Raja Ampat Aggressor Captain s log *20 October 2017
*Air Temp. 28 - 35 C *Water Temp. 28 C - 30 C
Chief Officer: Ferdi
Cruise Director: Urik
Chief Engineer: Yuli
2nd Engineer: Daryanto
3rd Engineer: Rahmat
Chef Assistant: Intan
Dive master: Hery
Dive master: Denny
Dive master: Jemy
Tender Driver: Carly
Tender Driver: Ody
Deck hand: Ervan
Sa: Eagle Wall, Love Potion n9, Wagmab Wall
Su: Grouper Net, Grouper Net, Gorgonia s Passage, Wedding Cake
Mo: Boo West, Nudi Rock, Tank Rock, Whale Rock
Tu: Boo Windows, Shadow Reef
We: Too Many Fishes x3
Th: Tj. Kelapa,Snake City, Tj Kelapa, Tj Kelapa
Fr: Karang Hatta, Hole in the world, Pohong Miring, Pantai Pisang
Sa: Nusa Laut x3, Pantai Molana
Su: Laha 1, Laha 2
GUESTS: Sue, Ann Marie, Bridget, Elin, Sumaki (Kent), Dave, De Layne, Bob, Janelle, Mary, Janet Bill and Mike
Friday October 20th
On the time scheduled our guests arrived and were greeted by our crew. As they walk into the dive deck the introduction to the staterooms started. Acquainted to their places, we gathered in the salon to have lunch together. After the meal our Urik, the cruise director, did a presentation about the boat, mentioning its facilities, safety plan and other information on the cruise.
During the afternoon our guests had time to rest and prepare their gear, with the help of our divemasters and dinghy drivers. We then had time to enjoy the sunset and signature welcome dinner, prepared by our chef and his assistant Jemly, followed.
Finally, a briefing on the dive logistics from our vessel was given by Urik in order to prepare the guests for our first day of diving tomorrow. This was our last activity and after most of our guests retired to their staterooms after a long journey until West Papua. By this time we were already on our way to Misool, South Raja Ampat.
Saturday October 21st
A couple of hours before sunrise we were in the region of Balbulol , where we spent the day diving. Our first dive site, done after a light breakfast, was Eagle Wall and, being this the check dive, it was an opportunity for the divers to get back into their diving habits, adjust weights and get comfortable in their equipment. It was not all, though, with small current and 40 ft visibilityt, Yellowtail Fusiliers, Blue Dragon Nudibranch, Bargibanty Pygmy Seahorse were seen.
As the groups came back we met in the salon to have our full breakfast together. After it, with a surface interval in between, we started gearing up for our second dive, in Love Potion n9. With the medium current and 30 ft visibility, our divers had the opportunity to see some of the marine life that makes Raja Ampat a special place: incredible Soft Coral along the wall, Gorgonia Seafun, Pygmy Seahorse, school of Emperor, Jacks and many more !
After the dive our guests had the a buffet-served lunch. It was followed by a longer resting time that came before the amazing tour inside the Secret Lagoon of Wagmab. We went to try the see some Golden Jellyfishes inside the lagoon but they weren t there. Any way we take it the chance to enjoy a bit of snorkeling inside the sweet and salty lagoon and have a fantastic ride with our dinghies around the area… was just lovely!!!!
The stewardesses were waiting everyone with a snack as the divers returned from the lagoon tour. After a nice sunset we prepare our selfs for Wagmab Wall, where we did our night dive. Some of the highlights included: Bobtail Squid, Decorated crab, Pygmy Shrimps and Morey Eel. Back from it, our guests had time for shower before we had dinner together. After dinner Hery introduced a presentation about Pygmy Seahorses. This was our last activity of the day and time was given for rest afterwards. By this time we were on our way to Wayil Batan our dive location tomorrow.
Sunday October 22nd
Already at the region of Wayil Batan before sunrise, we started gearing up for the first dive, in Grouper Net, a nice seamount with three pinnacles. With a medium current and good visibility our divers got to jump on the middle of a giant school of Silver Fish,this happen only few times a year. Inside that big bait ball of fish we could sea schools of Mobulas, Jacks, Tunas, Trevallies, and many other fishes hunting on….was Incredible!!! and if all that was not enough we got a manta on the Top of the seamout!!! A dive to remember!!! .
Our diver were so happy that they asked Urik to let them repeat the dive sites,so our second dive was done again in Grouper Net. People say second part are never good but this time was just incredible again!!!! Mobulas and all the other fishes were still at the dive site and we all had another dive to remember for the rest of our lifes!!!!
Third dive of the day was in Gorgonia s Passage. An Incredible wall full of Gorgonias on all sizes and colors imaginable , were the highlight was of courses our beloved Pygmy Seahorse. Bargibanti , Denises and Raja Ampat pygmy Seahorses made this a good dive for macro photography. This dive had small current and 35 ft visibility.
Our night dive was done in Wedding Cake. Some of the findings the divemasters had included: Blue Spotted Stingray, Sea Banded Snake, Decorated Crabs, Flatworms. With everyone back on board we gathered for dinner and was followed by another presentation, this time on the culture, history and biodiversity of the Raja Ampat Archipelago. After it a few guests decided to rest while others stayed awake for a bit longer.
Monday October 23rd
As the sun rose in the sky, we arrived around the Fiabacet area, where our first dive happened, in Boo West. Drifting along with the current, our divers got to enjoy the amazing wall full of Soft Corals, Gorgonias Seafan and lots of fish. As for the marine life seen, some of the highlights included: Grey Reef Shark, Wobeggong Shark, Schools of jacks and Emperors. A great dive to start the day.
The following dive happened in Nudi Rock. The current was medium at the beginning but after went to slack and some of the highlights seen on the sandy bootom and around the incredible Soft Coral garden were: schools of Black Fin Barracudas, Wobbeggong Shark, Hacksbill Turtle, Napoleon Wrasse, Pygmy Seahorses and more.
Next dive was done slightly in Tank Rock. One of the attractions of this dive was to spend time cruising along the ridge and the fantastic Gorgonias and the amazing Soft Corals. Along the garden, some of the sights included the likes of Black Tips, Fusiliers, and Turtles.
Our night dive was done in the neighbor site named Whale Rock. With the usual help of the divemasters, our divers got to see Bobtail squid, Boxer Crab, Decorated Crab, Marble Shrimps and a Cuttle Fish . Back on board the guests had showered and we gathered for dinner.
After dessert a presentation about Manta rays was shared for everyone s entertainment. Finally we called it a night and a few guests stayed around while most retired to their staterooms for rest. The boat moved towards Warakarket, our dive destination for tomorrow.
Tuesday October 24th
Before sunrise we were already in the region around Boo. The first site was Boo Windows, a small plateau followed by a amazing ridge. With small current and 40 ft visibility , our divers first got to see some Spanish Mackerels, Grey Reef Sharks, Bumphead Parrot fish, Barracudas and also Pygmy Seahorse Bargybanti, Flabellina Nudibranchs and Baby Withe Tip Shark.
The following dive happened in Magic Mountain. This stunning seamount with an amazing ridge full of jacks, Snapper, Fusiliers, Butterflies, Grey reef sharks and more were seen during the dive. But the highlight, are of course … The Oceanic Manta Rays
This was our last dive of the day and also the last in Raja Ampat, as we started the crossing towards Koon Island, towards the Banda Sea. Late in the afternoon, there was plenty of time to enjoy the sunset on the sun deck before the bell rang for dinner.
After the meal Urik introduced a presentation about his favorite animal...Sharks. This was our last activity of the day and after it most of the guests stayed around chatting.
Wednesday October 25th
As the day started, we arrived around the island of Koon, close to the bigger island of Seram. This is where we spent our day of diving, in a large site named Too Many Fish. All the dives presented some current and 40 ft visibility. The first one happened, with small current, as we started along a steep wall and drifted towards a sandy slope where the dive ended. Along the wall red Snappers, Giant Grouper, Red Tooth Trigger fish were seen.
The following dive was done mostly in the sandy area with some beautiful coral formations. The marine life spotted was: Barracudas, Jacks, Ribbon Eel, Octopus
Our third dive was done from the coral slope towards the sandy area but this time our divemasters and divers spent most of their time looking for critters. To their surprise, plenty was seen: Crocodile Fish, Ribbon Eel, Giant Morey Eel and more. This was our last dive in the area as we started our crossing towards Manuk.
Dinner today was followed by another presentation, this time on the new destination of Derawan Archipelago and his biodiversity. After it a few guests decided to rest while others stayed awake for a bit longer.
Thursday October 26th
On time we arrived to the Island of Manuk . The dive site name was Tanjung Kelapa. With medium current and good visibility we went looking for Hammerheads!!! unfortunately we were not lucky but still can see some schools of jacks, schools of Neon Fusiliers, Turtle, Moreye Eels and Sea Snakes.
The following dive was done in Snake City. Along the wall and the ridge , as the current was abit up we satyes more on the shallow part. The ridge was very beautiful with all his soft corals and some of the highlights pointed out by the divemasters included: Sea Snakes, Morey Eels, Nudibranchs, Turtles and Scorpion Fishes.
Our third dive happened in Tanjung Kelapa Shallows. Along the wall and the sandy slope, different species of fusiliers, Jacks, Tunas and Surgeon Fish were some of the sights. The current was mediun and the visibility great. Snakes were everywere!!!!!
Back from the dive we gathered in the salon for dinner. After the dessert the Crew played some music to the entertainment of our gues. After that the gust have them own talent contest!!! Very funny, everybody had a great time. This was our last activity for the day and time was given for rest, which most of our guests did. The boat will now move to Hatta, on the Banda Islands
Friday October 27th
We started another day of diving on a site named Karang Hatta, remarkable for his nice wall and the incredible visibility. Some of the marine life seen included school of Bumphead Parrot fish, Spanish Mackerels, Tunas, Surgeons and a solitary Hammerhead
Our second dive happened in Hole in the World. With small current and fantastic visibility, our divers got to see some action during this dive. The turtles every where and the fantastic corals and Gorgonias around that nice wall were some of the highlights.
The following dive was done along Pohong Miring. , Some of the sights included Blue Stripped Fusiliers, Red Tooth Trigger fish, Butterflies. A nice relaxing dive to prepare for the night dive.
Last dive of the day was at Pantai Pisang, a nice plateau were we could make our night creatures hunt. Some of the marine life included were Decorated Crab, Bobtail Squid. Octopus, Marble Shrimp, Hermit Crab.
After dinner we had another of our fantastic presentations, this time our special guest were the Turtles. Time was then given for rest even though a few guests stayed in the salon afterwards. Tomorrow we dive in Nusa Laut.
Saturday October 28th
The first dive was done in Nusa Laut Wall, where our groups were mostly looking for pelagic life, which happened. Giant Grpuper, Red Snapper, Golden Snapper, Barracudas and Jacks were some of the highlights.
Our second dive, was along the Nusa Laut sandy slope . Our divers went on a nice drift and had the opportunity to see Turtles, Ribbon Eel, Octopus, Trevallies, Barracudas, Scorpion Fishes. As some groups finished the dive in a sheltered area covered in hard coral, critters were also found.
The third dive happened in the sandy slope again. Some of the creatures spotted by our divemasters included: Ribbon Eel, mantis Shrimps, Jack Pampano, Napoleons, Honey comb Morey.
After our third dive we started moving closer to Pantai Molana. Along a nice coral sandy slope was where we done our night dive and some of the highlights included: Bobtail Squid, Pygmy Cuttle fish, Donald Duck Shrimp. A great dive!
After everyone was back and had shower, dinner was served and once dessert was finish we gave some free time to our guest to relax and enjoy the rest of the night. By this time we were already on our way to Ambon, where we ll do some muck diving tomorrow!
Sunday October 29th
We arrived in Laha and in the morning started preparing for the first of our last two dives. The first dive site was Laha 1 and the second was Laha 2, even though they are both close and with similar topography, a sandy and rocky slope. Being Ambon one of the premier muck diving destinations in Indonesia (and the world), some great surprises were pointed out by our divemasters
To name a few: Yellow Rinophia, Wonderpuss, Thorny Seahorse, Coleman Shrimps, Frogfish... A great couple of dives to finish this fun trip!
Back on board our crew took the responsibility of rinsing the guests gear while they had lunch. After the meal Urik showed the video he prepared during the last ten days with some underwater footage made during the trip, which served as a moment to already start reminding the journey. Time was then given for rest and at the scheduled time we had our farewell party in the sun deck.
It was an opportunity for the crew to play some music to our guests and for all to spend some time together. This was also a moment to distribute our Raja Ampat Aggressor Iron Diver awards for those who completed all the available dives during the cruise. Congraluations to Anne Marie, Mike, Bill and Sue!
Sunset time came and after it we gathered in the salon for a signature dinner offered by the chef and his assistant. After dessert a slideshow was done with pictures taken by our divers during the trip. Finally, Urik explained the following morning and the transfers and closed the night. Most of the guests stayed around chatting and having fun while others retired to their staterooms.
Monday October 30th
Early in the morning our crew gathered in the dive deck to bid their farewells to this kind group of guests. We all wish them a safe journey back home and hope to see them again aboard the Raja Ampat Aggressor. Happy bubbles!