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Dive Review of Palau Aggressor II in
Micronesia

Palau Aggressor II, Feb, 2003,

by JoAnne & Michael Amoroso, PA, USA . Report 379.

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

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 77 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Max 130 feet, dive time no more than one hour
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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