Log Date: Monday, Feb 15, 2016
Entry By: Raja Ampat Aggressor Crew
Raja Ampat Aggressor Captain-s log 15 – 25 Feb 2016
Air Temp. 90 F
Water Temp. 29 C- 84 F
Monday February 15th
Since all guests are on board and no issues with flight connections happened, we do our safety briefing and depart towards Misool in South Raja Ampat. Long sailing ahead of 12 hours, after dinner we do our safety diving briefing and crew introduction.
Tuesday February 16th
Safely arrived to 3 Rocks Area at 4am, we woke up at 6am to have a nice continental breakfast. After briefing for the check dive we had all divers in the water to dive Sagof Island. Not bad for a first dive, manta mobulas schooling chasing school of small sardines, surrounded by trevallies, school of barracudas, surgeon fishes and lots of midnight snappers.
Sagof Island again, this time we missed the lobular rays school, but the visibility was a bit better, making the whole dive more enjoyable, with big schools of jack fish and barracudas too, plenty of fusiliers and yellow find purple fusiliers. We even saw a few mantas. Many divers decided to get focused on macro stuff, as our dive masters spotted several nudis, Coleman shrimp and other interesting critters.
Wednesday February 17th
After a pleasant night close to Wajil Island, we started sailing at 6am towards 4 king-s area. 4 kings is a group of submerged pinnacles surrounded by island, just an amazing landscape. Having a very gentle current allowed us to enjoy both sides of the ridge- school of jack fish, groupers and napoleons hunting in the splits and between pinnacles, barracudas, white tip reef shark, sea turtles and the always present schools of fusiliers. The plateau was especially nice with a big school of Jack fish chasing a bait ball, trevallies in the blue and some black tip sharks. Since the current became a bit strong here we found protection in the wall, finding some awesome soft corals and sea fans, spotted Raja Ampat Pygmy Seahorse, Crocodile fish, Octopus and several nudibranches.
Thursday February 18th
We woke up in Wajil Island, surrounded by a couple more of live boards and very nice sea conditions that made our night very pleasant. All divers slept really well, so all woke up in time and rested. Wedding cake was our first dive, it was very relaxed and calm dive during the first 40-50 mins., getting lots of small fish and macro such as pygmies, anthias, crabs nudis, all along the wonderful wall totally covered by soft coral and huge sea fans. The second dive of the day was Dunia Kecil Small world, probably the best corals in this area. This dive was full of color of both hard and soft corals. Again several schools of jack fish hunting, schools of anthias, fusiliers, few giant trevallies, good visibility and a pleasant current.
Friday February 19th
5am we began to move the boat back to 3 Rocks area... Sea conditions are perfect, little bit rough at some times, but nothing to care about. Our first dive at Nudi Rock... Till today, best dive of the trip- 120 to 130 ft visibility, deep blue water and almost no current. All kind of reef sharks spotted, 4-5 napoleon wrasses, jack fish, 2 schools of barracuda, sea turtle, in the blue- fusiliers, surgeon fish, And snappers, in the reef- plenty of small fish... It was so clear that none paid attention to macro life.
Tank Rock was our second dive and Honestly cannot say that it was as good as Nudi Rock, but still an awesome dive. Divers ending with a 70mins time means something... Same conditions- great visibility, very soft current, blue water and color everywhere. Plenty of napoleon wrasse, few grey reef sharks, schools of fusiliers, lots of groupers big, red, blue.
Saturday February 20th
Early in the morning, we start moving to Warakaraket Island, in the very South part of Misool area... There are no more dive sites below this position, and then we are in one of the edges of Raja Ampat. First dive of the day, Gus Ridge, as the conditions have been really comfortable we decided to do this dive, which can be a bit difficult if stronger currents show up. The top of the reef is at 55ft, so this time we descend with no problems drifting in a very gently current. Visibility was again great, and while we were enjoying the colorful soft corals that are everywhere here, a huge Oceanic Manta has showed up, staying with us for several minutes until she got lost in the blue... Few reef sharks too, a sea turtle, napoleon wrasse, jack fish, fusiliers schooling. Our night dive was at Romeo... Since the locals call this area Yillet, someone named Romeo to have the names of the famous Shakespeare Play. We spotted- Boxer crab, Candy crab, Squid, Stone fish, Nudibranches, Flat worm dancing, Boxer shrimp, and Scorpion fish.
Sunday February 21st
Our sixth day of diving starts with some divers taking a break for the first dive, it is Sunday and for some of them it means, a bit of rest. First dive, we dive close to the boat, where we have been spending the whole night, in Yillet Kecil. The conditions are getting a bit more hard underwater, as the full moon showed up last night, so we found a bit more current today. It was still manageable and as long as we kept close to the reef it was an easy drift dive. Spotted a school of Bump head parrot fish, barracudas schooling, anemone shrimps, a hairy squat lobster, and at the end of the dive, 3 remoras decided to get protection behind Rob, one of our guests, It was funny. No night dive this time around. After 6 full days of diving in Misool, and under the request of some divers to do some muck dives, we started moving the boat towards Batanta Island, below Dampier Strait to get there before the first dive. We have 12 hours of sailing ahead.
Monday February 22rd
Woke up in South West of Batanta Island, and prepare for our first dive. Algae Patch 1, our first dive of the day, Since we decided to start a bit far from the starting point and drift towards the nice area, we missed ni stuff the first 20 mins. But at some point it became a non stop critters party- nudibranches Pikachu, Blue, Black and Green, Swiss Cow, among others, stripped pipe fish, ornate ghost pipe fish, porcelain crab, boxer crab, gobies... Beyond the macro we got a school of bump head parrot fish, school of barracuda and a wobbegong shark.
Tuesday February 23rd
About 2 hours before our first dive we are already in place to start as soon as we want. We planned the dive a bit earlier as the tides and the full moon obligate us to organize the dives in such way. We started briefing 20 mins. earlier than usually to assure we will get in the sea at the slack water time. That way we got nice conditions, with a very soft current that wasn-t uncomfortable at all. The visibility didn-t help. As expected it wasn-t more than 50ft. But because of the large amount of fish that can be spotted here, we had a nice dive at the end- schools of surgen fish and barracudas, black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks, wobbegong sharks, school of massive bump head parrot fishes. We even manage to stop in a sea fan where we spotted 6 pygmy seahorses. The Night dive was at Sanonek, one of our regular places to do night dives. Since just a few divers joined it, we spend almost 75 mins looking for all kind of critters- baby squid, red octopus, scorpion fish, crocodile fish, plenty of small crabs, stripped eel.
Wednesday February 24th
Today half group decided to go to do a trekking in the jungle and try to find the birds of paradise. After early woke up at 5am, our dive master Denny got to the place where the local guide was waiting for us. After almost 2,5 hours of activity they arrived, happy to get some nice pics of birds. The rest of the group decided to dive, and it was in Otdima. One of the best seamounts in Dampier, plenty of activity and fish. They saw few schools of jack fish, trevallies and barracudas, some sharks, the macro lovers got pygmy sea horses, orangutan crab, some shrimps and other stuff. We start moving towards Sorong... with lunch on the way, we watched videos of the trip, bills, tips and slideshow with the pictures that some guests decided to share.
After dinner, we played Tom-s one of our guests video of the trip, where he showed his shooting and edition skills.
Just before the party started, Tom informed us that the International Space Station was about to be seen over the sky of Sorong, then we climbed up to the upper deck to watch it.
It was a wonderful spectacle with many guests enjoying the moment.
Party, nice time, pictures, drinks, funny awards and crew greetings…
Thursday February 25th
In the morning we said our farewells to our guests and took everybody to the airport. It was a great 10 days trip. We made new friends and had a very good time. We hope to see you again!