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Thread: Palau Aggressor II Captain's Logs

 

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    Palau Aggressor II Captain's Report - August 19 - 26, 2012

    Palau Aggressor II Captain’s Report August 19 – 26, 2012

    Andrew, Christiana, Angelo, and Lecia enjoyed their time aboard the Helmet and the Iro Maru. Both vessels have been sunk below 30 meters, but nonetheless they still enjoyed their time aboard. Andrew and I spoke of Palau’s diversity that night. We spoke of how you may enjoy the history of our WWII wrecks as well as the beauty of the coral reefs. It’s as though you experience the best of Truk lagoon and Yap all in one destination.

    Our first stop within Palau’s archipelago was the island of Ulong. In my opinion, the coral gardens of Ulong channel are unmatched in beauty to anywhere else in the world. Tabletop corals extend for as far as the eye can see. Lettuce corals completely cover a ridge of 50 meters in length where soldier fish lay home in protection from the channels potentially strong currents. Grey, black and white tip reef sharks patrol the mouth of the channel where all its nutrients gather the prey of another. It’s in areas such as this where we make use of our reef hooks. Anchoring ourselves at the mouth of the channel allows us to enjoy a live slideshow of the underwater world. Napoleon wrasse, jacks, and tuna feed upon the smaller fish, and the smaller fish upon even smaller. Aside from the usual suspects, we even came across a nurse shark, schools of batfish and bumphead parrotfish. I think that concludes day one of our charter.

    We were lucky enough to encounter manta rays within German Channel Wednesday afternoon. For those who stayed up late that night were graced with the presence of a tiger shark, roughly nine feet in length. She circled the yacht for hours hunting in the convenience of our deck lights. We conclude our week with Palau’s favorite sites such as Blue Corner and the island of Peleliu. Our final finale ends in the tranquility of Jelly Fish Lake and Chandelier Cave.

    2nd Captain Andrew




















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    Palau Aggressor Trip Report August 26 - September 2, 2012

    Palau Aggressor Trip Report August 26 - September 2, 2012

    Water temp: 82º F
    Air Temp: 73-86º F
    Visibility: 30–100+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Cameron, Loly, Andy, Ben, John, Ike & Hector

    Sunday
    A fantastic week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Mike & Cathy from South Africa, Jamie from the UK, Reinhard, Uwe, Ingo & Thomas from Germany, Cathy from the US, Kylie & Craig from Australia and Truc from Indonesia. A delightful dinner, followed by the safety orientation, and off to bed for a peaceful nights rest.

    Monday
    The day started with the Helmet Wreck. This tranquil dive welcomed us with an immense amount of soft and hard coral growth that housed nudibranchs, crabs, two varieties of pipefish and shrimp. On the wreck we observed the stern guns, the coral encrusted superstructure, and of course the helmets. What a fantastic checkout dive. Then we decided to head over to the wreck of the Iro Maru. 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 delectable lunch the Palau Aggressor made passage to Omekang Island. Ngemeli’s Wall was next. Ngemeli’s Wall was a very enjoyable dive with soft corals scattered about, nudibranchs and long nose hawkfish. More sharks were seen cruising below us and tropical fish were abound. Snack time was followed by a visit 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. What a fantastic day and a great way to start our Palauan adventure.

    Tuesday
    A beautiful morning broke and 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. Our friendly napoleon wrasse also came out to play. We enjoyed Cam’s breakfast before heading back out. Our next dive adventure took us to Turtle Cove. This dive has something for everyone. With startling visibility we started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 60 foot off the wall. Then 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 exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. As the name suggests we also saw a variety of turtles too. After a fortifying lunch it was time for 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 its famous current we anchored ourselves to the edge of the wall with our reef hooks. This quick and easy set-up 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 are right in the middle of it. Then suddenly a napoleon wrasse made an appearance. Very approachable, this affable wrasse with its puppy dog eyes made its rounds to every one of us and made some new friends. Outstanding! A snack followed and we returned to the water. New Drop Off was our next location. 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 green turtle. A large school of blue line snapper then gained our attention as they hardly even parted as we approached. Another incredible day comes to a close.

    Wednesday
    Morning broke with calm conditions and a wonderful sunrise saw the Palau Aggressor make passage to Peleliu Island. We had the playful company of a large school of dolphins for our short journey. Peleliu Corner was our first dive of the day. Famous for its strong currents, Peleliu Corner is not for the faint hearted. Cruising along the wall, we were at the mercy of the very mild current and simply enjoyed the life that passed us by. Turtles 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. “Dory” from Finding Nemo was also spotted on the famous Peleliu Corner. 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 casually swam by and hardly even noticed this gaggle of divers admiring him. 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 in time to September 1944 when the US Marines stormed the beaches of Peleliu. Our guide Tangi had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and showed us the US and Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. What a touching tour. 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. For our nighttime delight we returned to Orange Beach and we were treated to more turtles, along with nudibranchs and crabs. This ends a lovely days diving in Peleliu.

    Thursday
    The Palau Aggressor made way north toward Ngemeli’s Island to set the stage for a great days diving. An encore dive at Blue Corner was an obvious choice. This dive at the corner was just as incredible as the last; making our heads spin and our friendly napoleon wrasse visited us too. After a quick bite to eat we splashed into Ngedebus Corner. This relaxing wall dive was filled with soft coral and sea fans and we found scorpion fish, turtles, eels and nudis along this tranquil drift dive. After lunch we returned for more Blue Corner action. And that it was. With very mild conditions we hooked in and then as if a switch was turned on, the current picked up and so did the life. Sharks and a massive school of black snappers got our attention and the napoleon wrasse beckoned for it. Barracuda, jacks and pyramid butterfly fish surrounded us as we marveled at all the life on the famous corner. German Channel was up again and this time produced more shark action and big schools of scad. After we spent some time with the bait ball we decided to cruise down the channel and enjoy the beautiful coral garden. Another wonderful days diving!

    Friday
    Our adventure starts with Siaes Tunnel near Ulong Island. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and an 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. Nudibranchs were spotted along the wall and the photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action. It was then time for lunch and the dive bell rang, luring divers for another adventure. Siaes Corner was next. We started the dive with rich soft coral wall with sea fans and whip coral in between. Lovely tropical fish cruised along the wall. We then passed the corner and found thousands of pink and orange anthias scattered along the edge of the wall. Just as we passed the corner the current started rolling in and we anchored into the reef with our reef hooks. Then the show started with sharks and jacks passing right in front of us. We then explored the stunning shallow reef and found a leaf scorpion fish fluttering back and forth in the mild surge. Time for a bit of lunch and relaxing in the hammock and the dive bell rang. Ulong Channel was on the board. The famous channel lived up to its reputation with an amazing wall and coral gardens followed by plenty sharks cruising by the mouth of the channel. We anchored ourselves with our reef hooks and enjoyed the close encounters. The show was busy and once we saw 30 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. Then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive followed by two beautifully set giant clams. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. We then took a break and returned to Ulong Channel for more fun. After dinner we all enjoyed watching the great week’s diving with a feature film starring all our wonderful guests!

    Saturday
    Our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jellyfish Lake. These non-stinging jellies were everywhere you looked. 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 20 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 Kylie & Craig on their 2nd anniversary and Truc & Kathryn for completing their Nitrox course! Cathy also celebrated her birthday with us! 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 September 2 – 9, 2012

    Palau Aggressor II Captain’s Report September 2 – 9, 2012

    I enjoy watching everyone’s passion for diving. For this charter in particular, it wasn’t about the ‘big stuff’ or the ‘little stuff’. This week it was all about everything. Big or small, colorful or dull, within the depths or shallows, every dive was a good dive. I especially enjoyed listening to Connie and Edie’s enthusiasm. From the very first dive, it was spoken as the best dive ever. As the week progressed, every following dive was titled as the best dive ever. It was as if the dives just kept getting better and better.

    Every dive destination has their unique ‘claim to fame’. As for Palau, it’s all about the diversity. We were graced with the presence of two manta rays within Palau’s famous German Channel. Ulong Channel set the show for a stampede of bumphead parrotfish. A school of fifty flooded the banks and poured down into the channel nearly 20 meters distant from us.

    This charter marks Charlie’s fifth visit to the islands of Palau. The more you visit Palau, the more time one may have to build a unique connection with some of the marine life here. The Napoleon wrasse has the most personality that I have ever seen in a fish. You begin to wonder if they recognize you when they literally come face to face in a staring contest. Unfortunately, it’s a staring contest you can’t win.

    From wreck diving to cavern diving; Jellyfish Lake to the outside reef; breathtaking seascapes to unforgettable animal encounters; from North, South, East, and West, Palau has everything you may ask for.

    2nd Captain Andrew




















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    Palau Aggressor Captain’s Report September 9 – 16, 2012

    Palau Aggressor Captain’s Report September 9 – 16, 2012

    Water temp: 82º F
    Air Temp: 73-86º F
    Visibility: 30–100+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Andy, Len, Kris, Ben, Nick, and Hector

    Sunday
    A fantastic week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Samanta and Boris who are on honeymoon from Germany, Bethany, Aaron, Chris and Jonathan who came from the states and sisters Nicole and Catherine who live in Hong Kong. Everybody was pumped up ready to explore the delightful reefs of Palau.

    Monday
    After the dive deck briefing we loaded our dive skiff with guests and diving equipment and made the one minute journey to our first dive site of the week which was the Helmet Wreck. This two hundred foot long cargo boat was bombed by the Americans during “Operation Desecrate 1” in the Second World War and has many artifacts like depth charges, guns, bullets and even some sake bottles. Next up was the Chuyo Maru, which was sunk on the same day as the Helmet. This ship is a lot bigger and is home to hawksbill turtles and many lionfish. After lunch we did a combination dive of a channel and a wreck at Lighthouse Channel. We had many nudibranchs on the wreck. We did a dusk dive at Chandelier Caves to wrap up the day and everybody had a wonderful time exploring the four different air chambers in this cave system. An added bonus in the coral garden just outside the caves is a great collection of Mandarin fish who love to come out and play.

    Tuesday
    We visited the wonderful channel area of the Koror Marine Park, which is one of the most picturesque areas of Palau. The first dive was on Caroline’s Reef where we saw a number of different pipefish. Next up was the thriving metropolis of Clam City, which used to be a clam farm and is now a popular spot for scuba divers, there is around thirty giant clams in a great variety of colors. After Chef Andy’s amazing meatloaf for lunch we did a dive in Wonder Channel and this turned into a frenzy of pipefish activity with over twenty found in one dive. Our fourth dive was at New Fantasy Island, which is a new dive site we discovered a few weeks ago. We saw a couple of grey reef sharks, moray eel and another great selection of nudibranchs.

    Wednesday
    We kicked off Wednesday morning with an early trip to the world famous Jellyfish Lake. We had the lake all to ourselves and the angle of the sun was just right making the jellyfish sparkle before our eyes. After we took some photos and video we explored the edge of the lake, seeing anemones, gobys and cardinal fish trying to eat the stray jellyfish that get too close. We pulled up the anchor of the mother ship and headed over to Ngerchong Island. We did our first dive on the “Outer Reef” of the Pacific Ocean and saw plenty of big grey reef sharks chasing schools of fusiliers. There were big schools of big eye and stripped jacks. We did the “Inner Reef” after lunch and explored the amazing coral gardens filled with some of the healthiest stag horn coral formations that you would see in the whole world. We moved to our mooring at German Channel and our fourth dive was spent at the Channel where we encountered a feather tail ray, marble grouper and white tip sharks, but the highlight was Ben spotting a pair of beautiful robust ghost pipe fish which were swaying around in the surge.

    Thursday
    Everybody was pumped up with excitement as our first dive was at one of the jewels of Palau’s crown, Blue Holes. We explored this beautiful cathedral-like cavern looking out into the bluest water you will ever see. We checked out the disco clams and we had the added bonus of seeing a very fat tawny nurse shark sleeping on the sandy bottom. After we exited the hole we drifted down towards Blue Corner. New Drop Off was our second dive and again the visibility was perfect. We had a few grey reef sharks, schools of barracuda and a very angry turtle, which was trying to shake off a family of three remora fish that were stuck onto his shell. Blue Corner was our dive location after lunch and we tested out our reef hooks while checking out the many sharks just off the wall. We were joined by our friendly Napoleon wrasse and we also witnessed schools of black snapper, barracuda, Spanish mackerel and a few more turtles. We visited German Channel for our fourth dive where we saw cuttlefish, sleeping white tips, midnight snapper and a few blue face angelfish.

    Friday
    With bright sunshine behind us we headed off to Blue Corner for a final look at Palau’s most famous dive site. We had around fifteen sharks in front of us at the hook in area and again the family of Napoleon wrasse came and mingled with our guests. For our second dive we checked out the beautiful sheer wall off Nemelis Island, which is encrusted in soft corals and sea fans big enough to keep an Arabia prince cool. We headed out to our most western location, which was the island of Ulong. We finished the day with two dives in Ulong Channel where we have the most beautiful healthy corals that you will see. An abundance of sharks greeted us at the mouth of the channel and as we drifted down the channel seeing a patch of lettuce coral in which will take your breath away. We finished at the two giant clams, which our covered in purple soft corals. We took our guests to see the stone money and a quick trip to Ulong Island before a nice sunset drink on the top deck. We finished up the evening looking at the weekly video having a few laughs at the positioning of the friendly remora fish.

    Saturday
    Siaes Corner was our first dive and we did our last hook in dive for the week and saw some dog tooth tuna mixed in with schools of red snapper with sharks just behind them looking for breakfast. Our last dive of the week was on the Jake seaplane, which crashed during the Second World War.

    The crew of the Palau Aggressor would like to thank our guests for coming to see us this week, we hope you enjoyed your time with us. Samanta and Boris we hope you enjoyed your honeymoon, well done on also passing fifty dives each this week. Congratulations also to Catherine for getting her 100th dive, to Bethany, Aaron and Chris for passing the nitrox course and to Jonathan for completing the underwater photography course.

    Written by Kris Mears
    Palau Aggressor crew



    url=http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/183568/title/sept-9-16-2012-charter-photos/cat/5759][/url]
















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    Palau Aggressor II Captain’s Report September 16 -23, 2012

    Palau Aggressor II Captain’s Report September 16 -23, 2012

    Water temp: 82º F
    Air Temp: 73-86º F
    Visibility: 30–100+ feet

    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Cameron, Loly, Kris, Ben, Andy, Ike

    Sunday
    Welcome to the latest installment of the Captains log for the Palau Aggressor II. This week our charter had a distinctive stars and stripes theme with many of our guests living in the USA, so welcome aboard to group leader Barry who brought Jeff, Diane, Enic, Bobby, Richard, Louis, Lydie from the Smokey Mountains Dive Shop in Tennessee. Our other guests were Ginna, Tom, Zhikai and Brett who were all looking forward to a great week of diving.

    Monday
    The Helmet Wreck was our first dive and after a quick weight check we dropped down onto this cargo boat, which was sunk in the Second World War by the American navy. The wreck has great artifacts including depth charges (which are not to be touched) rifles, gas masks and sake bottles. Continuing our wreck theme we dove next on the giant tanker called the Iro Maru. This ship is nearly five hundred feet long and has to huge eight-inch guns at the bow and the stern. We then cruised over to Ulong Island during our lunch interval and treated our guests to an afternoon diving in Ulong Channel. We all hooked into the reef and watched around fifteen grey reef sharks come really close as they patrolled the mouth of the channel. We enjoyed the ride through the channel itself, exploring the huge lettuce coral garden and two of the most beautiful giant clams you will ever see.

    Tuesday
    We spent a calm night at Ulong Channel and our first dive was Siaes Tunnel, which is a spectacular way to start the day. This huge tunnel is home to some rare fish including the blue back pygmy angelfish and the decorated dart fish. Our second dive was in the same area at Siaes Corner. We hooked in and saw around fifteen grey reef sharks including a few juveniles who we had not seen before. We headed off to our German Channel mooring during Cameron’s lunch of BBQ pork and chicken. Nemelis Wall our next dive and this is one of the most beautiful walls you will ever see as it is covered in many soft corals in all the colors of the rainbow. There are many nudibranchs and flatworms to be seen and we found a couple of squat lobsters hiding inside a crinoid. We then hit the “Manta Jackpot” at German Channel with five big mantas paying our guests a visit. We witnessed feeding and also some great cleaning station action to wrap up a perfect day.

    Wednesday
    We visited the world famous Blue Corner to start Wednesday and we had amazing visibility of over a hundred feet. We hooked into the reef and watched huge schools of black snapper; giant trevally and barracuda cruise by in the current. We were then joined by plenty of grey reef sharks that scanned the schools of fish with hungry eyes. Our friendly Napoleon wrasse joined the party and posed for plenty of pictures with our delighted guests. Next up was the colossal Blue Holes, which is another classic Palauan dive. This huge cavern has holes that let’s amazing ambient light come in that creates a beautiful cathedral-like ambience - simply spectacular. We dived Turtle Cove after lunch and explored the mini chimney. This chimney leads out onto a beautiful sheer wall that is covered in sea fans and wire coral. After yesterday’s success we re-visited German Channel and again we saw manta rays feeding in the shallows. We also saw massive dogtooth tuna, Spanish mackerel and plenty more grey reef and white tip sharks.

    Thursday
    New Drop Off was our first stop and this site is known to be to like a mini-Blue Corner with a small hook in area and plenty of action to feast your eyes upon. We had some white tips, barracuda, jacks and pyramid butterfly fish. We saw our resident green turtle with three remora fish stuck to its shell. We then headed to Peleliu Island and checked out the Peleliu Express. We had a nice current and hooked in and watched schools of unicorn fish, black snapper mixed in with white tips and massive bumphead parrotfish, we also saw a white leaf fish hiding in a hole. After lunch some of our guests choose to take a land tour of Peleliu, which was the scene of a huge battle in the Second World War. There are many tanks and shot down aircraft to see and we also paid our respects at the memorials to the heroic soldiers who gave their lives here.

    Friday
    We visited Blue Corner to start the day and we saw the many reasons why this dive is rated in the top five best in the whole world. The schools of black snapper and giant trevally were massive as they drifted by our hook-in area. As we drifted down some big bumphead parrotfish greeted us and there were five white tip sharks hunting as a pack. We also spotted massive schools of blue lined snappers and sea bream near the lettuce corals and of course, with us for the entire dive, was our family of three Napoleon wrasse. We moved the mother ship over to Ngerchong Island and did two dives inside and out. We had an exciting dive on the outside with some grey reef sharks, an eagle ray and a hawksbill turtle. Our last dive of the day was at Clam City where we explored this old clam farm that has every color and variety of giant clam you will ever see in your life.

    Saturday
    Jellyfish Lake is always one of the highlights of the trip, as there are not many places in the world where you can swim with an estimated thirteen million sting-less jellyfish. We finished up with a nice shallow dive in the beautiful Chandelier Cave, where we even found a few mandarin fish hiding in the coral heads. After we returned to the dock everybody enjoyed lunch and relaxed in the afternoon before photo pro Ben’s slideshow and our evening cocktail party.

    The crew of the Palau Aggressor II would like to thank our guests for coming to see us. We hope you enjoyed your time with us this week.

    Written by Kris Mears (Palau Aggressor crew)




















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    Palau Aggressor II Captain’s Report Sept 30 – Oct 7, 2012

    Surface Temperature: 33º C / 86º F
    Water Temperature: 28º C / 82º F
    Weather: Sunny intervals with heavy showers and thunderstorms.
    Wind: 5 knts – 50knts

    All aboard for our latest installment of the captains log for the Palau Aggressor. This week our guests came from the United States and the Peoples Republic of China.

    The Helmet Wreck was our first dive of the week and once everybody checked their weights we made our descent onto a little bit of history as this wreck is one of around fifty Japanese ships that were sunk by the American forces during the second world war. Our second dive was the Chuyo Maru where we saw a few lionfish and a family of eight squid hovering around the mooring line. The king posts of this boat are full of marine life with many clams and anemones. After lunch we did a second dive on the Helmet Wreck checking out the many artifacts left onboard. Our last dive was a dusk dive on the outside of Chandelier Cave where we had multiple sightings of the amazing Mandarin fish.

    Our first dive on Tuesday was on the outside of Ngerchong Island. This was a great wall dive and we saw our first grey reef sharks of the trip as well as a hawksbill turtle and sea fans big enough to fan a Persian prince. We did the inside reef next and everybody was happy to see such healthy coral gardens. There are over three hundred species in Palau and Ngerchong is a great example of the diversity of corals to be seen here. We have the very rare blue staghorn coral where you can find the banded messmate pipefish. Also we have an area of cobblestone coral, which is spectacular to say at the least. After lunch we did a dive at Dexter’s Wall where we encountered big schools of fusiliers being chased by some stripped jacks. We moved inside the rock islands next which is one of the most picturesque places here in Palau. Clam City was our fourth dive and we checked out the old clam farm, which has now become a famous place to see. There are over thirty clams here in many different colors. We had the added bonus of seeing a robust ghost pipefish and plenty of nudibranchs and flatworms.

    We steamed over to German Channel first thing on Wednesday and managed to catch the incoming current to have an awesome dive. We had three different manta rays, one of which stayed with us for the entire dive. We had black snapper, unicorn fish, white tip sharks and some huge grouper to make this a great start to the day. Next up was the jaw-dropping Ngemelis Wall. This famous wall is covered in wire coral, sea fans and gorgonians. You can find the long-nose hawkfish hiding in the bushes in this area. There are schools of pyramid butterfly fish numbering in the hundreds. We revisited German Channel next and this time we managed to see a manta ray feeding on the surface. We crossed the mouth of the channel over to the Peleliu side and were greeted by over ten grey reef sharks that were hunting with a few groupers and Napoleon wrasse. We checked out the cleaning station and saw a few of the grey reef sharks swimming vertically with their mouths open having a cleanup with the aid of the cleaner wrasse.

    Thursday morning started at one of the jewels of Palau’s crown at Jellyfish Lake. Our guests had a great time swimming around with the estimated thirteen million jellyfish that live here. We moved back over to the German Channel area and took our guests to the world famous Blue Corner where we watched one of the most spectacular exhibitions of marine life unfolds before our eyes. There are not many dives on our planet where you can see grey reef sharks, white tips, Napoleon wrasse, barracuda, groupers, moray eels and huge schools of black snapper, giant trevally, all witnessed in sixty minutes of pure diving pleasure. After lunch we did a nice wall dive at Ngemelis Wall before rounding off the day with a dusk dive at German Channel. We saw a small manta ray feeding near the surface and saw plenty of shark action as we explored the mouth of the channel.

    Ulong Channel was our first dive on Friday and we had a nice easy current and great visibility. We hooked in and saw around ten sharks, the biggest grey reef shark was around six feet in size and they made some nice close passes around our guests. We drifted inside the channel exploring the magnificent patch of lettuce coral and of course the two giant clams, which have a beautiful coating of soft coral. We even had a glimpse of the very rare blue-girdled angelfish. Next up was Siaes Tunnel, which is another jaw-dropping classic. The tunnel is over three hundred feet long and is home to some rare fish like the decorated dart fish. After lunch we explored the Coral Garden at Ulong and we spent some time with a huge school of horse-eyed jacks and there was plenty of grouper hunting some scad.

    Our last morning began with a final trip to Ulong Channel so we said our goodbyes to all the sharks and the beautiful soft and hard corals. Our final underwater excursion was at the wonderful Chandelier Cave where we checked out the four different air chambers, which have some amazing formations of stalactites. We had a final look around for the beautiful Mandarin fish before we made our last ascent up onto the Aggressor cradle and another cracking lunch from Chef Cameron.

    The crew would like to thank our guests Megan, Kenny, Chen, Hua Qiu, Xiong Yang, Fu Chen, Lei, Qian Ma, Songbin, Lili, Xubo Xia, Ting ting, Xiaohug and Xiaojie for coming to see us this week on the Palau Aggressor II. It was a real pleasure having you on board with us.

    Kris Mears (Palau Aggressor crew)




















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    Palau Aggressor Trip Report October 14-21, 2012

    Palau Aggressor Trip Report October 14-21, 2012

    Water temp: 81º F
    Air Temp: 75-86º F
    Visibility: 30 –100+ feet

    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Cameron, Len, Nadia, Andy, Ben & Hector
    Sunday

    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us and the Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Mike & Kim, Rick & Cheryl, Paul & Phyllis, Rob & Marcie, Luster, Martin, Mike, Andre and Kevin. 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 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 next 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 milder. We also visited the beautiful giant clams that we missed on the first dive. With so much activity on our first day we were spoilt 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 Siaes Corner. 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. Then we approached the hook in area and with very little current we simply cruised along the edge of the wall delighting in the pulsating anthias. Then the sharks made an appearance as the current started to pick up. We then hooked in to enjoy the show. The remainder of the dive was spent exploring the plateau. During a delectable lunch the Palau Aggressor made passage to Ngemelis Island to set a stage for some more outstanding diving. Ngemelis Wall was next. We were once again treated to some kaleidoscopic soft corals and sea fans. 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. 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 8 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 for us, we thought. 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.

    Wednesday
    Morning broke over the rock islands of Palau and it was time to visit 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 the disco clam then headed to the corner. A turtle accompanied us; white tip reef shark and wall-to-wall pyramid butterfly fish. At the corner we hooked in for a while before boarding the express. What a great way to start the day. 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. After lunch it was time to splash into 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 and then enjoyed a casual drift along the plateau. Here we discovered a big school of blue lined snapper and a leaf scorpion fish to name but a few. Then it was time for Blue Corner. This dive showcases some of the best concentrations of fish life in Palau. With almost no current we had the rare opportunity to explore the corner at our leisure. We splashed right at the corner and immediately encountered sharks simply meandering about the corner. We spent some time at a beautiful patch of lettuce coral that was surrounded by blue line snapper, a moray eel and 2 feeding turtles. Our affable napoleon wrasse came out to play and beckoned for attention from everyone. It was hard to resist. We were then surrounded by a school of chevron barracuda and jacks. Nestled in the coral we found a well-camouflaged leaf scorpion fish. A very enjoyable dive at Blue Corner. For our nocturnal delight we splashed into Turtle Cove. This was crustacean city. With a variety of crabs, shrimps and lobsters around every corner there was camera flashes firing like a busy nightclub. Beautiful basket stars were also out. Everyone enjoyed yet another great days diving here in Palau.

    Thursday
    A beautiful day broke as we headed to German Channel. This encore dive produced few mantas than the last but had more schools of jacks, scads and hungry sharks. The mantas were close to the surface feeding and we joined them for a while before heading down to the feeding action of giant trevally and jacks. We ended up being totally surrounded by fish. Amazing! After a great dive at German Channel we journeyed south toward Peleliu. Peleliu Corner was up. 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. 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. Our next adventure takes us to Orange Beach. This wonderful sloping wall housed numerous nudibranchs and flatworms and we encountered more turtles and a crocodile fish. This was a very relaxing and enjoyable dive. We then went to Ngedebus Coral Gardens for our night dive. We enjoyed the reef as we came across crabs, sleepy angelfish and more nudibranchs.

    Friday
    Morning broke and it was then time for an encore dive at Blue Corner. The same ensemble was back and so was the current. The action at the corner was head turning and lively as we were hooked 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. Dolphin sonar sounds accompanied us the entire dive, which was also a treat. 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 with large schools of scads being attacked by sharks and giant trevally. 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.

    Saturday
    Our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jellyfish 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 Rick and Rob for successfully completing the Digital UW Photo class and Paul & Phyllis for return to Palau after 10 years and Kevin’s clan of Andre, Martin & Mike for celebrating 10 years of liveaboard trips this week with us! 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 October 21 – 28, 2012

    Palau Aggressor II Captain’s Report October 21 – 28, 2012

    Surface Temperature: 33º C / 86º F
    Water Temperature: 28º C / 82º F
    Weather: Mostly sunny skies with a few scattered showers
    Wind: 5–15knts

    All aboard for our latest installment of the captains log for the Palau Aggressor. This week our guests came from the United States, Hong Kong and France. After a swift hotel pick up, everybody set up their dive gear and listened to the captain’s briefings before sampling Chef Andy’s fine cuisine as he had prepared a Thai style buffet

    The Helmet Wreck was our first dive of the week and once everybody checked their weights we made our descent onto a little bit of history as this wreck is one of fifty Japanese ships that were sunk by the American forces during the second world war. Our second dive was on the spectacular wreck of the Iro Maru which is 472 feet long, with huge guns on the bow and the stern covered in sixty plus years of coral growth and amazing king posts encrusted with cascading anemones. This wreck really is something that is not to be missed in Palau. With our history lesson over we moved the mother ship to our German Channel mooring, after we had a briefing on the use of reef hooks we headed over to New Drop Off and tested out our new skills. We witnessed a great show at the hook in area as sharks, barracuda, fusiliers and snappers all buzzed around us. We saw a couple of green turtles on top of the reef trying to shake off the remora fish that were sucking on the turtles’ shell.

    Tuesday morning kicked off at the jewel in Palau’s crown - Blue Corner. This is one of the most talked about dives in the world. The current was not the strongest, giving us the perfect chance to explore both the incoming and outgoing sides where we saw the big schools of black snapper, giant trevally, barracuda and stripped jacks. The grey reef sharks and white tips were patrolling the reef looking for a chance to pounce on an unlucky victim. Next up was another signature dive at German Channel. We all sat on the sand and watched a grey reef shark wiggling his body as he swam in at the cleaning station, his mouth was wide open as the cleaner wrasse daringly took his life in own hands as he cleaned the sharks teeth. Turtle Cove was our first afternoon dive, we found an orangutan crab on a bubble coral and as we approached the corner we were engulfed by schools of black snapper and eight grey reef sharks. The dive site lived up to its name as we saw seven different turtles.

    We awoke again to a beautiful sunrise on Wednesday morning and it seemed the perfect weather to visit Blue Corner. We were mesmerized again by the sheer amount of marine life, the Napoleon wrasses were mingling with everybody and we encountered moray eels, large grouper and blue-stripped snappers around the lettuce coral formations. We moved the mother ship over to Ngerchong Island and dived on the Outside Wall where the hard corals are really spectacular, Dick managed to spot an eagle ray coming up from the deep and we were shadowed by a few large grey reef sharks for most of the dive. Next up was the Inside Reef where you will find some of the most healthy staghorn coral formations here in Palau. There is a lot of good macro subjects like the banded messmate pipefish and a couple of leaf fish. We spent the night at our wonder channel mooring and explored Clam City, which is a thriving metropolis for many different nudibranchs. We even witnessed a chromodoris koi laying its eggs much to Sally and Neal’s delight.

    Thursday was again a picture perfect day in Palau and we took our guests to the cathedral like Blue Holes. We descended down one of the four holes into a spectacular cavern that will take your breath away. The ambient light coming into the cavern gives the holes almost a spiritual feeling, almost like you have gone to prey to the underwater gods. There is some interesting marine life that lives inside the holes like the electric disco clam. We next steamed south to Peleliu Island and took our guests to the express side of Peleliu Corner. We had a good current here that bought in the grey reef sharks to the hook in areas. Next up was the Peleliu Land Tour where we explored the historic island, which was the setting for a vicious battle during the Second World War. German Channel was dive number four and we hit the manta ray jackpot as we saw five manta rays feeding on the surface, including a young manta that put on a quite an amazing show as he barrel rolled with his mouth wide open scooping up all the plankton to fill his belly. We did a night dive at German Channel Coral Garden and we were lucky enough to see another manta ray in the shallows.

    We headed to Ulong Island early on Friday morning and visited Siaes Tunnel where we saw the very rare blue back pygmy angelfish and the decorated dart fish. Next up was Siaes Corner, but the main event was an afternoon spent at Ulong Channel, where we watched an outstanding performance from the sharks in the mouth of the channel. We drifted inside the beautiful channel checking out the colossal lettuce coral formation and the twin soft coral encrusted giant clams, There were plenty of sharks sleeping on the sandy bottom and one grey reef shark even joined us on the final safety stop of the week.

    Our last morning was spent checking out the wonderful Jellyfish Lake and a final dive at the beautiful Chandelier Cave and a glimpse of the multicolored Mandarin fish.

    The crew would like to thank Chuck, Nat, Sally & Dick, Neal, Phil, Rob and Michel for coming to see us this week on the Palau Aggressor II. It was a real pleasure seeing you all and we hope we exceeded your expectations here in Palau. We wish you all a safe trip home and we know we will see you again in the future.

    Written by Kris Mears (Palau Aggressor crew)








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    Palau Aggressor II Captain’s Report October 28 - November 4, 2012

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

    Sunday
    A wonderful week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. After our guests arrived they set up their gear and enjoyed a delightful dinner followed by the safety orientation and were off to bed for a peaceful nights rest.

    Monday
    Flat calm conditions inspired us to head out before daybreak and journey to Ulong Island to set the stage for a wonderful days diving. And that it was. For our first dive we splashed 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 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. Ulong Coral Gardens then gained our attention. This peaceful dive presented a colorful variety of beautiful corals. Massive tabletop corals stag horn corals and soft corals to name but a few. Scattered tropical fish complimented the colorful reef and amazing visibility made this dive almost surreal. Lunch fueled our bodies for Ulong 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 hawksbill 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. We enjoyed the channel so much that we returned there for our next dive. During a delectable dinner, the Palau Aggressor made passage to Ngemelis Island.

    Tuesday
    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 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. This gave us a taste of the famous corner with large schools of snapper, barracuda, sharks and giant trevallies all out and about. After a well-deserved snack we headed to Blue Corner. This amazing dive is like watching the National Geographic channel live. 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 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 known current we anchored ourselves to the edge of the wall with our reef hooks. This quick and easy set-up allows 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 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! 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 two sleeping green turtles. Then a large school of blue lined snapper parted as we swam right through the middle of them on our way up to do our safety stop. A quick snack and we headed to German Channel. 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 14 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 for us, we thought. 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.

    Wednesday
    Morning broke with flat calm conditions and a wonderful sunrise as we headed back to Blue Corner. There was similar action as our earlier dive here with larger schools of jacks swirling around us and then the sharks moved in. 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 came across a big school of barracuda, blue line snapper and black snapper. Another wonderful experience at the corner. We then decided to revisit Turtle Cove since it was such an enjoyable dive. This great dive was enjoyed by all with rich colors scattered along the wall. The photographers found it hard to leave with the kaleidoscope of colors beckoning for just one more photograph to be taken. A scrumptious lunch fueled us for more great diving. An encore dive at Blue Corner seemed appropriate, and were we in for a treat. Similar action as before was enjoyed but it seemed obvious that the napoleon wrasse was the all time favorite. This lovely green fish with so much personality took all the attention and some great photos were taken. After a snack and some hammock time it was time to revisit German Channel. We descended into a massive bait ball with a school of black snapper circling off to the side of us. Then a massive school of barracuda circled us and barely parted as we swam through them. We headed to the manta cleaning station where we kneeled on the sand for a while and then it happened again. Giant mantas made a graceful appearance in yet another feeding frenzy. This time the extended family was invited to dinner. 17 Mantas cruised by in formation and gaping mouths seemed they would swallow us whole. The entire dive was filled with mantas in every direction. The manta kept making passes and at times came so close to us all that we had to duck to avoid being run over. This made for a memorable dive!

    Thursday
    A beautiful morning broke as the Palau Aggressor made passage over to Peleliu. We started our day exploring 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. 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 James showed us the US & Japanese memorial, amtracks, guns, Orange Beach and the 1000 man caves. What a touching tour. After lunch it was time to dive again. We splashed into 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. The Palau Aggressor then made passage back to Carp Island and since we barely got to see German Channel with all the manta activities, we decided to the channel. Starting on the Peleliu side we descended down the sloping wall and were immediately greeted by two mantas performing a fly by. Then the big schools of scad came into view followed closely by giant trevally and grey reef sharks. The scads’ shimmer was easily seen as they darted back and forth in a tight formation to avoid the attacks from the sharks. Then a couple more mantas came through and more sharks joined the ensemble. After enjoying the head spinning action we caught the current for an express ride through some magnificent coral gardens. Another wonderful dive at the channel.

    Friday
    A beautiful day broke over Carp Island. After a tasty breakfast the dive skiff headed to Virgin Blue Hole. This lovely dive encompasses a chimney swim through and an enchanting wall with canyons and gullies that provide plenty exploring opportunities. Stunning visibility and a plethora of tropical fish made this an exceptional dive. Next we explored Ngedebus Corner. This colorful wall houses soft coral and some macro critters such as nudis, flatworms and scorpion fish. This dive was a tranquil and relaxing dive. Lunch followed and then it was time to re explore Turtle Cove. Repeated by popular demand, this dive was enjoyed as much the second time around. For our final dive of the day we returned to New Drop Off and explored the other side of the corner. Sharks again made an appearance as did the turtles and leaf scorpion fish. What a delightful 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.

    We would like to congratulate Steve, Paul and David for completing there Photo certifications!! So the week comes to a close. 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










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    Palau Aggressor Trip Report November 4-11, 2012

    Palau Aggressor Trip Report November 4-11, 2012

    Water temp: 82º F
    Air Temp: 73-86º F
    Visibility: 30–100+ feet
    Crew: Capt. Marc, Chef Cameron, Agnes, Nadia, John & Hector

    Sunday
    A fantastic week of Palauan diving has dawned upon us. The Palau Aggressor is happy to welcome onboard Peter & Daniella, returning guests Jim & Cindy, Rod Snr & Rod Jnr, Dietmar, Bob and another returning guest Ron. A delightful dinner followed by the safety orientation and off to bed for a peaceful nights rest.

    Monday
    The day started with the Helmet Wreck. This tranquil dive welcomed us with an immense amount of soft and hard coral growth that housed nudibranchs, crabs & shrimp. On the wreck we observed the stern guns, the coral encrusted superstructure, and of course the helmets. Then Nadia spotted a well-camouflaged crocodile fish. What a fantastic checkout dive. The wreck of the Chuyo Maru then gained our attention next with anemone fish and nudibranchs and another crocodile fish all out for our enjoyment. During a scrumptious lunch we decided to head over to Carp Island. We slashed into Ngemeli’s Wall. The soft corals were painted with pastel pinks, purples, yellows and oranges with nudibranchs and long nose hawkfish taking center stage. This beautiful wall is an example of Palau’s healthy reefs. A snack followed with a bit of hammock time and then we took to the waters of Ngedebus Coral Gardens. This delightful dive offered great visibility and plenty little creatures. We came across a pair of cuttle fish. Initially excited by the mere site of them, they decided to deposit their eggs inside the coral rather unperturbed by our presence. What a fantastic day and a great way to start our Palauan adventure.

    Tuesday
    A beautiful morning broke as we journeyed to Omekang Island. It was time for the famous 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 notorious current we anchored ourselves to the edge of the wall with our reef hooks. This quick and easy set-up allows 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 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! A quick snack and we headed to Ngemeli’s Wall where we discovered a variation of soft coral in stunning pastel colors. We found a variety of iridescent nudibranchs and flatworms taking a morning stroll along the reef. Chef Cameron was waiting for our return with some more culinary delights for lunch. After a little hammock time we splashed into Turtle Cove. This dive has something for everyone. With startling visibility we started the dive penetrating a chimney that popped us out at 60 foot off the wall. Then 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 exhibiting a kaleidoscope of colors. As the name suggests we also saw a variety of turtles too. Lunch followed and then we returned to the water. New Drop Off was next. This dive, considered a mini Blue Corner by some gave us another opportunity to enjoy the life that the currents bring in. Along the wall we enjoyed a leisurely swim and then came up to the hook in area to check out the action. A massive school of barracuda and pyramid butterfly fish was waiting for us. After we hooked in we enjoyed the show with reef sharks and barracuda cruising along the wall right in front of us. After a while we unhooked to explore the plateau and came across a relaxed green turtle nestling in some sea grass. A relaxing swim on the edge of the plateau with snapper, fusiliers, anthias and pyramid butterfly fish galore ended this amazing dive. Then we took a plunge back at Blue Corner for an encore dive. With similar action as before but with slack current we had a perfect opportunity to explore the plateau at will. And of course our friendly napoleon was there to bid us ado into. For our nighttime delight we jumped into Turtle cove and enjoyed the coral polyps displaying every color imaginable. Another great day in Palau. The famous German channel did not disappoint.

    Wednesday
    We started our day with a trip to German channel. Soon after we descended we found ourselves enveloped by snapper with trevally and black tip reef sharks circling a large school of snapper and us it seemed. We then visited an unusual red anemone and swam to the cleaning station. Here we were met by 4 mantas getting pampered at the spa. These majestic creatures made extremely close passes to the enjoyment of everyone. 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 Palau Aggressor makes passage to Peleliu Island. We had the playful company of a large school of dolphins for our short journey. Peleliu Corner was our first dive at Peleliu. Here the unmistakable yellow soft coral and lettuce coral housing oriental sweetlips gets everyone’s attention. We then armed ourselves with our reef hooks and hooked in to enjoy the sharks cruising by us. This fairly strong current allowed the pelagic action to get pretty close. The remainder of the dive was spent drifting across the plateau where we found the pallet surgeon fish named Dori. 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 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. What a touching tour. Lunch and a little nap and it was time to visit Barrack’s Point. With amazing visibility and a very mild current we enjoyed a leisurely dive with turtles galore. Some sleeping, some feeding and some simply swimming by. Big schools of snapper and a very friendly batfish joined the parade. 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. For our nighttime delight we returned to Orange Beach and we were treated with nudi’s and crabs. This ends a lovely days diving in Peleliu.

    Thursday
    Morning broke with calm conditions and a with a wonderful sunrise we headed to Blue Holes. This memorable dive started off with a swim through the ceiling of the holes and opened up into this massive cavern. The light was streaming through the holes and created this surreal effect that mesmerized most. Then the John Travolta moves started with a tribute to the disco clam. We then swam out of the holes and journeyed along the wall of Blue Corner. On the way we encountered a plethora of pyramid butterfly fish, fusiliers and turtles. It wasn’t long before the Napoleon wrasses showed up and joined us to our safety stop. Agnes was waiting for our return with a delectable tray of snacks and we enjoyed a bit of hammock time before our next adventure. An encore dive at German Channel by popular demand was next. This time we started on the Peleliu side and witnessed giant trevally attacking a school of scad. The feeding frenzy attracted the sharks. After the intense action we headed to the manta cleaning station and encountered 2 mantas getting cleaned. The dive ended with a casual drift into the channel. After a delectable lunch we splashed into Fern’s Wall. This beautiful wall was riddled with soft corals and sea ferns as well as a large variety of tropical fish. Nudi’s and flatworms were spotted along the wall as well as longnose hawkfish. This was a very relaxing dive. It was time then to return to Blue Corner one last time. With similar actions as before we had a fantastic dive with many sharks making fairly close passes and our affable napoleon wrasses still beckoning for attention. Barracuda and schools of snapper were awe striking in numbers. What a fabulous day in Palau.

    Friday
    Our adventure starts with a journey back north toward Ulong Island. We headed to Siaes Tunnel. This amazing dive offers both a beautiful tunnel formation and an 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. Nudibranchs were spotted along the wall and the photographers were delighted to be in the middle of all the action. A trip to Palau would not be complete without visiting Ulong Channel, so we did. What a delightful dive. The famous channel lived up to its reputation with plenty sharks 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. Then we came across a massive patch of lettuce coral that was simply impressive followed by two beautifully set giant clams. This was a thoroughly enjoyable dive. After dinner we all enjoyed watching the great weeks diving through the lens of our video pro, Nadia.

    Saturday
    Our adventure starts with the surreal experience of Jelly Fish Lake. These non-stinging jellies were everywhere you looked. 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 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 Rod & Rod for completing their Nitrox course. 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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