Raja Ampat Aggressor Captains log *31 January 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: Komang
Dive master: Muji
Dive master: Hery
Tender Driver: Jasman
Tender Driver: Ody
Th: Friwinbonda, Sardines, Cape Kri, Sawandarek Jetty
Fr: Melissas Garden, Keruo Channel, Galaxy, Keruo Night
Sa: Mayhem I, Gam Ridge, Citrus Ridge, Gam Ridge
Su: Manta Sandy, Manta Ridge, Sawandarek Jetty, Yanbuba
Mo: Yanbuba, Cape Kri, Sardines, Mioskon
Tu: Blue Magic, Mioskon
GUESTS: Dimitry, Andrei,Jeff, Reggie, Ginette, Oxana, Andrey, Jason Jeff H., Gail,Christina, Philippe, Paul
Wednesday January 31st
When our guests were transferred from the arrival dock into the boat, the crew was already waiting to greet them all. With a welcome juice and fresh towel in hand, it was time to proceed with the staterooms introduction, helping each one to get acquainted to the cabin facilities. Not long after the last group arrived, the bell rang for our first meal together, an Indonesian buffet lunch served by the chef and his assistant.
What followed the meal was an introductory briefing done by Urik, the cruise director, about our vessel and its main areas as well as details related to the daily schedule. Afterwards our guests had time to finish setting up their dive equipment with the help of the dive masters.
Earlier than usual the bell rang once more for a menu-served dinner, which continued into another briefing by Urik, this time related to our general itinerary and diving logistics from the vessel. It was also an opportunity for a formal introduction from the whole crew!
Respecting the fact that most of our guests had a long journey until West Papua, Indonesia, we called it a night relatively early. Most used the opportunity to have an extended rest period while others stayed around finishing up the gear configuration for the check dive, tomorrow .
Thursday February 1st
We arrived in the region of Dampier Strait, our first destination in the archipelago. After a buffet-served light breakfast, our divers started gearing up for the check dive, an opportunity to test photographic equipment, adjust dive gear and weights and get used to being back in the water. The dive site chosen was Friwinbonda, a large reef that offers plenty of sheltered space for us to take it easy in the first dive. It was, nevertheless, an opportunity to already see some of Raja Ampats eccentric marine life, like Wobbegong Shark, Cuttle Fish, Blue Spotted Ribbon tail Ray, School of Bump heads, among others.
When the last grouped returned on board and were greeted by the crew with a warm towel. The bell then rang for the full breakfast, ordered earlier, which includes an Indonesian option everyday! After some rest, we started gearing up for the second dive, done in Sardines. Among the sandy slope of that beautiful seamount, our divers could see big schools of Blue Stripped Fusiliers, Wobbegong Shark, White tip Shark, Tunas and Grand Trevallies..
After the second morning dive, the rang the bell for lunch and what followed was a longer resting time. In the afternoon happened the third dive of the day, and it was an spectacle. The dive site chosen was Cape Kri and the conditions were quite good with medium current and 15m/45ft visibility. As for the marine life seen during this dive, it included: schools of Black and Red Snapper, Gray Reef Shark, Black Tail Barracudas .
When the last tender returned with the last group, the stewardesses were waiting for all with a snack and a beverage. As it is usually the case in Raja Ampat, we spent our night dive looking for macro subjects and critters, and it didnt disappoint, as a few animals like Pontohi Pygmy Seahorse, Long Arms Octopus Marble Shrimp were seen in Sawandarek Jetty.
With the last of our guests back from the night dive and having taken a shower, the bell rang one more time for the menu-served dinner. After the meal, a presentation about the history, geography, culture and biodiversity of Raja Ampat was given to the guests, who, once the presentation was over, opted to go their staterooms for rest.
Friday February 2nd
Our day started in the region Penemu, where our groups started gearing up for the first dive. It was done in Melissas Garden, a stunning hard coral garden with lots of Acropora Coral, Table Corals and Boomie Corals. The current was strong and the visibility very good, it allowed our divers to see the likes of big schools of Fusiliers and Trevallies, also a good number of Black tip Sharks were spotted. A great dive to start the day!
The following dive happened in Keruo Channel, where our divers could see marine life such as Bubble Coral Shrimp, Orangutan Crab, Denise Pygmy Seahorse, Hawk bill Turtle and Napoleon Wrasse. The conditions were perfect, was a very easy and relax dive.
The third dive of this wonderful day happened in Galaxy a nice ridge with beautiful corals where we could search for critters. Among the highlights seen on this dive, we could mention Denise Pygmy Seahorse, Flabellina Nudibranch, Green Turtle, Banded Shrimp and Crocodile Fish.
After sunset our divers started gearing up for the night dive, done in Keruo Night. It was another critter spotting mission and it didnt disappoint: Marble Shrimp, Bobtail Squid, Spot fin Lion fish, Octopus, Giant Morey and Flathead fish were some of the highlights seen.
With the last group back on board and after those had their showers, the bell ringed for our dinner! After the meal, Hery gave a presentation about Pygmy Seahorses. Once it was over, most guests retired to their staterooms for rest.
Saturday February 3rd
Today we dove in Yangeffo. The first dive site of the day was Mayhem I, a very nice sea mount combining white sand and corals. Good conditions were present and with that our groups could spot huge schools of Fusiliers and, Banner fish and Red Tooth Trigger fish. Also Wobbegong and Bumphead Parrot fish were spotted
Second dive of the day was done in Gam Ridge, and the marine life we could account for during it included some Flat Worms, Nudibranchs, Peakcock Mantis Shrimp,Turtle, Cuttle fish and nice school of Razor fish. The conditions were very nice and we could have a very enjoyable dive.
Our afternoon dive happened in Citrus Ridge and its amazing combinations of white sand and stunning corals make it an incredible dive site, even if the visibility was not great. The highlights included schools of Black Fin and Yellow tail Barracudas, Wobbegong Shark, Crocodile fish and some great macro critters.
After sunset our divers started gearing up for the night dive, done in Gam Ridge. It was another critter spotting mission and it didnt disappoint: Pygmy Squid, Spiny Lobster, Pleurobrancus and pygmy Pipe Horse were some of the highlights seen.
With the last group back on board and after those had their showers, the bell ringed for our dinner! After the meal, Urik gave a presentation about Manta Rays. Once it was over, most guests retired to their staterooms for rest.
Sunday February 4th
Our day started in the early morning, in the area of Arborek. The conditions were good, small current and good visibility. We make it the first dive in Manta Sandy, Manta ray cleaning station, and unfortunately our divers couldnt see Manta Rays.
Next morning dive was done in Manta Ridge, a second cleaning station. This time the current was much more strong but we were rewarded with more than 15 Manta rays in the top and around the divers!!!! It was just unforgettable!!!!
Sawandarek Jetty was the location chosen for the third dive of the day and it is a sandy slope followed by a top coral garden around a pier. To be mentioned regarding marine life seen on this dive: Giant Mantis Shrimp, Bargibanty Pygmy Seahorse, school of Yellow Snappers and Oriental Sweet lips, Wobbegong Shark, Black tip Sharks and Giant Clams.
Sunset came and went as our divers listening to the night dive briefing, in Yanbuba. Some of the highlights seen during the dive included: Wobbegong Shark, Crocodile Fish, Marble Shrimp, Twin spot Lion fish, Black Tip Sharks, Nudibranchs, Cuttle fish.
After the last divers returned on board and had shower, we all gathered in the salon for dinner. After the meal, Urik gave a presentation about Derawan and the crew play some music to celebrate the birthday of Andrei. Most guests opted to rest afterwards.
Monday February 5th
As we woke up in Dampier Strait, the preparations for the first dive of the day happened, in Yanbuba. A sandy slope followed by a wall, with a nice top flat area where the conditions were just perfect and it allowed our divers to see many different schools of fish, including: Fusiliers, GT, Barracudas, Bump heads, Snappers, Bat fish...incredible!!!!.
The following dive was in Cape Kri, where our divers could contemplate marine life such as Grey Reef Sharks, Barracudas, Black Tips, White Tips, Grand Trevallies, Napoleons, Turtles . The conditions were mild. A good dive!
Next came a dive in Sardines a big sea mount perfect for drift along its coral sandy slope. Among the highlights seen on this dive, we could mention schools of Moorish Idols and Fusiliers, White tip and Grey Reef Sharks, Wobbegong Sharks, Spanish Mackerels and Black Tail Barracudas. The conditions wasnt too strong and we could have an easy dive even if the visibility was not great..
With the dusk our guests started gearing up for the night dive, done in Mioskon. It was another critter spotting mission and it didnt disappoint: Pygmy Squid, Morey eel, Lobster, Turtle and of course our fantastic Walking Shark were some of the highlights seen.
With the last group back on board and after those had their showers, the bell ringed for our dinner! After the meal, Urik gave a presentation about his favorite animal… Sharks!!!!.What a great presentation!!! Once it was over, most guests retired to their staterooms for rest.
Tuesday January 16th
We wake up still in the region of Dampier Strait, our guests started gearing for the first dive of our last day, in Blue Magic. The current was strong but still we manage to see school of Big Eye Jacks, Wobbegong Shark, Brown Scorpion Leaf Fish, Barracudas and a nice Orangutan Crab!!!
Our last dive happened in Mioskon, a shallow flat plateau with a beautiful sandy coral slope. and the highlights pointed out by the dive masters. included school of Yellow Snappers, Scorpion Fish, Wobbegong Sharks, Green Sea Turtle, Hermit Crab and a Pontohi Pygmy Seahorse!!. The conditions were super easy and we had a great easy, relaxing and shallow dive...perfect way to finish our trip!!!.
Once the last divers returned from the water, the crew started taking care of rinsing all of their dive equipment and hanging everything to dry. While this happened our guests had lunch. Finished the lunch, the boutique was opened for the ones who decided to bring a souvenir back home before the afternoon was given for rest.
At the schedule time, we gathered for the farewell party, another opportunity for the crew to play a few songs for everyone. It was also a moment for us to thank our guests for the visit and recognize some milestones as well as distribute a few awards.
Oxana, Andrey and Christina were congratulated on their Nitrox Diver Course done during the cruise!
Finally, our Aggressor Iron Divers, the ones who completed all the available ones during the cruise were Dimitry, Andrei, Jeff, Jason, Reggie and Christina. Excellent!
Once the farewell party was over, the guests had time to start packing their luggage before we had an earlier dinner on board. The meal was followed by an explanation of the check-out procedure as well as a sideshow with pictures taken by the guests during the cruise. It was our last activity of the night and most decided to rest for their long journey on the following day. The boat is anchored at the port of Sorong.
Wednesday February 7th
At the scheduled time the crew was waiting for our guests at the dive deck in order to bid their farewells and wish all a safe journey back home. It was a pleasure having you guys on board during this last 10 days and we wish to see you all again in the future. Happy Bubbles!