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Raja Ampat Aggressor Captains log *10 July 2017
*Air Temp. 28 - 35 C
*Water Temp. 29 C - 30 C
Cruise Director: Urik
Chief Officer: Ferdi
Chief Engineer: Yuli
2nd Engineer: Darynto
Chef Assistant: Intan
Dive master: Hery
Dive master: Jemy
Dive master: Denny
Tender Driver: Carly
Tender Driver: Ody
Tu: Drift, DDL1, Jetty Resort
We: Manta Clean, Manta Road, Ketuts Rock, Jetty Panjang
Th: Bagans, Bagans, Heavens Reef, Jetty Panjang
Fr: Barracuda Point, Jelly Fish Lake , Barracuda Point, Kakaban Jetty
Sa: Fusiliers, Channel, Small Fish Country, Lagoon
Su: Channel, Lighthouse
GUESTS: Moon, Nudi, June, Jennie, Mandol,Chuck, Ryan, Werner, Kurt, Jackie,Karl, Christine, Pierre, JM
Monday July 10 th
Early afternoon and our guests were already aboard of the vessel with the crew waiting to greet them all Urik, the cruise director, showed all their staterooms and finally was time for lunch. After that, respecting resting time after a long journey, a short briefing about the boat, schedule, crew and safety procedures was done. The rest of the afternoon was reserved for resting, getting acquanted in the accommodation and making adjustments to the dive and photo equipment.
Dinner was served a little bit later than usual and as we were having dessert Urik explained the diving procedures and the crew presented themselves. It was also an opportunity for the guests to do it. Finally all went to their rooms as the vessel was already on its way to Derawan Island, Kalimantan, our first destination.
Tuesday July 11 th
Early in the morning we arrived at in surroundings of Derawan, which neighbors reefs were our first destination. The very first dive, after a light breakfast, was a check dive for the guests to check their equipment, buoyancy and start preparation for diving in the region. The dive chosen was The Drift and the currents were medium , while the visibility was around 10 meters / 32 feet. A few highlights could be already mentioned about this dive: Reef Octopus, Mantis Shrimp, schools of Snappers and Cocktail Stingray
Next came the full breakfast and some rest to prepare for the second dive of th day,in DDL 1.Next came the full breakfast and some rest to prepare for the second dive of day,in DDL 1. Some Macro were spotted by our dive guides, like Pipe Fish, Nudibranchs and Porcelain Crabs, besides others schools of fusiliers and snappers. Another highlights celebrated by the guests were Leaf Scorpionfish and Orangutan Crab.
The night dive, done in Jettys Resort, was an opportunity to spot creatures like the Crocodile Flathead, Decorator Crab, a couple of scorpionfishes, Blue-spotted Stingray and a sleeping Hawksbill Turtle! Also was founded by our divemasters Yellow Hairy Frogfish and big Stonefish. An amazing dive overall!
It was then time for dinner. Urik, after dinner, then recaptured the day and reinforced the itinerary with the guests along with a presentation on Manta Rays. Last, glad with the first water activities it was time for rest.
Wednesday July 12 th
A few miles in the southern part of the region is Sangalaki. The visibility for the day was somewhere around 20-25 meters/33-50 feet. Our first dive was done in Manta Clean, one of the most known soft coral garden in Derawan. Right in the beginning of the dive the guides spotted a huge Napoleon Wrasse sleeping. Red Snappers were also seen schooling Yellowtail Barracudas and a Black Manta. As for the masters of camouflage, the first spotted Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse was seen, together with a few different nudibranchs and a Crocodile Fish.
The second dive was in Manta Road and already in the start two Mantas were spotted amongst the action, that picked up together with the current. Spanish Mackerel, Green Sea Turtle and a Zebra Shark were seen on the reef! Later on, already in the sheltered part of the reef, a Hawksbill Turtle and a Blacktip Reef Shark came across the guests. A few different species of shrimps, like the Peacock-tail Anemone Shrimp, colorful nudibranchs and flatworms were also pointed out in between the Coral Bommies.
Lunch and a longer surface interval came as rest for the guests before the third dive, in Ketuts Rock, another site close by. While cruising along the sand mix with hard and soft coral, creating an incredible Coral Garden, the guest have seen another Green Sea Turtle, Manta, an Orangutan Crab and schooling fusiliers, surgeonfishes hovering around the bubbles. By the end, two baby Whitetip Reef Sharks were seen resting under a table of coral. A great dive!
Sunset came, and after the night dive took place in Jetty Panjang. There were a few highlights pointed by the guides like Skeleton Shrimp, Spiny Lobster, nudibranchs, flatworms, Green and Hawksbill Turtle, different species of moray eel and also a Whitetip Reef Shark! A very nice night dive overall.
With everybody back in the liveaboard was time for dinner and afterwards Urik mentioned in more detail the plan for the upcoming days. Finally, glad with this great day of diving in Sangalaki, the Cruise Director introduced a presentation about Whale Sharks. After that most of the guests retired to their rooms. In the morning we head to Kakaban, northeast of Sangalaki.
Thursday July 13 th
The first and second dive of the day was in Talisayang area. The dive was Under the fishing platforms called Bagans and we were looking for Whale Sharks. In the early morning Urik was surveilling the area in search of some of giant friends, and finally he spotted a Bagan with 3 Whales Sharks. We organize our guest and jumpon the water, the visibility wasnt great but still we could enjoy the spectacle. Our guest came back happy from the dive and that is all we can ask!!!
Heading towards north, the third dive of the day was in Heavens Reef, famous for its topography. On the top of the ridge, covered by soft coral, hard coral and sponges, schooling snappers and fusiliers were seen alongside Giant Trevallies and Blue-fin and Orange-spotted Jacks. A Denise Pygmy Seahorse, a Leaf Scorpionfish and Worthy Frogfish were also highlighted by the dive guides and in the end of the dive a Green Turtle was seen.
Having enjoyed the sunset and then getting some rest, was time for the night dive, done in Jetty Panjang. Critters were everywhere, ranging from Pygmy Squid, Skeleton Shrimp, Reef Octopus and nudibranchs. Also spotted were the Bobtail Squid!
Back on board it was time for shower and dinner. The theme of the presentation done this night by Herry, our divemaster, was Pygmy Seahorses, since he is a specialist in spotting them. After that the guess, extremely glad with a fantastic day of diving, went to their staterooms to sleep or watch a movie. In the morning we start heading north.
Friday July 14 th
Early in the morning we arrived to Kakaban, the first and the third dive was in Baracuda Point, an impressive wall plateau with incredible visibility and lots of fish. We saw school of Barracuda, school of Jacks, Grey Reef, White Tip sharks, Eagle Rays, schools of Tunas… an incredible day!!
Between the dives we visited the internal non Stinging Jellyfish lagoon, the biggest on the world, with the possibility to see 4 species of Jellyfish. Our guest loved to snorkel and making videos surrounded of millions of Jellyfish. Definitely something different and special.
Having enjoyed the sunset, the night dive was in Kakaban Jetty and there were a lot of sightings, like pipefish, scorpionfish. After it was time for shower and dinner. Urik detailed the itinerary of the next day and did a presentation about Turtles. Once it was over the guests retired to their staterooms as we were already on our way to Maratua, the last island we will visit during this trip.
Saturday July 15 th
We woke up in the region located West of the Maratua island, where we did our first dive of the day, in Fusiliers . According to the divers, it was absolutely amazing! Schooling pelagic fishes (jacks, snappers, mackerels, tunas) chasing fusiliers and other smaller fishes were joined by Whitetip and Grey Reef Sharks and a few Napoleon Wrasses. On the top of the sandy plateau two big Schools of black Barracudas were also seen. On top of that, some Green Sea Turtle Rays the reef getting close to the divers!
The second dive of the day, done in Channel, didnt had great visibility, the current was already changed to outgoing bringing a lot of sand. Even like this we could spot a huge school of Barracudas, school of Jacks and some reef fishes . Along the shallower part of one of the mounts the guests also seen a Reef Stonefish, nudibranchs and a Boxer Crab.
The third dive of the day, with better conditions than the previous, was in Small Fish Country. The highlight of this site is the shallow part located on the northwestern part that hosts a great amount of Green sea Turtles and Hawksbill, schools of fusiliers and Unicorns alongs its wall trimming with schooling reef fish around its top.
After the dive we enter on the lagoon of Maratua were we did also the night dive. Some of the marine life spotted was: Giant Frogfish, Cuttlefish, Flounder and Bobtail Squid.
We got a presentation of Sharks done by Urik after dinner and also the Crew play some local songs for the guest. After that we all enjoyed the rest of the night to rest and prepare for tomorrow, our last day of diving.
Sunday July 16 th
Early in the morning we repeated the Channel, but this time with incoming current, the visibility was good and the current wasnt very strong. A few of the highlights spotted cruising were huge school of Barracuda, school of Yellow Tail Barracuda. Tunas, Jacks and Spanish Mackerels. Very nice reef hook dive.
As for the last dive, done in Lighthouse, the existent current allowed the guests to drift along this wall covered in gorgonians, sponges and hard coral. A few different species of groupers and moray eels that inhabit this reef, two Hawksbill Turtles and a juvenile Emperor Angelfish were some of the highlights seen together with a huge school of Batfish
After was time for lunch and then Jemy opened the boutique for souvenirs and, already on our way back to Sorong, we had our farewell party in the sun deck.
The crew started it with a little performance for all and after Urik announced the prizes.
June, Mandol, Nudi, Werner, Kurt and Jackie were the Iron Divers. A special mention went for Karl and Jackie who made 500 and 700 dives .
After that was time for some pictures, music and sharing experiences from the trip. Sunset came and we went on with dinner, when a slideshow was shown with pictures from the guests taken during the cruise. Came then time to rest and prepare for our good-bye in the morning.
Monday July 17 th
Early the morning, we had our last meal together. Farewell was said to the guests and all were taken to the airport for their trips out of Tarakan. A beautiful cruise comes to ending, with a lot of marine life seen and great people around. We all hope to see them again in the future!