of bullets. This was a very relaxing and enjoyable dive.
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    Friday
    Morning broke with a wonderful sunrise as we headed to back to German Channel. This time we encountered the unusual pink anemone host with Clark’s anemone fish bashfully playing with the photographers. Then we waited at the cleaning station and this time it paid off. A brief encounter with a giant manta. Sharks and snappers kept us busy for the remainder of this world-class dive. Snack and hammock time followed and then we headed to Blue Holes. Blue Holes provided a unique experience with four holes on top of the reef that all lead into one large chamber. From within the holes we looked up and enjoyed the sunrays breaking through the ceiling. Numerous photos were taken. We then exited the holes through a large exit and drifted with the current along a stunning wall toward Blue Corner. Large schools of snapper, barracuda, sharks and giant trevallies were all out and about. What a great dive. Surface time was followed by an encore dive at the famous corner. The usual suspects were back including another stellar performance by our Napoleon wrasse. For a change of scenery we decided to visit Ngerchong Island. Ngerchong Inside is a great macro critter dive site and on this occasion it was no different. The dive started off with an octopus sighting followed by leaf scorpion fish and nudibranchs. A wonderful relaxing dive to end the day.
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    Saturday
    Another gorgeous morning broke and our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. This stratified marine lake houses the unique non-stinging jellies. They were everywhere you looked and it felt like we were in another world as we snorkeled around these pulsating critters. After getting our jellyfish fix we headed back to Koror and meandered through the rock islands and stopped at the famous archway for a photo shoot. Then back to diving. We decided to enjoy yet another different experience with Chandelier Caves. Only 18 feet deep or so this cave has four chambers that have air spaces where you can pop up and have a chat to your buddy or take some photos before continuing your dive. Exploring these caves was a wonderful way to end an already fantastic weeks diving in Palau.
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    So the week comes to a close. We would like to congratulate Tara for completing their Underwater Photography course. All of us here on the Palau Aggressor wish all our friends a safe trip home and a speedy return to eating, sleeping and diving the Aggressor way!
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    Sulang!
    Capt. Marc
     

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