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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in

September, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Ms Lynda Durfee, VA, US
Top Contributor   (38 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5735
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Aruba, Bahamas, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts, Hawaii, Lake Tahoe, Key Largo
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No deco; NITROX depth limit  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Separate table; separate rinse buckets; crew carefully handled cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
This truly was the trip of a lifetime!  I had already booked my timeshare
weeks in Hawaii for September, and when Aggressor offered discounts for
trips during that month, I opted for a week on the Palau Aggressor in lieu
of one of those weeks.  I flew to/from Honolulu to Palau, which broke up
both the travel time and time-zone adjustment both ways, so I didn't arrive
early in Palau and departed on the early Sunday am flight, rather than
staying in a day room until a Monday am departure.  Everything you've heard
about the fabulous diving in Palau is true--sharks, rays, tons of colorful
butterfly fish, giant Napalonean wrasses, wonderful walls, colorful coral,
etc.  There were only four divers to seven crew members, so it was a very
relaxing trip with roomm to spread out.  Weather can be rainy/windy in
September, but we really lucked out, with only some rain/overcast on the
first dive day (Monday) and Saturday after we finished our dive/snorkel
trips.  We even did two morning dives off Peleliu; the crew commented they
hadn't been able to make it there is several weeks due to conditions.  I
did 23 dives (all but the first night dive) and the Jellyfish Lake snorkel.
 Nitrox reliable at about 32% ($100 for week).  Used reef hook on many
dives; my first time, and crew were very helpful in hooking me up. Sites: 
Helmet wreck, Iro Moru, Turtle Cove (twice), Barnum's Wall, Blue Corner,
New Drop-off, Fern's wall, German Channel (several times), Peleliu Corner,
Pelelieu drop-off, Ngedbus drop-off, Virgin Blue Hole, Blue Hole, Big
Drop-off, Coral Garden (night), Siaes Tunnel, Siaes Corner, Ulong Channel
(twice in one afternoon), Chandelier Caves. On the Blue Hole dive, the
current carried us to the Blue Corner near the end of the dive; not enough
no deco time to hook in, but we sure surprised the hook-in dives when we
drifted past with a small school of sharks!  I'm a fish ID fanatic, and
there sure were a lot of varieties to see.  Once you've seen dozens of
sharks, there's plenty else to see.  Watched a titan trigger fish make 5 or
6 attempts to pick up a clam the size of a football; when he finally did,
he swam away with it!  Crew was outstanding, both onboard and during
diving.  Diving was from 35-foot skiff lowered from stern with hydraulic
lift; all your gear stays on the skiff at individual dive stations (with
sun cover); you just climb in/out of the skiff for each dive, back roll,
get back in via ladder; back to mother ship after eveyr dive for hot
shower, snacks, lunch, nap, sunning, or whatever!  What more can I say?  On
the way to the airport, I was already wishing I could stay longer, and
would go back in a heartbeat, next two for two weeks back to back.  A
liveaboard is definitely the better choice; day boats have 45-60 minute
trips each way, and crowd some dive sites.  We were the only boat at the
site most times (except Blue Corner, German Channel, Ulong Channel), but we
had the flexibility to switch sites, entry points.  The afternoon we did
the Ulong Channel, it was way too crowded the first dive (at 2 pm), but we
had it to ourselves at 4:30 pm; while the current wasn't as strong the 2nd
time, it was a better dive overall.  DMs good at finding unusual critters,
dealing with currents, managing time; never felt rushed, and if you wanted
to hang back with your buddy a little bit, that was OK.  This is definitely
a trip for experienced divers with good buoyancy skills.  Safety sausages
and sound-makers (attached to inflator) were mandatory and provided if you
didn't have them.  Be prepared to kick/swim if you get separated on a drift
dive.  On one of the German channel dives, I got blown away from the rest
of the group, and was propelled through the shallows; what a ride, and lots
of snorkel-depth fish to see.  Inflated my sausage, used whistle, and DM
came after me with the skiff within minutes (I was ignored by the day
boats!)  Good thing the skiff has a shallow draft!  Food was plentiful and
varied, including Asian dishes.  One lunch, we had fresh poke made from a
yellow-fin tuna the captain had caught that morning!  Wine and beer, soft
drinks included; you can BYOB liquor; once you've had alcohol, no diving
for rest of day.  Prime rib on Friday night was a highlight. Dinner is
plated; you select from one of two choices posted in the morning.  Last
night (Saturday) you're on your own for dinner, but you can fill up at the
 reception at 6 pm.  A few bars serving food within walking distance; or
take a cab to a fancier place.  I'm counting the days till my next Palau
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