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Dive Review of Palau Aggressor II in
Micronesia

Palau Aggressor II, Apr, 2008,

by Paul Jacobsen, CA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4418.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 60 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Buddy teams of 2 and between guides
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
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 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Good work area on dive deck. No in doors work area. No rinse tank on skiff

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments While more expensive than other Palau live aboards I'm glad I went on the Palau Aggressor II (PA2). It's a well run boat, great food and very safe operation. I was very impressed at the safety equipment they provide if you don't have it already; Dive Alert horn, knife, sausage and an EPIRB. Unlike other boats the PA2 has the RF direction finding equipment and training to locate you if you get blown off the reef. Along with safety the PA2 had all of the amenities I was looking for as compared to the lower cost alternatives. At 6ft 4in I did fit on the bed, but my cabin #7 was near the rear of the ship had a lot of machinery noise, which eminated from under the bottom bed.

The Aggressor's motto is Eat, Sleep, & Dive! at the end of the week I noticed they didn't have Relax in their motto for a reason. I thought there would have been more time to relax, but with their operational schedule that really doesn't happen, unless you skip dives. Id suggest starting in Yap first as Yap is a good choice to get into the time zone and get all of your gear ready for aggressive diving on the PA2.

The PA2 uses a skiff for diving, but I thought the PA2 would have been anchored nearer to specific dive sites, rather they anchor typically in a central channel and you end up spending up to 2 hours a day commuting on the skiff, hence limiting the opportunity for time to relax between dives.

The mornings start early, with a briefing and on the skiff by 7 AM dive. With the early morning dives you're out on the popular sites before the day boats arrive. That way makes sense, with the end results that worked out for us as there were only 2 dives that we encounter divers from the day boats.

The first day there are 4 dives, there after you can do 5 dives a day. But with the tight schedule the night dives means your diving about 45 minutes after dinner on a full stomach. The kitchen will hold your food for you if you choose to eat after the night dive, but then youre eating around 9 PM.

Im not sure if it was being in a mid moon cycle, but the currents actually were pretty mild and variable. So at some of the classic hook-in dives there was not a lot of stuff happening compared to if the current was really ripping. The diving was a good mix and was great. All dives were done on the south of Koror. At first I found it hard, you had to keep splitting your attention between "do I look in the cracks for neat little stuff, or do I look out into the blue for the big stuff?" It actually took me awhile to be able to split my attention that way. But there are just some spectacular dives in my log book now.

Palau is definitely not for the inexperienced OW diver, and Nitrox is almost a must. Most safety stops are done hanging in the blue, One safety stop we had to do in up and down currents that would give an inexperience diver trouble.

The PA2 always had 3 Crew in the water at a time. Usually one leading, one in the middle and one bring up the end of the group. It was a bit of herding and in the beginning of the week it was very crowded with 18 divers all in the water. I kept getting run over since I like to go at a slower pace and not be in a hurry. By the end of the week people learned to spread out a bit. But even with the herding the PA2 requires buddy teams of 2. I was traveling single and was buddied up by PA2 with my room mate, which didnt work out. So I talked to the captain after the first day, which was awkward, but I figured I paid the same for the trip and I wanted to enjoy it too. I was allowed to team up with another buddy team.

The last day, Saturday I felt a little cheated; even though its a Sunday morning check out you are docked Koror. After breakfast you go to Jelly Fish lake on the skiff and Clam City (Snorkel dives). You return to the PA2 that is now docked in Koror all of Saturday. Skipping the last dive is a suggestion and is no big lost (Chandelier Cave). That way you have more than 24 hrs before a flight out Saturday evening. Flying out on the Saturday is much more preferable than another day in the town, and you are able to make connections back to the States with having to do another night in Guam.

On my trip the PA2 tacked on a $150 fuel surcharge and charges $150 for Nitrox. I think for the price of the charter PA2 should include Nitrox as the lower cost boats included it. So there is a little sticker shock at the end of the week.
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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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