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Raja Ampat Aggressor Captain’s log *16 – 26 October 2016
*Air Temp. 28 - 35 C
*Water Temp. 29 C - 30 C
Cruise Director: Urik
Chief Officer: Ferdi
Chief Engineer: Yuli
2nd Engineer: Maxi
Chef Assistant: Destri
Dive master: Yamin
Dive master: Jemy
Dive master: Herry
Tender Driver: Carly
Tender Driver: Ody
Mo: Sagof, Parondi sea mount, Baby Rock
Tu: Four Kings, Barracuda rock, Wedding Cake, Dunia Kecil
We: Whale Rock, Nudi Rock, Yillet, Romeo
Th: Boo Rock, Shadow Reef
Fr: Too many fish, Too many Fish, Too many fish
SA: Hatta reef, Hatta reef, Batu Goyang, Pulau Pisang
Su: Batu Kapal, Pohon Miring, Pulau Pisang
Mo: Nusa Laut, Nusa Laut, Jetty, Pulau Molana
Tu: Laha, Laha
GUESTS: Vicki, Marcie, Rich, Jan, Mark, Debbie, Kelli, Rick Julie, Stephen, Missy, Sara, Suzanne, Terri, Alfred, Navid
Sunday October 16th
Everybody arrive to Sorong on time. Early afternoon we had all our guests on board. We accommodated everybody in staterooms and had a lunch. After lunch we had a welcome briefing and we departure to Misool, South Raja Ampat. After dinner we briefed our guests about diving procedures and after we went to sleep. In the early morning we will arrive to our first diving location: Two Tree Island
Monday October 17th
We wake up at Misool were we will pass our first diving day.
The check dive was at Sagof, all went good...easy for the divers. We got Barracudas, school of fusiliers, trevallies and tons of silver fish.
Parondi Sea Mount was the place choose for the second dive. Current was a bit stronger but was all cover with schools of yellow tail snappers and Emperors. We also spotted a Wobbegong Shark.
Third dive was in Baby Rock we saw some lion fish, Bump head parrotfish, octopus, lobsters, scorpion fish, big Napoleon wrasse, and huge moray eel and little stuff also like: flat worms, porcelain crabs, nudibranchs, and shrimps.
The Night dive was in Wagmag, there was no current and we had a nice a gentle dive, the highlight of the dive was the Satomi pygmy sea horse.
After dinner our cruise director Urik introduce the full explanation of the itinerary.
Tuesday October 18th
In the morning we arrived to Wayil.
The First dive site of the day was Four Kings were the Red group saw an Oceanic Manta. We also found school of barracudas, scorpion leaf fish, lobsters, Mantis Shrimp and Pygmy sea horses...
After a nice breakfast we jumped again in the water, dive site was Barracuda Rock, were we saw big schools of Yellow Tail Fusiliers, Barracudas and a lot of different nudibranchs and a many macro life as nudibranchs and pygmy sea horses.
After lunch we did the third dive at Wedding Cake, the sun was up and the coral was at his best, full of fish and one huge Napoleon swimming to us, there was also schools of jacks and yellow tail fusiliers.
The Night dive was at Dunia Kecil with Crocodile Fish, Satomi pygmy sea horse, decorate crabs and more.
After dinner our Cruise Director Urik introduced a nice presentation about Raja Ampat.
Wednesday October 19th
In the morning we arrived to Fiabecet.
First dive site was Wale rock, we jumped to the water and current was hard so we went to the shelter part of the dive site where we could have a nice and quiet dive, we spotted an ornate ghost pipefish, two hawksbill turtle, some denise pygmy and many reef fish.
After breakfast we went to Nudi rock, a little island that looks like a nudibranch, there we a huge school of stripped barracudas, spanish mackerel, black tips, schools of emperors and rainbow runner and… four Bargibanty pygmy sea horse in the same sea fun, amazing dive.
For the third dive we chosen Yillet and it didn’t disappoint us, we saw giant trevallies hunting in the beautiful reef we saw also spanish mackerels, tuna, school of barracudas, Napoleons and Denise pygmy sea horse colour variation.
For a night dive we went back to wale rock were decorate crabs, flat worms, nudibranchs, moray eel, scorpion fishes was some of the marine life we found.
During dinner the crew bring a birthday cake wile play and sing happy birthday to Jill.
After Dinner Urik did a presentation about Raja Ampat.
For the night last night dive of south Raja Ampat we choose Romeo, our target was to try to see the epaulette shark before we leave. Current was slow and we could play around so finally we founded two walking sharks, moray eels, black tip and decorated crabs. Nice Dive and mission accomplish.
The presentation that Urik had introduced after dinner was about the walking shark and our guest love it.
Thursday October 20th
Today we will have two dives and after that we will make our crossing to the Banda Island were we will try to encounter the hammerhead school that are crossing in that moment of the year.
The first dive site of the day was Boo Rock...fantastic soft coral and incredible colours mix with a lot of marine fauna: giant frog fish, denise pygmy sea horse, wobbegong shark, and octopus. Very nice dive.
Second and last dive at Raja Ampat was Shadow reef, also known as Magic Mountain, and we went for Mantas!!! The current was medium went we jump but immediately we could reef hook and saw and albino oceanic manta cleaning around us, we moved a little bit on the shelter part and another two mantas came around, one of them was a black manta. Some of us could go down two the ridge while others just stay on the top of the sea mount. Finally we counted five mantas, one albino and one black for a total of seven mantas!!!! Not bad at all!!!!
Time to start the crossing we have 18 hours ahead of us, we will use them to introduce a presentation about Pygmy Sea Horses and to celebrate Kelli 1000 and Yvonne 200 dives.
Friday October 21st
The night was calm and a bit cloudy day wake up us after 18 hours crossing at Koon. The dives of today happened at Too Many Fish, a huge reef where we are going to make 3 dives, two on the wall and one on the slope sandy area. Strait walls who go down to 60 m / 192 ft. and sandy slope area full of soft coral mixed with white sand, what makes it look like an aquarium…Fantastic!!! We saw so many different kind of fish during our diving day: , napoleon wrasses, tunas, spanish mackerels, schools of jacks, schools of bat fish, white tips sharks, , nudibranchs, leaf fish, turtles, schools of jack, huge giants grouper and much more… It really deserves that name.
Here was one of the places where to look for hammerheads, but today we were not lucky… tomorrow we will test our luck again in Hatta island.
After dinner our Cruise Director Urik slide show some of his photo to entertain our guest.
Saturday October 22nd
Our day started at Hatta Reef were we planned to make two dives and search for hammerheads.
We jumped on the North corner of the reef for the first dive and drifted along the wall where we crossed tunas, napoleons, fusiliers and a big school of jack… Some from the blue group also saw it a hammerhead patrolling the reef. The second dive of the day we started at the Southern corner, the current was stronger and it was a lot of action when we enter on the water: trevallies, jacks tunas, groupers...We spotted also another hammerhead, this one was more confident and came more close to us...was really nice.
For the third dive we moved to Hatta Island, to a dive site called Batu Gollang, very nice wall full of over hangs and a garden of soft coral on the shallow plateau. During the dive we saw travels, moray eel, orangutan crab, scorpion fish and a couple of lion fishes.
Continuing our crossing we stopped outside Banda Island, in Small Island called Pulao Pisang, Banana Island, were we had planned our night dive.
After dinner our Cruise Director Urik introduced us a presentation about wale sharks.
Sunday October 23 rd
The tide was high in the morning and that means no current in the water, so we decided that Batu Kapal was our best choice for the first dive of the day. We descended by the 3 pinnacle surrounded by red tooth trigger fish and butterflies, hundreds of morays eel were everywhere, a boxer crab was the highlight of the dive together with the great visibility.
Second dive was at Pohon Miring, a long wall with a nice swimming trough on the deeper part. Still the current was gentle and we enjoyed a very pleasant dive.
Pulau Pisang was the third dive of the day, a nice plateau ending on a strait wall but protected from the current. We enjoyed searching around for creatures in the shallow part as ghost pipe fish, nudibranchs, shrimps, and octopus… happy divers.
Monday October 24 th
We are in Nusa Laut ready for an early morning dive to try find hammerheads, here we will make the first 3 dives of the day. Extensive reef with a coral garden on the shallow part, a strait wall and a slopping corner. Sun was up and the Current was going down along the day so we finish the diving with a third dive on the shallow part. During the day didn’t see any hammerhead but we spotted grey reef sharks, sailfish, school of jacks, school of barracudas, nudibranchs and many creatures more.
Now we are sailing already in our way to Ambon were tomorrow we will have our two last dives of the trip, but still we need to have a pit stop for the night dive in the beautiful island of Molana.
Was a fantastic last night dive at Molana wall where we spotted many nice creatures as: Bobtail squid, pygmy squid, spider crab, and cattle fish… excellent night dive!!!!
After dinner Urik delight us with the last presentation of the trip about Cannibalism
Tuesday October 25th
We already arrived to Ambon bay and we are ready for our last day of diving. The last dive happened at Laha, where we had 2 exceptional muck diving: Blue ring octopus, ranophia, ornate ghost pipe fish, black painted frog fish, blue ribbon eels , white leaf fish, flamboyant cattle fish, thorny sea horse giant squid…. Amazing!!!! Our guest were super happy
After lunch we played the video of the week and was a great success!! Jamie also opened the boutique so the guest could bring home some memories of the trip also.
In the end of the afternoon we did a farewell party the crew played music for the guests, celebrate Yvonne for accomplish 200 dives and Kelly for accomplish 1000 dives. And because Terry and Alfred didn’t skip any dive they had become an aggressor fleet Iron Divers!!!
After diner we played the slide show with the guest photos and prepared for the departure.
Wednesday October 26th
In the morning we said our farewells to our guests and took them to the airport. It was a great trip and we made new friends and had a very good time. We hope to see them all again!