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“Raja Ampat Aggressor” Captain’s log *11 – 18 Sep.2015
*Air Temp. 30 C/ 90 F
*Water Temp. 28 C/ 84 F
* Visibility 80-90ft
Cruise Director: Michal
Chief Officer: Niko
Main Engineer: Yuly
2nd Engineer: Olan
Chef Assistant: Jemly
Tender Driver: Ody
Tender Driver: Carli
Deck Hand: Jasmine
Fri: Friwinbonda, Blue Magic, Mioskon, Saonek
Sat: Sardine Reef, Cape Kri, Cape Kri, Yanbuba
Su: Manta Sandy, Manta Sandy, Arborek, Arborek
Mo: Melissa’s Garden, Keruo Channel, Melissa’s Garden, Keruo Night
Tu: Barracuda, Glaxy, Ranger Wall, Rublle,
We: Cape Kri,
GUESTS: Gabriel, Dorothy, Thomas, Leonid, Pascal Fabien, Pascal David, Robert, Han, Ahui.
Friday September 11th
We picked up our guests from the airport and some of our guests arrived the day before and stayed at the Swiss bell hotel in Sorong. Early that afternoon we had all our guests already on board. We accommodated our guests in staterooms and had a lunch. After lunch and the safety briefing we departed to north of Raja Ampat. As the evening approached we arrived at our 1st destination Friwinbonda.
Saturday September 12th
After the continental breakfast and briefing we had all divers in the water for the check dive. The first dive was easy and relaxing as it should be for a check dive. We dove at Friwinbonda dive site. There almost no current with nice visibility. At the beginning of the dive we were swimming next to the vertical wall. Most of the highlights of our dive were during the second part as we saw many schools of fish and got to explore the beautiful coral garden. During our dive we saw nudibranch, flat worms, big dogtooth tun , bump head parrotfish, sweetlips fish, school of fusiliers and spade fish.
For our second dive we went to Blue Magic. We had a great beginning dive; when we jumped in we jumped into a big school of fusiliers. The current was an average strength and we made our negative descent to 20 m/60 ft. Visibility was just perfect reaching 30 m/60 ft. We stayed in the split point where the currents are hitting the reef. It was a great place to observe schools of fish. We saw schools of barracuda, soldier fish, jack fish, grey reef shark and also wobbegong shark. Coral reef at the top of a seamount has some amazing boomies with big groups of glass fish and beautiful soft corals and fans. It was an amazing dive.
After lunch we went for a 3rd dive to Mioskon. That dive was very interesting. There was no current but fortunately there was a great number of fish everywhere. The highlights of this dive were a couple of schools of yellow sweetlips fish. Our divers could approach these schools of fish really closely and take some great shots. Coral reef and big boomies hide some great fish too. We saw wobbegong sharks, glass fish, nudibranch, bump head parrotfish, school of snapper and big schools of 3 different type of fusiliers! Visibility was reaching 20 meters/ 60 feet.
After dinner we had some divers ready for a night dive in Saonek. Our divers spotted many interesting creatures: Nudibranch, lion fish, small crabs in the shells, many different types of shrimps and octopus. After night dive hot chocolate was ready for our guests. We had good weather conditions and almost no waves during all day. Overall we all had a very enjoyable day.
Sunday September 13th
We started our morning dive at Sardine Reef. Our divemaster Denise chose a perfect spot to jump in. We went down and saw a huge numbers of fish feeding on plankton. The current was strong and we spent the first 15 min in the split point. We saw: school of surgeon fish, school of barracudas, school of giant sweetlips and school of oceanic trigger fish. On the sandy bottom there was a white tip shark sleeping. We followed the current and spotted school of huge bump head parrotfish feeding on corals. We found also a wobbegong shark below a boomie. We also had a big napoleon wrasse joining our group of divers. It was a fabulous dive with great visibility reaching 30m/90 ft. Our day started with a breath taking dive.
After breakfast we moved Raja Ampat Aggresor to Kri Island. Our second dive was at Cape Kri. We had a strong current and we did a drift from north to the south. We spotted solar power nudibranch, big grey reef shark and many schools of fish: yellow fin barracudas, jackfish, sweet lips fish, black tip sharks, white tip sharks and dog tooth tunas. Visibility was reaching 25 m/90 feet.
Our third dive was at Cape Kri again. It was a great choice this dive was magical, we saw millions of fish. It is difficult to believe how many fish we spotted during this dive. Our divers said they have never seen so many fish before. Current was middle strength as we were passing by the schools of fish. Visibility was amazing reaching 30 m/ 90 ft. We saw: black tip sharks, grey reef sharks, huge school of big eye trevally, school of giant sweet lips fish, bump head parrotfish, school of yellow fin barracudas, couple of dog tooth tunas, Spanish mackerel, school of spade fish, different types of snapper and countless number of surgeon fish. So far it was the best dive site.
After dinner we went for a night dive at Yanbuba. This dive was interesting with many small creatures but the creature of the night was a blue ring octopus. We had great day of diving.
Thursday September 14th
Early in the morning we moved Raja Ampat Aggressor to Manta Sandy.Our first 2 dives we spent our dive waiting for mantas and filling the time with a search of small things. We saw 2 pigmy seahorses, glass fish, snappers and school of yellow fin fusiliers. This time we weren’t lucky and we didn’t see Manta rays. First dive there was no current but during our second dive a strong current came. Visibility was over 20 m. / 60 ft.
After lunch we moved to Arborek. We didn’t have a current and the dive was very relaxing. Below the jetti we saw a huge school of scads fish. We also saw big sweetlips fish, many spade fish, angle fish, and schools of rabbit fish, crocodile fish, stone fish, and many nudibranch and wobbegong shark. Visibility was amazing over 30m./ 90 ft.
After dinner we had our divers ready for a night dive. We went for a night dive to Arborek Jetti, where there was an Indescribable happiness during that dive. We spotted: pigmy sea horse, candy crabs, bobtail squid, wobbegong shark, frogfish, toad fish, stone fish, nudibranch and at the end of the dive walking shark! Excellent dive and happiness on our guests faces.
Friday September 15th
Morning dive we went to Melissa’s Garden. We started the dive at the slope making our way slowly joining the current. We spotted black tip shark at the sandy bottom and school of fusiliers. Next we went shallower to the coral garden full of various hard and soft corals We saw 4 pontohi sea horses, juvenile spade fish, small school of spade fish, moray eel and couple of nudibranch. Visibility was reaching 20 m./60 ft and wind was forming middle size waves on the surface.
Second dive we went to Keruo Channel. We had very good visibility and almost no current. Pascal was doing a deep dive specialization and we found a ridge leading to a slope of opposite island. We saw an octopus, spade fish, sweetlips fish, angel fish, rabbit fish and surgeon fish. Visibility was reaching 20 m/ 40 ft.
After lunch most of the group went for a land tour. 3 of our guests decided to do a dive at Galaxy. We went to star lagoon and we climbed stairs to see the view on Penemu Island. We had an enjoyable time on the top of the hill. The weather was perfect with very clear sky and great visibility. We went down and jumped on the dingy. Thomas and Leonid had a swim at the lagoon and Ahui joined them. We had a lot of fun joking and laughing.
After dinner we had all our divers ready to go for a night dive. We dove at Rubble Point. Sloping area with groups of small boomies covered with soft corals. It was a nice dive. We found many amazing creatures: bobtail cuttle fish, tiny yellow frogfish, hornet pipe fish, yellow black spotted moray eel, decorator crab, spider crab and much more crabs and shrimps.
Monday September 16th
Last full day we decided to come back to Dampier Strait as it is the best location for diving in this time of year. Our guests enjoyed the most this region from all others during our trip. We did our first dive at Otdima reef We saw school of sweet lips fish, 3 mantis shrimp, couple of black tip sharks and nudibranch. Visibility was very good reaching 30 m./90 ft and we had slow current.
After breakfast we went again to Cape Kri, favourite dive site. We had average current that time. Pascal did his last deep dive from Deep Dive Specialty. We went to 38 m where we saw big grey reef shark. We also spotted octopus hiding below the coral and finally slowly went out and started to camouflage with the rocks. We had been drifting down the steep slope watching big numbers of fish. At the end of the dive we saw big school of bumphead parrot fish and we did our safety stop with school of spade fish in the blue starring at us, Great dive.
Third dive we went to Chicken Reef. First part of the dive we were drifting slowly down the slope covered with hard and soft corals. We saw school of yellow fin barracudas, sweetlips fish, big number of surgeon, rabbit and spade fish. Second part of the dive we went behind the corner where there was no current and we had relaxing time watching small fish and beautiful reef.
We had our last dinner on board served by our cook Ivan and Jemli. After dinner we watched a slide show from our trip. We got some nice pictures from Gabriel and Dorothy, Fabian and Han. We also had a cake for our group and we congratulated our guests with finishing their courses. Fabian did his Advance Open Water and improved his diving skills. Pascal finished Deep Specialty and explored depths finding new reefs and many sharks. Thomas did his Nitrox course and dove very safely with his buddy Leonid. After slideshow we went for last night dive during our trip. We dove at Friwinbonda reef.
Tuesday September 17th
Morning dive we started earlier and we went to Mioskon. We had very good dive, visibility was very good and there was almost no current. We saw great number of fish. We saw: huge number of yellow sweet lips fish, spade fish, wobbegong sharks, snappers, small school of surgeon fish and fusiliers playing in the blue. Visibility was reaching 30 m/90 ft.
Second and last dive we went to Blue Magic. We had great dive with almost no current and very good visibility. We saw: black tip shark and schools of barracudas and a lot more.
After diving we departed to Sorong. After lunch we set up the bills, had a departure briefing and party in the evening. Our guests Pascal and Han got milestone awards as they finished their 100 dives with us. Leonid & Thomas and Gabriel & Dorothy got best buddy dive team awards. Our guest Robert also got a special Award. He was the most experienced diver from all our guests and he is a great example of a diver and enthusiastic character. We had a lot of fun during our departure party and after that we went to Sunshine restaurant. After dinner we went back to the boat and continued socializing with our guests before sleeping.
Wednesday September 18th
In the morning we said our farewells to our guests and sent them to hotels and airport. It was a great 7 day trip. We made new friends, got new experiences and enjoyed great diving and a good time together. We hope to see you again!