Raja Ampat Aggressor Captains log * 06 – 13 December 2016
*Air Temp. 28 - 35 C
*Water Temp. 29 C - 30 C
Captain & Chief Officer: Burhanuddin & Ferdy
Cruise Director: Antonio
Engineers: Yuli & Daryanto
Chefs: Jemly & Destry
Housekeeping: Betty & Nancy
Dive masters: Yamin, Hery & Abdul
Tender Drivers: Charly & Ody
DIVE SITES: Oceanic Manta Rays, Schools of jack fish, Giant Trevallies, Pygmy Seahorses (pontohi, satomi, denise & bargibanti), Wobbegong & Epaulette Sharks.
We: Sagof, Farondi Pinnacle, Baby Rock, Sagof
Th: Nudi Rock, Tank Rock, Whale Rock, Camel Rock
Fr: Shadow Reef, Gus Ridge, Boo Windows, Romeo
Sa: Yillet, West Boo, Grouper Net
Su: Melissas Garden, Keruo Channel, Galaxy, Keruo Island
Mo: Cape Kri, Blue Magic
GUESTS: Jack, Barbara, Larysa, John, Kathy, Bert, Sherry, Gary, Mike, Jaime, Karl, Christine, Steve and Mary
Tuesday December 6th
After pick up all our guests from different hotels in Sorong, we embark at 13:00 on the Raja Ampat Aggressor. Cabins briefing, all in place and lunch at 13:30.
After lunch we performed the welcome & safety briefing, and after it all guests set up their dive gear.
Started navigation towards Misool at 18:00, dinner at 19:00 and general dive briefing after it.
Kept navigating until Misool all night.
Wednesday December 7th
Arrived early morning to South Raja Ampat, check dive in Sagof. Very good conditions, with calmed sea, good visibility and a soft current in one of the sides of island.
As usually in Raja Ampat, very good for a check dive.. We saw many things, like barracudas schooling, napoleon wrasse, groupers, snappers, fusiliers… Macro lovers got some nudis, an octopus and a Lembeh sea dragon.
Our second dive surprised our guests, as they didnt expect so much fish for the second dive of the trip. Current was almost nothing and we enjoyed 2 Wobbegong sharks, 1 Oceanic Manta, Scorpion leave fish, and schools of barracudas, rabbit fish, jack fish (big eye),yellow tail fusiliers (a huge one) and many more. Really fishy and awesome dive.
The third dive has been in the site called Baby Rock, a small rock that developed a big plateau in one side and a deep wall in the other. The plateau was plenty of action, jack fish and giant trevallies hunting a school of sardines, napoleon wrasses, groupers… Most of our divers preferred to stay in the protected wall, and look for nudis, scorpion fishes, sea horses and other little stuff. The soft corals were opened at this time and together with the gorgonian fans and the school of several species of juvenile fishes showed an outstanding picture during all the dive.
Night dive in Sagof again.
Though our goal was to get a walking shark, no luck… Other nice stuff made our dive, such us crabs, shrimps, crocodile fish, nudis, blue spotted stingray and even a turtle moving around.
Thursday December 8th
Arrived early morning to Fiabacet area and prepare for Nudi Rock. Dive started during high tide, just when the water started to go down, very gentle current, easy but enough to create some fish aggregation in some areas. Very good light as well.
We got stuff like a manta, napoleon wrasse getting cleaned, crocodile fish, pygmy seahorses, nudis, shrimps, schools of yellow tail fusiliers, neon fusiliers, and juvenile sardines, and at the end a turtle having his breakfast.
Our second dive in Tank Rock has been the most big stuff dive of the day, with a lot of excitement from our divers. Just in the split point we got a lot, lot of fish, a group of grey reef sharks, schools of surgeons, sardines and giant trevallies hunting them, fusiliers, snappers… Was really amazing for the first 20 mins. After the action, we all drifted in the more protected side spotting some small critters in the reef.
Third dive in Whale Rock. The current was stronger than in the other two dives, and in the channel where the beautiful pinnacle covered by soft corals is, some sharks and giant trevallies were hunting the small fish schools around.
Similar to the second dive, after the action we drifted along the wall, where we got pygmy seahorses, nudibranches, two turtles having lunch, baby white tip sharks, napoleon wrasse, ending in the pleasant plateau in shallow water with the best conditions of sea and weather…
Night dive in Camel Rock. Nice spot to see the epaulette shark, usually several of them get active at this time to start hunting and mating.
Friday December 9th
One of our favourite dives: Magic Mountain aka Shadow Reef with its Oceanic Mantas, white tip sharks, grey reef sharks, tens of giant trevallies hunting, schools of sardines and fusiliers, wobeggong sharks, big groupers… It has been a great great dive for big stuff lovers.
For the second dive, we chose one of our secret spots, where almost no other live aboard dives: Gus Ridge. While in the beginning, probably because of the absence of current, almost no big fish shown around. After 20 mins the current started and several nice schools surrounded us: trevallies, bat fish, barracudas, surgeons… At one of the cleaning stations another oceanic manta stopped for a while in front of us.
Third dive in Boo Windows… Drifting along the ridge, enjoying quite a lot of fish specially in the small channel between the two islands where a big fish aggregation was found… The top of the ridge, as usually surprised our guests with its huge gorgonian fans and abundance of soft corals. We end behind the small island, as the current became too strong enjoying some bump head parrot fish, macro stuff like pipe fish and a green turtle.
Night dive: The expected walking shark showed up this time in Romeo dive site, two of them. Together with decorated crab, orangutan crab, several shrimps, a turtle a bobtail squid…
Saturday December 10th
We woke up in the same place and tried Yillet as our first dive. Sunny day, flat sea and a small current, enough to bring some action to the reef… Sharks, napoleons, trevallies, some jack fish and even time for macro such as orangutan crab, crocodile fish, nudis and pygmies.
For our second dive we moved the boat to West Boo, to try its nice pinnacles. The soft corals here are awesome, making an outstanding colourful scene… The fish was also joining the party, several sharks showed up in the channel, trevallies, a big school of fusiliers, bat fish, jack fish and snappers… We end the dive in the protected side of the island as the current started to increase in strength and all kind of little critters were found, such as pygmies, nudibranches, shrimps…
Our third dive has been in another of the top spots in South Raja Ampat, known as Grouper Net and also as Anchovies Pinnacle… This sea mount in the middle of nowhere is always plenty of action as is affected by al currents. We found a medium strength current from the East, then we tried to stay in that side for a while to get all the action, it was just amazing, a big school of around 50 jack fish rays were hunting the small fish of a huge bait ball, together with several mobula rays, sharks, wahoos and trevallies doing the same. Great visibility and adrenaline during this dive.
After the third dive we started navigating towards Central Raja Ampat, 10 hours ahead until our next spot around Penemu Island.
Sunday December 11th
We arrived to our next dive site, Melissas Garden, 1 hour before diving time. As we found another live aboard positioned before us we gently let them go first and delayer our dive 30 mins to avoid crowdedness under the water. Melissas Garden was the choice… As usually, a very good dive: Wobeggong, black tip, a small school of jack fish, napoleon wrasse, octopus, Spanish mackerel, fusiliers, and good amount of nudis…
Our second dive has been a soft drift dive in Keruo Channel: green turtle, mantis shrimp, winget pipe fish, moray, bad fish school, black tip sharks, and the beauty of the coral wall all along the channel.
For the third dive we gave the choice of hill trekking to Penemu Lagoon Hills or dive… Only three divers wanted to do the land tour, while the rest of the guest went diving… It was in Galaxy, where we got: Pontohi pygmy seahorse, mushroom pipe fish, flabellina nudibranch, cuttlefish, octopus, baby lobster, ribbon eel, and some other little ones… A great macro dive.
Back to Keruo island to do our night dive: Satomi pygmy seahorse, flat worms, decorated crab, shrimps, Spanish dancer.
Monday December 12th
Last day of diving in Raja Ampat… Four our first dive of the day, we chose Cape Kri. Probably the best dive site in Dampier Strait (Central Raja Ampat).
We found a strong current, then we decided to use our reef hooks to stay longer in the areas with big fish aggregation… It was as usually a great dive, with a big school of big eye jack fish, giant trevallies hunting the fusiliers, white tip and black tip sharks, schools of white and red snappers, oriental sweet lips, plenty of life and good visibility… Rain started during the dive so the light was a bit less at the end but was still a great dive.
Second and last dive of the trip in Blue Magic: The current was a bit stronger but the dive was great, an oceanic manta, school of big eye jacks, wobeggong, fusiliers, snappers, napoleon… Lot of action in the shallow where the current was hitting stronger.
On surface two Minsky Whales (mother and kid) farewell us, best way to finish our trip in Raja Ampat.
After lunch we played the Video of the week, last day briefing and rest until cocktail party time… During the party our crew gave awards after the nice Aggressor toast and we had lot of fun… Boutique opened, bills set and prepared for dinner.
Slide show of pics of the week after dinner and all guests went to rest.
Tuesday December 13th
at 8:00 all our guests checked out of the Raja Ampat Aggressor and our transfers services start to work, some to hotels, some to the airport… It was a great trip in Raja Ampat and we are looking forward of embarkation of next group.