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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Micronesia/Palau

Aggressor Fleet: "Very Nice Live-aboard; Lots of Current; Concerns re: Marine Life", May, 2016,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 77 reports with 41 Helpful votes). Report 8929 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments


10 day live-aboard commencing April 21. This was my 4th live-aboard trip to Palau. 3rd trip on a Aggressor/Dancer vessel.

Spent first day diving wrecks around Koror – Helmet Wreck, Jake Seaplane, Iro, Hofa Dai; limited visibility but interesting diving with many WWII artifacts.

The next 2 days were spent diving the Siaes and Ulong dive sites.

The 4th dive day was spent at Blue Corner (moderate current) Big Dropoff, New Dropoff (strong current) and German Channel (3 brief manta encounters). Blue Corner had fairly good shark action and a juvenile eagle ray that was swimming into the current without making much headway. The shark action at Ulong Channel was a bit less than I have experienced on previous trips.

The next day was spent at Peliliu with 5 dives. At Peliliu Corner, we encountered a very strong current. Other dive sites were Barrack’s Point, Orange Beach and West Wall. Still lots of WWII artifacts at BP and OB – ammo and artillery shells.

Blue Holes, Dexter’s Way, Fern’s Wall and Big Dropoff were dived the next day. Schools of snappers and Big Eye Trevally; Green Turtles, Disco Clam.

On the 7th dive day, it was German Channel, Virgin Blue Hole, Ngedebus Corner and Barnum’s Wall. Again, limited Manta action at German Channel.

The 8th dive day, we dived Blue Corner, Turtle Cove (no turtles), Ngedbus Wall, and German Channel Coral Garden. Stonger current at BC with lots of sharks and schooling bigeye barracuda. Nice octopus encounter at Turtle Cove.

The last day was spent at Light House Channel and Chandelier Caves. Nice cuttlefish, signal gobies and mandarnfish at Chandelier Caves.

Blue Corner, New Drop Off and Peliliu Corner all required the use of a reef hook.

I had a single cabin (#4), which was roomy enough for 1 person but would have been tight with 2. Only one electrical outlet (110 v.) near the sink; not the best place for charging phone and laptop. The cabin was kept clean and tidy by the steward. There was enough room under the bunks for both my clothes and dive bags.

The food was super plentiful and delicious, as usual, prepared by Chef Cam. We enjoyed breakfast made-to-order, tasty lunches, and sumptuous dinners. Both the filets of beef and tuna were prepared as ordered; in my case, very rare. The bar offered 3 different kinds of Red Rooster beer and some OK wine.

The dive deck is spacious with plenty of storage room, large camera table and 2 fresh water showers. Tanks are kept on the dive skiff that is raised and lowered via an hydraulic lift at the stern of the boat. The dive briefings were thorough and accurate. Most days offered 4 dives/day; 4 night dives were offered. The 9th dive day was limited to 2 dives. Entry into the water was by back-roll. The dive guides were quite competent especially at the dives sites with current.

The staff of the Rock Island Aggressor was always helpful and friendly always ready to assist when needed.

A very significant disappointment was learning that at the time of this trip and for about 6 weeks preceding it the number of jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake steadily diminished to essentially zero. A prolonged drought in Palau is blamed for this sad event. However, the Palau government did not issue any public notice in this regard until the last day of this trip. Meanwhile and continuing it is charging the public $50 USD to snorkel in a lake absent of any marine life.

Having dived Palau on 4 trips over about 10 years, it is evident to me that the quantity and biodiversity of marine life has declined noticeably. I can especially remember significantly more nudibranchs with a greater variety of species. Commercial property development continues to thrive around Koror ( a new large hotel/resort soon to open near Neco Marine). This factor along with the seemingly increased number of divers (now lots of live-aboards) and over-fishing may be having a detrimental effect in this regard.
















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Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean; Galapagos, Socorro, Fiji, Solomons, GBR, Vanuatu,
PNG, Philippines, Indonesia, Palau, Yap, Kosrae
Closest Airport Koror Getting There Slogged thru HNL and Guam

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 83-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No Deco
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The Rock Island Aggressor (formerly the Tropic Dancer) has a large camera table with micro-fiber clothes and compressed air. There is an adequate battery charging station near the camera table. The crew takes care in handling camera equipment.

Several of the dive sites offer both wide-angle and macro photography so sometimes photo ops are missed depending on the lens setup.

Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 1 Helpful vote

Subscriber's Comments

By David Cutlerin ID, US at May 25, 2016 17:05 EST  
Nice review, We were there in 99 and wanted to go to jellyfish lake but for whatever reason it was not allowed that week. Sadly it sounds like we may never get to. I suppose we have all contributed to whatever damage divers do either through our actions diving or simply telling others what they are missing.
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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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