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Dive Review of Palau Aggressor in

April, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Diana Dickinson, WA, USA
Report Number 1017
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Kona, Maui
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy, dry  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay with buddy; descend with group; ascend with buddy; dive ends at 60
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
The Palau Aggressor is a clean, well-maintained, and carefully run boat.
The food was excellent. There were 18 of us on board and it was not
uncomfortably crowded. It should have been a great trip.

Why wasn't it a great trip? It was close to great--but not quite. Mostly it
was the "control freak" factors: we did the dives the captain
wanted us to (even if that meant diving Blue Corner three times); we came
up at 60 minutes (even if we'd done a shallow drift dive and still had air
left). All dives were done in the big group of 18. In all fairness, I think
most people on board liked diving Blue Corner more than I did, and were
happy to dive it three times. I would have liked to spend more time at
Peleliu, especially because the weather was calm--we did only two dives

The corals varied in health: at Peleliu, both hard and soft corals were
healthy and plentiful. At Blue Corner, a lot of the hard coral was
dead--just too much impact from school after school of divers reef-hooking
in to watch the huge schools of fish and sharks play in the current. (On
one dive, there were 11 dive boats there.)

Okay, what about the actual diving? Blue Corner has huge schools of jacks,
pyramid butterflies, and plenty of passing sharks--and of course, there's
Sweetie, the friendly (and huge) Napoleon wrasse who likes to be petted.
Peleliu was fascinating, above and below water. The Aggressor arranged for
a land tour of that fascinating piece of WWII history. We saw remnants of
the war all over the reef at Orange Beach, including unexploded shells and
pieces of landing boats. There were anemones and clownfish at every dive
site--some holding on even in heavy current. Hawksbill turtles were seen on
about half the dives. There are HUGE giant clams on several dives. There
were tuna and many large groupers (the largest was at least 6 feet long).

The soft corals showed lingering impact from the El Nino of 98. A few spots
seemed to have minimal damage, but others clearly had been wiped out. 

About half the dives were reefhook dives, in which we cruised along the
reef wall until it was time to ascend to the plateau of the reef and hook
in--then watch the passing fish over the dropoff. Current over the top of
the reef varied from mild to "screaming" (hold onto your mask and
hope your fins stay on!).

Palau is a LONG plane flight and an expensive one. We spent a recovery
night (after the flight there) at the Palau Pacific Resort, which is
expensive and luxurious, with great food. The beach at the Palau Pacific
has nice snorkeling--my son and I saw an octopus there and tridacna clams
of varying sizes, as well as plenty of smaller fish.

I'm not sure that the Aggressor has major advantages over land-based diving
in Palau. Most of the dive sites are pretty close to Koror, and only in
Peleliu were we completely alone at the site. (The Aggressor pointed out
that the boat ride is 45 minutes from Koror and that it's rarely as flat as
we saw it. But the flexibility of choosing destinations might be
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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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