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Dive Review of Palau Aggressor II in

February, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by JoAnne & Michael Amoroso, PA, USA
Report Number 379
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Roatan, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Bonaire, Saba, Dominica, New Jersey
and Canada
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
77   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Max 130 feet, dive time no more than one hour  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
We chartered the entire boat for our dive group of 16 from our friend's
dive shop in Pennsylvania, all experienced divers.  The Aggressor's young
captain, Ryan, did have a bit of an attitude and was rather condescending
and abrupt.  After someone in the group had a chat with him, things got
better, not a big deal and something we all laughed about but could have
been uncomfortable had it been handled differently.  The regular cook was
off so Rick, one of the divemasters/photo pros filled in.  Food was
delicious, you really do eat, dive, sleep.  The photo pro and instructor,
Doug, is a gem - he is nice, personable, sweet and an incredible
photographer.  Take the photo course he teaches, it's worth every penny. 
Doug's slide show at the end of the week and video presentation is
delightful, felt like we were celebrities and this was the show we starred
in, okay a bit hokey but still quite enjoyable.  Two of the other
divemasters, Ike and Hector, are priceless, these guys made our trip
phenomenal.  These two have been around the Rock Islands a very long time
and know those reefs and fish better than anyone else.  We chatted with
another live-aboard's guests on the airplane on the way home who missed
half the stuff we ended up seeing because we had Hector & Ike. 
"Sweetie," the resident giant Napoleon wrasse at Blue Corner
follows both guys around like a blue puppy; especially Hector, whom she
seems to be especially smitten.  The photos & video of these encounters
are wonderful.  We had probably one of the best dives we've ever done at
German Channel due to Ike; the cleaning station there became a bit boring
due once the single manta ray disappeared so Ike swam off (as briefed he
would do in this case) and came back a few minutes later to get our group. 
He led us into a bait ball, a dervish of swirling, feeding fish with sharks
beneath us and manta rays sweeping the surface above.  This surreal
encounter was straight out of a National Geographic documentary; fabulous -
and the majority of this dive was done in less than 25 feet.  When we
surfaced, the mantas who appeared to be mating, were around the boat so we
jumped back in with snorkels & masks and prolonged the awe.  The mantas
swam back and forth amongst us, within touching distance.  Those other live
aboard guests mentioned earlier - they never even saw a manta at German
Channel or the Napoleon wrasses!  Make sure Ike & Hector are working
the week you book (the crew gets every 6th week off for vacation).  Rose,
another favorite crew member, made great desserts and kept the cabins
immaculate.  The rooms were nice, not too small but keep the wet gear out
of them since they are carpeted and could get moldy.  Our room was fine but
some of the other rooms didn't smell so great, we assume from previous
guests and wet articles of clothing.  Email access was down when we were
there as was the photo processing but the crew happily shuttled photos to
be developed to another boat via the skiff.  The diving skiff is fast but
it's being replaced by a newer, slower boat; too bad.  The crew hands out
warm, clean towels after each dive and when you use the fresh water shower
on the dive deck on board.  The top sun deck, with hammock, covered shade
area and lounge chairs was spacious.  Hot tub small and not always very
warm but still nice.  Crew works very hard, tip them well as we saw just
how hard they push and still smile each morning at 5 a.m.  Lorenza, a cute
Italian female divemaster, had all our guys drooling, she was sweet and
pretty - also another reason the other live-aboard was jealous!  Ulong
Channel and docking at Ulong Beach were memorable, truly paradise.  We dove
Blue Corner three times, each time was different yet equally exciting. 
Reef sharks are plentiful and quite large, lost count of how many turtles
we saw both small and gigantic, anenomes were bursting with color and
clownfish - photo ops endless here.  You have to leave the ship at 8:00
a.m. on that last Sunday so spend this last day before the long plane ride
home at Palau Pacific Resort, heaven on earth with palm trees and a salt
water fish pond that is remarkable with turtles & stingrays.  The
Aggressor crew even arranged for their own private shuttle bus to take us
to the airport at 12 a.m. from PPR, paid the driver a total of $70 for all
16 of us, cheaper than what the PPR shuttle was charging.  Also, to get a
taste of where the locals & expatriates go, have dinner and drinks at
Kramer's that last Saturday night, the only time dinner isn't served on the
boat so you have to go out anyway.  The German owner, Renee, has great
stories so it's an entertaining way to end an unforgettable week of Palau
diving.  This was the dry season which means it only rains a few inches
less than the rainy season, so expect some rain and sun, bring a rain
jacket for the boat rides and inland excursions and sweatshirts.  I wish I
had brought my 5 mil wetsuit but my husband and others were comfortable in
shorties or skins. We left some gifts for the crew, they were so grateful
and appreciative, wish we had brought more for the girls especially.  The
entire crew really made our week the best it could ever have been, not only
great diving but luxury and comfort on board, it doesn't get any better
than this for a dive trip!
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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