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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Micronesia

Aggressor Fleet: "Palau Aggressor II", Aug, 2017,

by Ellen Marie Smith, MN, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 9953 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments From Yap (see review) we boarded our flight nonstop to Palau in the middle of the night. This is how United Airlines works in Micronesia (wish I knew why as it made for some rough transitions!) We arrived in Palau in the early morning and my husband joined the trip this night and met us at the West Plaza Hotel Malakal. It is a “lower end” hotel, but we were able to get a 2 room suite. It was clean and adequate but no wifi, though I bought a 4 hour card for $5. Our suite had a kitchen but nothing in the way of kitchenware, rendering it useless. Not a big deal, but info that might help you make an informed decision. No restaurant but there is one right next door. We preferred the Cove Resort Hotel, which we booked as a day room on the way out. The Cove had 2 beds in the room and if we would have known this we would have booked it both ways. The restaurant at the Cove was serving Parrotfish both times we were there (a week apart) which was upsetting to me. The Cove Resort is close enough to the dock that you don’t need transport to the Aggressor meeting place and it is definitely a nicer hotel. The Aggressor II is moored in the inlet, so you meet the skiff and are taken to the boat. As it was, we had to hang out in the lobby of the West Plaza from 1-4:30 waiting for the driver to pick us up and drive us the 5 min to the dock for $5 each, adding another $15 to our cost. We would have walked there but the roads are terrible and there are no sidewalks, so it would have been hazardous to trek there with our dive gear, to say nothing of the heat! I think the Cove would have been more accommodating, as they let us into our day room at 8am when we disembarked the next Sunday. Some people at West Plaza had to wait until noon to get into their day rooms, so this might be something to consider. Our travels were in the “off season” so this could have impacted the hotels decision to let us in early.

The Aggressor:
We boarded Sunday afternoon at 4pm and got our gear set up. We had a Captain’s briefing by Captain Dan that night (safety, routine and such) which my jet lagged husband had a hard time staying awake for. The time in Yap served me well and I felt fine! The Aggressor II is amazing – I cannot say enough about how well it is laid out for diving. The dive deck is comfortable with plenty of room for cameras and charging on the dedicated table, there is dive storage on deck and places to hang wet gear. After the initial set up, all the gear and tanks stay on the skiff, which is hydraulically lifted up and down from the boat for each dive. The tanks are filled on the skiff, and the membrane is used for the fill (after the initial tank check) making it extremely convenient to keep track of nitrox fills. This was perfect, as 5 dives a day keeps everyone very busy! The food was outstanding and the staff top notch in every way. Any need was taken care of and usually foreseen. The rooms on the boat are all just about the same, and ours had plenty of storage. My husband and I used the upper bunk for storage as the lower bunk was big enough for both of us. We were able to store our big gear travel bags in the engine room. (I hate it when they tell you to bring dive bags that will fit in your room, as this is impossible if you are bringing a full set of dive gear.)

The diving: The Chandelier Caves were an awesome last dive (quartz walls and lots to see in the shallows – baby spadefish, ulgyfish (not sure what it was but that is what they called it!) and mandarinfish but the Helmut wreck (which was our first dive) had terrible visibility due to leaking ordinance (which we were not told about in advance and my only complaint). The Blue Corner had fast current and the Big Drop Off was a ride to remember! My favorite dives were the German Channel and the German Coral Garden, where I got my best photo of the “balled” anemone with its symbiont clownfish. These dives had some of the most beautiful and abundant plate corals that I have ever seen. There were a few sharks but I’ve been spoiled by Cocos & Galapagos. (More sharks = always better for me!) What amazed me: we caught the bumphead wrasse spawning on the last day of our trip at Sandy Paradise. I felt like I was in the middle of a National Geographic movie. It was an awesome sight to behold. Bumphead wrasse are very shy and normally do not congregate in large numbers. During the spawning, we drifted in open water following the herd of bumpheads and witnessed firsthand the excitement as they joined together, males bumping one another for the best position to fertilize the females eggs. The bumping of heads was evident and could be heard.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Galapagos, Hawaii, Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize, Turneffe, Utila, Turks & Caicos, St. Martin, Nevis & St. Kitts), California, Cocos, Socorro, & Ustica (Italy), Yap, Palau, & Truk.
Closest Airport Palau Getting There Yap to Palau nonstop, middle of the night flight

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 75-125 Ft/ 23-38 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive with buddy strictly enforced. Most diving with divemaster and 6 diver group.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments Great camera table and charging center.
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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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