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Tropic Dancer Captain's Logs

Discussion in 'Aggressor Adventures' started by Dancer Fleet, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Dancer Fleet

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    Tropic Dancer Captain’s Report: Jan 29 – Feb 8, 2012
    Crew on Board: Captain Ike, 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain Andrew, Instructors – Ben, Jason and Stephen, Divemaster Jim, Chef Mani and Stewardess Len


    Guest on Board: Edie, Todd, Carolyn, Kim, Herve, Ramna, Michael, Roxanne, Bernd, Ulrich, Terry, Louise, Kurt, Valerie, Manuel, Juan, Teresa and Carlos


    Day one of this ten day charter, and we kick it off with unique sightings in uncommon areas. Our debut dive within the Helmet Wreck was a gold mine. Just outside the wreck, within the coral gardens, Herve finds a family of mandarin fish. Our divemaster Jim pointed out all sorts of macro delights such as the flagtail pipefish, and an abnormally large crocodile fish. For those who didn’t get the opportunity to see Herve’s mandarin fish we scheduled an encore presentation within the famous Mandarin Fish Lake. Just after sunset, you can observe these colorful creatures doing their mating rituals. They rub bellies as they make a brief accent from the coral reef.


    Just before dawn early Tuesday morning, we make way to Ulong Island where we introduce our first showing of the outside reef within Ulong Channel. Laying home to pristine corals gardens and seemingly infinite visibility, the area of Ulong held a captive audience as we rode the current down the waterway. Ramna surfaced announced her “Fantastic” sighting. Bumphead Parrotfish schooling in a herd of roughly 120. This school can be seen throughout the Ulong area, it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Throughout the day, after every dive you could hear our guests say, “That was the best dive so far”.


    This charter marks our very first sighting of schooling Moorish idols of the year. Moorish idols typically begin schooling in large masses once a year around the winter season. Our very first sighting was upon the beautiful corner of Shark City. Of course within “Shark City”, you can expect to find sharks of all kinds parading around the drop off looking for their next meal. The Moorish idols create a mass frenzy for our sharks, jacks, and Napoleon wrasse population. The schools of Moorish idols are still small, yet I hope that within due time the segregated schools will soon unite and flood our walls in the thousands. Later that night within Ngedebus Coral Gardens, we find the elusive cuttlefish. This cuttlefish is our second sighting of the season, yet the first for our charter.


    What everyone loves about our ten-day charters is that it gives our guests the chance to dive Palau to its fullest extent. By popular demand we gave our guests a second and even a third encore presentation of some of Palau’s greatest dive sites. We witnessed the Moorish idols schooling from Peleliu Corner all the way up to Siaes Corner. Without a doubt, these are the days to dive Palau. From Moorish idols, orange spine surgeonfish, big nose unicorn fish and many more; these congregations swirl about upon our dive sites like oil and water. They mix and mesh upon the water column and eventually break away to reorganize themselves back into their gigantic cliques. It’s mating season for our sharks as well. Never have I ever seen so many sharks within my range of sight in just a few seconds. A “Legion of Sharks” as I overheard someone say after our Blue Holes dive. Whether it’s a seven-day, ten-day, or even a two week charter, there’s never a dull moment within these rock islands.


    2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain Andrew
     
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    Captain's Log - Tropic Dancer
    Log Date: Sun 19 February, 2012
    Location: Palau
    Entry By:
    Capt. Ike

    Air/Water Temp: 88/84F
    Visibility: 70+
    Topside Conditions: E Wind
    Sea Surface: Calm
    Crew on Board: Captain Ike, 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain Andrew, Instructors Ben, Kris and Jason, Chef Marc, Stewardess Len and 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Chef Cameron
    Guest on Board: Michael, Bob, Karen, Caroline, Sean, Geoff, Claudia, Morten, Alfred, Lilan, Lee and Johanne
    Ngedebus Coral Gardens packed a powerful punch on the variety of Palau’s marine life. This dive site came to show that it doesn’t take a strong current to bring in the action. There wasn’t a drop of current from any direction, and the visibility couldn’t have been better. From our decent to safety stop, this dive was a natural slideshow of Palau’s diversity. From the big stuff to the little stuff, it had it all. Starting with reef sharks upon the seafloor, we slowly began our multilevel accent along the beautiful sloping coral gardens coming across a feathertail sting ray, thorny sting ray, nurse shark, crocodile fish, long nose file fish, and finishing off with a little Papuan scorpion fish. Of course that’s not all we saw. Those were just some of the highlights.
    Michael’s highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the manta rays. From the first day aboard he tells me, “All I want to see is a manta ray before I go home”. Sure enough on day two of our charter upon the German Coral Gardens night dive, Michael got his manta ray fly-by over head. Not only that - but he, as well as, the rest of the group received an encore appearance within the German Channel. Two manta rays come in towards the end of our dive to be cleaned just before the change in tides.
    Snorkeling off the stern of the mother ship can be just as breathtaking as any dive. Caroline and Bob dawned their mask and snorkel to swim with approximately 12-14 blacktip reef sharks. Upon entry the sharks can be very shy, but as they observe you from a distance, they slowly close in to their curiosity.
    “It’s just another day in paradise”, as Karen said earlier this week. What you may call a thunderstorm or a squall, we call it “Liquid sunshine”. So whether it rains or shines, it’s always sunny in Palau.
    2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain Andrew
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    Tropic Dancer Captain's Report Feb 26 - Mar 4, 2012

    Air/Water Temp: 30/28 C
    Visibility: 70-100 ft
    Topside Conditions: Sun with some showers
    Sea Surface: Slight chop at times

    Crew: Captain Ike, Skiff captain Nick, Photo pro Ben, Video pro Kris, Divemaster Jim, Chef Cameron and Stewardess Agnes

    We had a young and vibrant group from Thailand this week. Our guests included Todtam, Touchatorn, Apirak, Nat, Adisorn, Thidarat, Uniticha, Sasinapa, Sethawut, Treelaunch, Natechon, Alicia, Jedsada, Jeerwat, Veerayuth, Wasan, Praphan and Ich. The week was a great experience for everybody as we visited the famous Blue Corner and witnessed many grey reef and white tip sharks in the blue water. We also saw schooling Moorish idols and even sea snakes.
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    The group leader, Tiger said that watching a barracuda catch a giant trevally was one of the highlights of the week. We also had a manta ray encounter at German Channel and enjoyed excellent dives in Blue Holes. During the week a celebration was in order as we all helped celebrate Alicia’s birthday.
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    The group had a great time exploring Jellyfish Lake and leaves the Tropic Dancer with smiles on their faces. The crew would like to thank Tiger and the gang for coming to visit in Palau, we wish you all the very best and hope to see you again.
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    The Tropic Dance Crew - yes that is us in the funny hats!!!!
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    Tropic Dancer Captain's Log: March 4-14, 2012

    Tropic Dancer Captain's Log March 4-14, 2012
    Air/Water Temps: 29-32C/28C
    Vis: Good to Excellent
    Topside Conditions: Good
    Seas: Calm to a slight swell

    Crew: Captain Ike, Divemaster Jim, Divemaster Marc, Photo Pro Ben, Video Pro Kris and Stewardess Len


    We had a special 10-day charter for our latest cruise and we welcomed guests who came from Germany, Canada and the USA. The weather cooperated for the majority of the trip with calm seas and warm waters. The real benefit of a 10-day charter is we get to spend extended time on some of the world’s best dive sites like Blue Corner and German Channel. Adding to that we had some excellent dives at Siaes Tunnel and Blue Holes where we had some amazing ambient light coming into the caverns.
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    We started the week with some dives on the local WWII shipwrecks and even had a chance to spent a few extra days down in Peleliu. It wasn’t all about the diving as we took the opportunity to explore the island of Peleliu and see some WWII artifacts. We also enjoyed some excellent dives at Peleliu Corner where the sharks gave us some great action! We even saw a bull shark and had big numbers of both grey reef and white tip sharks.
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    Other amazing marine life that we encountered this trip included schooling barracudas, black snapper and giant trevally along with countless turtles. Cuttlefish and a manta ray joined us at German Channel. For the fans of macro many photos were taken of leaf scorpion fish, porcelain crabs, flat worms and many, many nudibranchs.
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    We ended our charter with a visit to Jellyfish Lake along with a tour of the Rock Islands.
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    We would like to thank our guests Jessica, Grace, Leigh, Terry & John, Galina & Vladiimir, Bernd, Ralf, Wolfgang, Emil, Terry, Brock, Don & Mary and Ron for coming to see us on the special 10-day charter. Congratulations to Emil and Brock who passed 200 dives plus Grace hit a hundred dives with us. Well done to Leigh and Ron who passed the Nitrox course this week.
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    Safe diving.
    Tropic Dancer Crew.
     
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    Tropic Dancer Captain's Log March 18-25, 2012

    Air/Water temps: 32/28C
    Visibility: Perfect
    Topside Conditions: Calm
    Sea Surface: Flat

    Crew: Captain Ike, Skiff Captain Nick, Photo Pro Ben, Video Pro Kris, Divemaster Jim, Chef Mani and Stewardess Len

    We welcomed our new guests who came from Canada, Holland and the US for our latest trip. The weather was amazing with flat seas for the majority of the week The Tropic Dancer’s 7-day charter began on the wrecks of The Helmet and Iro Maru, which were sunk during World War II. Our first reef dives of the week happened at Big Drop Off where we saw many white tip sharks and Napoleon wrasse along the wall. After dinner group leader Bryan had a nice surprise when he found a frog in his dessert!

    Our second day began at the world famous Blue Corner. We had a great dive in a slack current with lots of grey reef sharks and of course our friendly Napoleon wrasse came by to say hello to everyone. We then enjoyed some great drift dives at Negedebus Corner and Turtle Cove with some excellent hawksbill turtle interaction.
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    We next headed down to Peleliu to spend our third day. Peleliu Corner was full of marine life as always with big schools of barracuda, sea bream and giant trevally. We even saw a bull shark in the blue mixed in with many grey reef sharks. We also saw a couple of leaf fish and some resident bumphead parrotfish. After lunch and a land tour exploring the World War II sites we carried on diving at West Wall.
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    Day four was spent revisiting Blue Corner and this time we had some great current and were treated to a superb show by the grey reef sharks and huge schools of black snapper and giant trevelys, We then managed to see some manta rays feeding at German Channel much to everybody’s delight.
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    Day 5 was spent around the idyllic paradise island of Ulong where we did some fantastic dives at both Sias Tunnel and Sias Corner. Here we saw over 40 grey reef sharks as well as a frogfish. Next we took everybody onto the beach at Ulong for some sun and relaxation. The afternoon was spent diving in Ulong Channel.
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    Our final morning was spent at Jellyfish Lake and Chandelier Caves, which was the perfect way to end a fantastic week on the Tropic Dancer.

    The crew would like to thank Jeremy, Bryan, Neal, Cheynne, Lila, Teresa, Jon, Terry, Mike, Kevin, Pete and Rob for coming to Palau to see us this week. You guys were awesome and it was a pleasure having you with us.

    Tropic Dancer Crew
     
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    Tropic Dancer Captain's Report - March 26 - April 8, 2012 Special 12 Night Charter

    Tropic Dancer 12 Night Charter – March 26 – April 8, 2012
    Crew:
    Captain Ike, Skiff Captain Nick, Photo pro Ben, Video pro Kris, Divemaster Jim, Divemaster Marc, Chef Cameron and Stewardess Len

    Air/Water: 30/28 C
    Vis: Good – Great!
    Topside Conditions: OK – Excellent
    Sea Surface: Swells - Flat

    We had a very special occasion on our latest charter, as our guests were the first people on the Tropic Dancer to visit the Velasco Reef system in the north of Palau. We welcomed Greg Hamman and his group from “Undersea Adventures”. Everybody boarded the vessel on Monday afternoon and we headed up to our northern anchorage at Ngardmau.
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    Our diving began on Tuesday morning and the beauty of diving these untouched reef systems was that the dive sites didn’t even have names. We spent a few days checking out the sites and we saw a lot of cool marine life including grey reef sharks, turtles, dogtooth tuna and many schools of rainbow runner and jacks. With the weather turning against us we began to travel back down south to find some sheltered anchorage. We visited the Devilfish Reef and enjoyed some beautiful dives on the wall at Aiwokako Reef where we saw a cuttlefish who was so surprised at seeing divers for the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] time that he inked all over us!

    Next up on the itinerary was some diving on some of the Second World War shipwrecks. We enjoyed the Teshio and Helmet wrecks where we saw many artifacts including rifles, sake bottles, gas masks and Japanese helmets.
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    We moved the vessel to our German Channel mooring and our first dive on Friday was the world famous Blue Corner where we saw so many sharks that we lost count. The rest of the day was spent diving at Turtle Cove, Blue Holes and Ngedebus Coral Garden where we saw three cuttlefish.

    We headed south to Peleliu Island where we spent time diving around Peleliu Corner, again the shark action was out of this world. Our guests took the opportunity to explore the island with plenty of World War II history. The diving continued at Orange Beach, West Wall and our night dive was at Orange Beach where we encountered lobsters and crabs plus a scorpion fish.

    We spent another half day at Peleliu, we checked out the Peleliu Corner again and there were huge schools of unicorn fish and blue-stripped snappers. After lunch we headed back north spending a couple of dives at Ngedebus Corner and Ferns Wall.
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    Everybody was excited for Monday morning as we made a trip to Blue Corner. We had a great current, which brought in a lot of grey reef sharks and big schools of black snapper and barracudas. In the afternoon we did a dive at German Channel where we saw schools of giant trevally and a crocodile fish. Due to popular demand we did our late afternoon dive at Blue Corner and at the dive site that never disappoints we saw a scalloped hammerhead shark.

    Tuesday was our last day in the German Channel area and we enjoyed another classic day with dives on Ngemelis Wall, Blue Corner, Blue Holes and New Drop Off. The highlights were seeing a sea snake at Blue Corner. New Drop Off was also excellent with many white tip sharks and grey reefs.

    We fired up the engines bright and early on Wednesday and headed west to Ulong Island, which is where they files the Survivor TV show a few years ago. The day was spent diving at Siaes Corner, Siaes Tunnel and Ulong Channel. Siaes Corner had the best shark action of the whole trip with a school of around a hundred grey reef sharks chasing a school of Moorish idols.
    We spent our final full day of diving in the same area.

    Our last morning of water activities was spent at Jellyfish Lake where our guests got to splash around with 27 million jellyfish in what is always a special part of the week. We finished up with a tour of the Rock Islands and a shallow dive in Chandelier Caves to wrap up the very first Velasco reef charter on the Tropic Dancer.

    The crew would like to thank Greg for bringing the “Undersea Adventures” group down to Palau. Thanks to Hans, Marc, Christine, Audrey, Chris, Chuck, Jim, Scott, Rod, Danny, Mike, Ed, Bob, Grant, Don, Marty and Mike for making the trip a great one.

    Special occasions celebrated this week included Christine and Chris both reached 600 dives while Rod reached 100 and Marc reached 200 dives, Ed completed his Nitrox class and also wins hardcore diver of the trip as he never missed a dive the entire 12 days, well done to everyone.
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    Written by Kris Mears
    Tropic Dancer Crew
     
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    Tropic Dancer Captain's Report April 22 - 29, 2012

    Tropic Dancer Captain’s Report April 22 – 29, 2012

    Hello everybody, welcome to the latest edition of the Tropic Dancer captains log. This week we welcomed our guests who came from Switzerland, Taiwan, Singapore, England, Hong Kong, France and Holland.

    Air/Water: 29-32C/28C
    Visibility: Excellent
    Seas: Calm

    Crew: Captain Ike, Divemaster Jason, Photo Pro John, Video Pro Kris, Divemaster Jim, Chef Mani and Stewardess Len

    Our diving week began with some dives on the shipwrecks of the Helmet and the Iro Maru. The US Navy sank these wrecks during the Second World War. We did our first reef dives in the afternoon at Big Drop Off and finished up our first day with a dive in the famous German Channel. This turned into a great experience with us seeing a lot of manta rays feeding on the plankton blooms.
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    Tuesday morning started at Blue Corner where we ‘hooked in’ for the first time. There were a lot of grey reef sharks here as well as our friendly family of Napoleon wrasse. There was also big schools of giant trevally and black snapper. Our next 2 dives were at New Drop Off and Blue Holes. We saw so many turtles here that we lost count. We visited German Channel for dive 4 and again had some great manta ray interaction. The night dive was at Ngedebus Coral Garden and seeing three ornate pipefish was probably the highlight of the dive.
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    We headed south to Peleliu Island at first light and our morning was spent at Peleliu Corner. We had a lot of grey reef shark action here, but this week we had the added bonus of seeing a 7ft bull shark that was circling our guests for around ten minutes! Some people decided to take the land tour on Peleliu to explore the WWII artifacts. Our diving continued at Barracks Point and West Wall were we encountered eagle rays, grey reef sharks and large tuna.
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    Blue Corner was first up on Thursday morning and we enjoyed the feast of sharks, napoleon wrasse, black snappers and barracuda. Turtle Cove was next up and this amazing wall is covered in beautiful soft corals and sea fans. We saw a bunch of turtles and a lot of anemones on the top of the reef. Due to popular demand we returned to Blue Corner for one last dive and this time we had the chance to explore the outgoing side of the corner, which was really spectacular. German Channel was dive 4 and again we were lucky to catch another couple of mantas flying by.
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    We headed to Ulong Island on Friday enjoying great dives at Ulong Channel, Siaes Tunnel and Siaes Corner. We had the usual spectacular marine life with huge schools of barracuda, plenty of sharks and tuna. We also took our guests to stretch their legs on Ulong Island, which is where they filmed the TV show “Survivor”.
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    We finished up the week swimming around with 27 million jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake and a nice shallow dive in the Chandelier Cave.
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    The crew would like to thank Chris, Bea, Vivenne, Ling, Marie, Remy, Anja, Igor, Lun, George, Leo, Shih, Tijn, Beno and Silvia for coming to see us on the Tropic dancer this week, it was a pleasure having you on board with us. We hope you enjoyed the bull shark and the manta rays We would like to congratulate Marie for reaching 900 dives this week and Igor and Anja also passed 200 dives each this week. Well done!!!!

    Written by Kris Mears
    Tropic Dancer crew
     
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    Tropic Dancer Captain's Log April 29 - May 6, 2012

    Welcome to the May 6th edition of the Tropic Dancer Captain’s Log. We were fully booked for our charter this week with a great group of people from Russia. Our diving began on Monday morning with a check out dive on the Helmet Wreck, we moved to German Channel next and managed to see a couple of manta rays on the cleaning station. Our diving continued in the afternoon with a dive at Big Drop Off. The wall here is simply fantastic with tons of multi colored soft corals. Our first night of the week was good with a repeat sighting of the ornate ghost pipefish from last week. The evening was spent celebrating a birthday for which Cameron made a beautiful chocolate cake.
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    Tuesday morning began at the world-renowned Blue Corner where we saw massive schools of stripped jacks and trevellys. Our friendly Napoleon wrasse came to play around with our guests and we were amazed to watch a dogtooth tuna eat a red-toothed triggerfish. As always we had a good sprinkling of white tip and grey reef sharks. After we had a hot breakfast we did a second dive at Turtle Cove where we saw many turtles and schools of black snapper. Our first afternoon dive was at New Drop Off where we saw a green turtle. There were plenty of white tip sharks on the lookout for an easy meal.
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    We headed south bright and early on Wednesday towards the island of Peleliu. Peleliu Corner is one of our signature dives and today we had a medium strength current which was good to bring in plenty of sharks. We saw a marble ray and a grouper hunting together on the reef top. On our second dive here we had a brief glimpse of a bull shark. There are some beautiful lettuce corals on the wall where the sweetlips hang out to have a clean from the wrasse. In the afternoon the majority of the boat went ashore to explore the island of Peleliu with our famous guide Tanji. Tanya and Pavel continued their diving education by doing their navigation dive.
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    Thursday started with a beautiful sunrise and with Blue Corner in our sights everybody was excited about the day ahead. A good out-going current bought in the big grey reef sharks and the schools of barracuda, black snapper and stripped jacks. Next dive was Turtle Cove and we saw five different turtles, so the site lived up to his name. After a great BBQ lunch from Cameron we headed back north to Blue Holes and enjoyed a perfect cavern dive and everybody had a look at the disco clams that are embedded in the cavern wall. We went back to German Channel and we had two different manta rays cruise by us. We also had a few grey reef sharks on a cleaning station and a big school of scad in the deeper water.

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    We headed out west to Ulong to spend Friday diving the famous Ulong Channel, Siaes Corner, Siaes Tunnel and Sandy Paradise. We took our guests onto Ulong Island to stretch their legs after an action packed week of diving on the Tropic Dancer.


    The crew would like to thank General Dima, Marina, Alex, Marina, Lana, Elvira, Pavel, Tanya, Alexy, Katrina, Tatiana, Elena, Dima, Mikhail, Natalia, Marina, Vladimir and Andrey for coming to see us this week. We hope you had a great time on the Tropic Dancer.

    Written by Kris Mears

    Tropic Dancer Crew
     
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    Tropic Dancer Captain's Report May 6 - 13, 2012

    Tropic Dancer Captain’s Report May 6 – 13, 2012

    Air Water Temps: 88/84F
    Visibility: 70+
    Topside Conditions: E Wind
    Sea Surface; Calm

    Crew on Board: Captain Andrew, 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Captain Hector, Instructors Ben, Kris and Jim, Chef Cameron and Stewardess Len

    Guest on Board: Alexandra, John, Irina, Anna, Barbara, Dimitri, Sergey, Andrey, Gerhard, Mark, Tatiana, Armin, Marat, Slava, Andrey and Tomoko.
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    The seas were perfectly flat throughout the majority of the week. In many areas the water resembled glass. With not a ripple to be found and the visibility so good, our skiff driver could enjoy the action from the surface. From our debut dive at German Channel to closing within Chandelier Cave we had smooth sailing and memorable sightings all along the way.
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    German Channel was one for the books this week and week after week it generally always is. German Channel is remembered for its Manta Ray cleaning stations, yet this time; nearly everyone seemed to have more interest in the Scalloped Hammerhead slowly cruising along the mouth of the channel. Not only that, but a legion of Grey Reef sharks were observed tying to herd a giant bait ball of Black Jacks in their favor.
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    Ngemelis Wall stored a surprise appearance of a Leopard shark deep within the walls base while Blue Corner stores no surprise for those who know what is expected. You can expect to see anything and everything. Blue Corner is remembered for the overall variety of nearly any Palauan marine life you could think of. You may find Blue Tang in the shallows and dozens of Grey Reef and White Tip sharks within the depths. A little Leaf Scorpion fish has always held residence near an orange Anemone for the past two years now. In these past two years, we’ve also watched a band of Napoleon Wrasse grow up on this plateau. The oldest and friendliest is known as Abba. Like Tatiana or Irina, one will always surface and describe Blue Corner as, “The best dive ever”. Much like Blue Corner, those who have visited Palau in the past may also say, “It’s the best dive destination in the Pacific”.
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    Captain Drew
     
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    Tropic Dancer Captain's Report May 13 - 23, 2012 Special 10-Night Charter

    Welcome to our latest edition of the Tropic Dancer Captains log, we had a special ten-night charter and our guests were from France, Switzerland, Scotland, Portugal, Australia and USA.

    Our crew this charter: Captain Ike, Divemasters Jim and Jason, Photo Pro John, Video Pro Todd, Chef Cameron, Stewardess Loly and Manager Kris

    We left the dock bright and early on Monday morning and heading out into Malakal Harbor where we did our check dive on the Helmet Wreck. Next up was the 470-foot long Iro Maru, which served as a tanker to the Japanese navy before she was sunk during WWII. We headed out west to Ulong Island and did a dive at Ulong Coral Garden where we encountered our first white tip sharks of the week. Sandy Paradise was our last dive of the day before chef Cameron’s mouth-watering dinner of rosemary lamb or fresh snapper was served.
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    Tuesday morning began with a dive at the wonderfully named Shark City. We had some nice current here so we had the chance to get out the reef hooks for the first time on the trip. Next up was Ulong Channel and we had a close up look at some fantastic grey reefs sharks and also enjoyed the wonderful lettuce coral garden. We headed back north after an al fresco lunch with Turtle Cove being our destination. This place is full of hawksbill turtles and the wall is covered in brilliant sea fans. We had another excellent hook-in dive at New Drop Off where we saw a few more grey reef sharks and millions of the pyramid butterfly fish.


    Wednesday kicked off at Blue Corner and one of the most famous dive sites in the world never disappoints no matter how strong the current is. We were joined by our friendly Napoleon wrasse that is always posing for pictures and video shots. We had the usual array of spectacular marine life including grey reef sharks, white tips, barracuda, stripped snapper, black snapper, dog tooth tuna and countless other marine species. We saw a couple of cuttlefish at Ngedebus Coral Garden in the late afternoon dive and our night dive was done at Ngemelis Wall.


    Peleliu was our destination on Thursday morning. We started the engines bright and early and headed south to the historic island where a huge battle took place during WWII. Our guests took the chance to take a land tour here and see some of the relics that were left behind after the war. The diving is superb here with Peleliu Corner being a real gem of a dive. This place is unique as the North Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea join bringing together a collection of marine life that is simply breath taking. We did our other dives at Orange Beach where the marines landed during WWII. Hhere you can still find artillery shells on the bottom, as well as some of the healthiest corals around. West Wall also had some great diving with big schools of bumphead parrotfish and many hawksbills turtles.
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    Our first dive on Friday was another trip to Peleliu Corner where we had excellent shark action again and were lucky enough to see Dory - the forgetful fish from the movie ‘Finding Nemo’. Next up was Barracks Point before Cameron served up an Italian buffet for lunch. German Channel was the third dive of the day and we had a few mantas hanging around the cleaning station. We did a night dive Ngedebus Coral Garden and we were treated to a marvelous display of colors by a couple of cuttlefish. This was a special occasion for Will as he hit 200 dives!
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    Everybody was pumped up on Saturday as the first dive of the day was at the majestic Blue Corner. The current was perfect and the marine life was spectacular. The smiles were wide as we feasted on warm cinnamon rolls on our return to the boat. What a great start to the day! Our second dive was at New Drop Off where we saw many grey sharks on an in coming current. We went to Blue Holes after lunch and we really enjoyed our dive in the cathedral-like cavern. It is almost a holy experience looking up at the light shining through the holes at this premium dive site.


    We awoke on Sunday to some manta rays feeding around the boat, so Nancy decided to have a late breakfast and have a little swim with the feeding mantas. We had a last dive at Blue Corner before heading northeast to Ngerclong. We saw another 5 cuttlefish here that were watching over their eggs. We did the snorkel at Jellyfish Lake in the afternoon and our guests had great time swimming around with the estimated 13 million jellyfish.
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    After a calm night’s rest on our wonder channel mooring we cranked up the engines and headed back to Ulong Island and spent the morning diving at Siaes Tunnel and Siaes Corner. We spent some time on the idyllic island before continuing our diving at Ulong Channel where again the sharks were in good form. We all climbed back onto the skiff with massive smiles on our faces.
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    Our last morning of diving activities was spent at the wreck of the Chuyo Mara and the spectacular Chandelier Caves. We managed to even see a couple of Mandarin fish in the small coral heads to wrap up a quiet remarkable 10-day trip on the Tropic Dancer.


    The crew would like to thank Boris, Danielle, Forrest, Susana, Charlie, Will, Sylvain, Florence, Catherine, Fabienne, Patrick, Christophe, Nancy, Beatrice, Monique, Jean and Philippe for coming to see us this week on the Tropic Dancer. Congratulations to Forrest for completing the Nitrox course, well done to Boris for reaching 100 dives and also to Will for reaching 200 dives.

    Written by Kris Mears
    Tropic Dancer Crew
     

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