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Raja Ampat Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Sunday, Jun 17, 2018
Entry By: Raja Ampat Aggressor Crew









 

“Raja Ampat Aggressor” Captain’s log *17 June 2018

*Air Temp. 28 - 35 C   *Water Temp. 28 C - 30 C

 

CREW:

Captain: Ervanto

Chief Officer: Salgap

Cruise Director: Urik

2nd Cruise Director: Cassio

Chief Engineer: Yuli

2nd Engineer: Daryanto

Chef: Komang

2nd Chef: Irwan

Stewardess: Nocita

Stewardess: Maria

Dive master: Gustin

Dive master: Jerod

Tender Driver: Carly

Tender Driver: Ody

 

DIVE SITES:

Mo: Laha1, Laha 2, Puntai Nama, Pintu Kota

Tu: Nusa Laut, Laut Slope, Laut Wall, Jetty 2

We: Swangi, Tansung Noret, Nailaka, Hole in the wall

Th: Tejun Kelapa, Bubbles, Tejun Kelapa 2

Fr: Koon 2, Koon 3

Sa: Shadow reef, Boo Windows, Yillet Kecil, Romeo

Su: Gorgonias Passage, Barrakuda Rock, Wedding Cake, barracuda Rock

Mo: Boo West, Nudi Rock, Tank Rock, Yillet Besar

Tu: Black Rock, Andiamo, Candy Store, Warna Bewarna

We: Happy ending, Algae patch 2

 

GUESTS: Melissa, Dan, Phil, Linda

 

Sunday June 17th

At the scheduled time our group of guests was picked-up and transferred to the vessel, where the crew, led by Ervanto, the captain, was waiting for all with a smile and greetings! With a fresh towel and a welcome beverage in hand, they were all introduced to respective staterooms before the bell rang for our first meal together: lunch.

Komang, the chef, and Irwan, 2nd chef, prepared one of our Indonesian meals as a welcome one. Afterwards the cruise director proceeded giving an introduction briefing, which mentioned some details about the boat, as well as some of the rules we apply on board and safety procedures. The afternoon was time to rest and enjoy and our guests finished to set their dive gear for the trip. The morning rain stopped and we could enjoy some sun.

After sunset, already with their dive gear prepared (thanks to the help of Gustin and Jerod, the dive master), we gathered in the salon for an early dinner. For the dessert all the crew came to play music and sign for Melissa Birthday. All the guests share a cake prepared by our chef and then Urik explain the route for the trip as well as a briefing with the safety and diving operation procedures. Then all the guest had some time to relax and talk before going to sleep.

Monday June 18th

After an early light breakfast our guest and Gustin, the dive master, went for the first dive of the trip: the check dive. We dive along Laha shore, a muck diving place with a lot of different interesting critters like Devil Scorpion fish, Painted frogfish, Razor fish, Seahorse and a Flamboyant cuttlefish.

After this dive we all gather in the Salon for an Indonesian breakfast and the guests start looking at the fish ID book to analyze what the dive master spot for them during the first dive. After a while it was time for the second dive of the day. This dive was a muck dive as well with a huge number of different Seahorses. Our divers spotted at least 15 different ones. We had a small current that let us drift along the slopes.

As soon as we get back on board it was time for a lunch buffet prepare by our Balinese chef. Then our guest relaxes on the sun deck before the third dives.

Afternoon dive was also a sandy slope. We had some medium current going along the site. All the divers could see Ornate Ghost pipefish, a giant Cuttlefish laying eggs and also a Black Wasp fish. A school of Red tooth Triggerfish was also present at some point while looking into the blue. A few Gunard fishes were spot also along the day on all the dives sites.

Every body went back on-board to find spring rolls and papaya juice ready for a snack. Then it was time for another resting time before the night dive.

We start at the sunset for the last dive of the day at Pintu Kota. It is a nice shallow reef. Despite a little swell, all our divers had a good moment. We could spot Stonefish, Scorpion fish, Giant Moray Eel and two Decorator crabs.

After the dive, every body sits together in the salon for an excellent dinner and then we finish the evening with a marine life about sea turtles done by the cruise director. After the presentation all the guests went to bed, being tired after this wonderful first day of diving in Ambon.

Tuesday June 19th

After a night of navigation, the vessel arrived in Nusa Laut, Maluku archipelago. We all wake-up in front of a nice fishing village close to our dive sites. Sunrise had nice colors with some clouds over the horizon.

After a light breakfast we head for the first dive of the day on Pulau Laut slope, just in front of the village. Going down along a sandy slope we end up in a coral plateau. We were able to spot a Green turtle around 25 meters/80 feet deep. Moving with the currents we gently ascent into a huge hard coral garden on the top of the reef. We could spend time there, spotting a giant moray eel.

When Ody came back with all the divers we all gather into the salon to breakfast with a nice Manado Porridge. Then after a nap we went for the second dives of the day. It was on Nusa Laut wall. Going down on the reef to turn around a corner and enjoy this beautiful wall dive at almost 30 meters/100feet deep. Barracuda and schools of Jacks and Yellowtail Snappers were present. We finish the dive after passing over a large patch of Garden Eels in the sand, doing our safety stop on the hard-coral garden. So many layer of coral table, full of Angelfish, Bannerfish and even two Red anemones with Tomato Anemone fish.

Back on the boat we enjoy an excellent buffet, prepare by our chef. After lunch, some guests went for a nap and other start studying their nitrox manual in order to get their Nitrox Specialty Course during the cruise.

We all went for the third dive, a shallow dive only on the top of this huge coral garden on top of the house reef of Nusa Laut. We could spot Honeycomb Moray Eel, Leaf scorpions fish and schools of Fusilier and Snapper. It was a relaxing dive after the two deep dives of this morning.

Maria, our stewardess, and the rest of the crew were waiting for us on a boat with fresh coconut to drink and some Pisang Goreng (fried banana) for the snack time.

After watching the sun going down the horizons, behind Nusa Laut Island, night dive was done along a stone jetty. The divers start by passing by the jetty underwater concrete piles to end up on a nice hard coral wall. They could spot a Ghostpipe fish, tiny octopus and also a Hawksbill turtle.

After dinner we all listen to the presentation done by the cruise director about Pygmies seahorse. Then it was time to rest after a long day.

Wednesday June 20h

We woke up in the Banda Sea after a night of navigation. We arrived on Swangi rock to see the first light in the sky. This rock, our first dive site, was home for hundreds of seagulls. We could see them flying around the vessel to say “Good morning” to our guests.

First dive was along a wall. We enter in the blue with a small current. Arrive at the split point, on the wall, we hooked our self to the reef to relax and watch the blue water. And then all of us could see this huge Hammerhead shark passing by. What a good start for the morning dives. Divers could also spot a Napoleon fish before leaving the bottom and start drifting along this wall. Visibility was excellent and we finish the dives on a sloppy plateau at the top of the wall with more Bump head parrot fishes passing by as well as an impressive Sea snake.

Our second dive was at Tansung Noret. Just before getting into the tenders, around a hundred dolphins appeared around the boat. We spent a few minutes watching them and then head for the dives. Jumping along a wall, we went down to 25 meters/ 80 feet. Going along the current, we relax and watch in the blue to see some schools of jacks. The wall was crowded with blue fusiliers, impressive barrel sponge and sea fans. Visibility was descent and we enjoyed an hour of dive before getting back to the boat for a well-deserved lunch.

The next dive happened in Nailaka Island. We jump on the west cost of this heaven beach, crystal water along white sand. As we went to the bottom, we got on a sandy slop with rock and coral formation. As we wanted a chill dive we went with the flow of the sea. And then, a massive Eagle ray appears. We also could watch a nice Hawksbill turtle, Damselfish, Angelfish and a good amount of Butterfly fish as well, common in the coral reef of Indonesia.

An hour after the sun went down behind Banda Island we went for our last dive of the day. The place, call Whole in the Wall, is a really nice wall, full of bioluminescence life and macro critters like Pygmies Squid and Nudibranchs. A few small caverns to look into, with the presence of Twofin Flashlight fish if you switch your light off, and at the end of the wall a nice chimney to get through.

Then we gather for a late dinner follow by a briefing about the next day. Some our guests then exchange some jokes with the crew and everybody went to bed. The boat spends the night navigating southeast for our next day of diving.

Thursday June 21st

Along with the sunrise on what turned out to be another bright sunny day, we arrived in the volcano island of Manuk, Banda Sea. We could enjoy the first light of the dawn before going to dive.

This island is well known in the area for it’s underwater wall and sea snake.

First dive was on Tejun Kelapa 1. Our guests could enjoy a slow drift along the wall, crossing a sandy slope with banded sea snakes playing around and ending on a hard-coral plateau in the shallow water for the first safety stop of the day.

The second dive was on a place called Bubble, also along a nice deep wall of corral and giant barrel sponge. Sea snakes were also present, as well as jacks, and a schools of black fins barracuda. A boxer crab in his anemone was waiting for our divers to take pictures of him.

The third and last dives of the day were a blast. Jumping over a sandy slope, we quickly arrive on a wall with crack looking like some valley. At each corner schools of jacks were hunting with the help of a massive Tuna. A Mobula ray was also seen in the blue, cruising around. On the wall some massive barrel sponge where a diver could easily hide as well as giant sea fans were present.

After these dives, the crew starts navigating the boat toward our next island, back to the Maluku archipelago for the next days. The 18 hours crossing start and the guests could enjoy some extra time to rest on this day after the three deep dives.

After the meal, all the guests follow a presentation about one of our main destination during the summer: Derawan. We introduce to them the kind of diving and fish they could spot there, included Whale shark, huge school of Barracuda and Manta ray. Then all of them stay for a little chat while others went on the sun deck to see the stars. One of the divers, that have knowledge in astronomy, spots for us the international space station and other constellation from the south hemisphere.

Friday June 22nd

In the early morning we arrive in sight of Koon Island, back to the Maluku Archipelago. It is a white sand beach island, cover with some trees where we could spot a few fishermen hunt. Feel like a paradise surrounded by blue water.

We dive on the wall in the north side of the island in the morning. We could enjoy blue water below 10 meters/30 feet.

During our first immersion we could spot some colorful Candy Crabs, Green Turtle, Schooling Banner fish, Emperor Angel Fish and a Crocodile Flathead. This dive was along a wall cover in hard and soft coral.

Our second dive happened on the same wall but further along the island. A light current allows us to drift along the wall and relax on our swimming. More Green Turtle were spotted cruising around as soon as we start descending into the blue along the wall. A school of Red tooth Triggerfish was present on the site as well as Anemone fish, Clown Triggerfish and Surgeonfish.

And just like the last group returned, we started motoring the vessel North, toward Raja Ampat, this fantastic, colorful, vibrant and blessed archipelago which we, from the Raja Ampat Aggressor, hope will be preserved way into the future. After lunch some of our guests opted to rest. Two of them stay up to take they Nitrox class with Urik. He gave them a very complete presentation before they successfully passed their exam. Congratulation guys!!

Saturday June 23rd

After a night of transit, we arrive in the famous worldwide island of Rajat Ampat. All our divers waked-up and we could feel the excitement of everybody. The day of dives will be conduct in the Southern part of the Four Kings Archipelago: Misool Island.

Our morning dive was conducted on a place call Shadow Reef. It was our first seamount dive of this trip. We all jump on the north side of the seamount and start swimming to the ridge part of it on the top of the wall. What a surprise! Warm water and clear visibility were with us. We arrive on the ridge and hook our self to the reef to be able to contemplate all the fishes around. And the festival begins: Gray reef shark, Giant traveling, schools of Big eyes Jacks, Orange spotted traveling, Napoleon Fish, Midnight Snappers and some moray eel hunting as well. We finish our dive on the top of the seamount enjoying schools of fusilier surrounding us.

Our last dive of this lovely morning was on a place call Boo Windows, due to the three swim-throughs just under the surface on this rock. We start on the north side of the wall and swim to the pinnacle that end this site, forming a corner. A light current brings us Blacktip reef sharks, Narrow Barred Spanish Mackerel, schools of Yellow Snappers and more schools of Barracuda.

For the afternoon dive we jumped on a rock, Yillet Kecil, to go down on a slope full of soft and hard coral. The slope end on a wall with cavern digging on it. Lots of sea fans allow us to spots the Rajat Ampat Pygmy sea horse, a color variation of the Denise Pygmy as well as a Bargibanti pygmy. Our guests could take pictures and get back to the yacht with a huge smile on their face.

The day of diving end with a night dive around Romeo reef. This place is famous for it’s walking shark population and our divers were happy to spot two of them: The Epaulette Sharks. We could also see a huge Flathead Crocodile Fish and a Pickhandle Barracuda, cruising around us during most of the dive, hunting with the help of our flashlight.

After a gorgeous dinner, the cruise director made a presentation about Rajat Ampat history and location, where we would spend the next 5 days of the end of our trip.

Sunday June 24th

We arrived early morning in the sight of Wayil Archipelago. It is a formation of few island made of limestone, typical from Rajat Ampat area.

We jumped in the water after the light breakfast, on a channel called Gorgonians Passage. It is sited between two cliffs and the water flow from the open see. Diving on the north part of this place, we follow a beautiful wall, drifting along Sea fans of different color and size. The dive master, Gustin, made our divers stop to contemplate different sort of Pygmies sea horses. We count seventeen of them in one single dive. They were Bargibanti, Denise and the Denise variation of Rajat Ampat National Park, red with white spot on it.

At mid-morning, when the hide slack tide occurs, our divers went for a dive at Barracuda Rock. The water was clear and we go down the southern wall, passing under an over-head crack to swim to the ridge part of the pinnacle. Schools of Barracuda, Pickhandle and Blackfins, were swimming together in the blue. A hawksbill turtle was waiting for us on the last part of these dives, over the soft coral garden in the shallow part.

After the lunch was the chef served to the divers his succulent beef Lasagna, we dove on a place call Wedding Cake. The name of this rocks formation is due to the fact that the east side looks alike the layer of a wedding cake.

After this, some guest took the kayak and went for a tour in a secret lagoon, close to our mooring, to enjoy the beauty of the area under a nice sun.

For the night dive we went back to Barracuda rock. We were able to spot the walking shark again as well as Banded Pipefish, Bargibanti Pygmy, Pygmy Squid, Pickhandle Barracuda hunting around us and a pair of Crinoid Clingfish.

After dinner, all the crew gathers in the Salon to play music. They sang some local songs, typical from Indonesia. Then a presentation about Walking shark was held, explaining about the different type, their habitat and mating.

Monday June 25th

Before sunrise of another fantastic diving day, we arrived in sight of Boo West rock, close to where we dived two days ago.

The first dive was along Boo West wall that end up on a seamount after a little swim over a deeper sandy bottom. The top of the seamount is cover by soft coral. Such an explosion of colors around us. Giant Travely were swimming around and the visibility was around 20 meters/60 feet. More Pygmies seahorses were spot by dive master Jerod as well as other small critters such as Skeleton Shrimp and Banded Pipefish.

After a nice breakfast made of Indonesian Porridge we jump on Nudi Rock for the next immersion. Once we arrive at the bottom on a ridge we drift along the light currents, following a wall and ending up on a nice soft coral plateau where our divers could enjoy for a while in this shelter part of the site. Looking around all these colorful corals our divers enjoy spotting marine life. At a certain point, a really friendly Hawksbill Turtle passed by and take time to stick around us for being catch by diver camera.

Next dive was on Tank rock, a reef marked by a rock standing out of the water. Straight after we jumped, we found this white Giant Frogfish. The rest of this dive was around the reef wall, with a coral slope on the top. Visibility was around 15 meters / 45 feet and water temperature /82 degrees.

Night dive start during the sunset on a wall called Yillet Besar. Looking for critters we could spot a lot of different shrimps and like: Crinoid Shrimp, Bande Coral Shrimp, Painted Spiny Lobster, Porcelain Crabs and Decorator Crabs.

After the dinner, Urik give a presentation about different Sharks, his favorite animal. The guests could learn a lot about their behavior and ask questions to the Cruise Director. After the show everybody went to bed, tired by this four-amazing dive.

Tuesday June 26th

Another day, another beautiful sunrise in the surroundings of Daram in Rajat Ampat.

The reefs dive of the days brings lots of fishes and critters to our guests. With a water visibility at almost 30 meters / 100 feet at some point they could see Giant Travely, Schools of Bigeye Jacks, Wobbegong shark, Chevron and Pickhanddle Barracuda, Orangutan Crabs, Longfin Spadefish.

During our first dive at Candy Store, we had seven Mobulas Devil Ray following us all the time. As soon as we jumped they were around, playing in the blue, doing some looping and going away before being in sight again. Looking into the blue make us spot a lot of Travely as well and other fishes. We understand quickly why this place is called like that. The divers were feeling like kids in a candy shop, looking everywhere at the same time and couldn’t fix the attention on one fish at the time

When Carly drive back the dinghy with all the divers after the night dive the crew great them by playing music, this was the last night dive of the trip. Then we all site down for a dinner follow by a briefing about the next day, that will be the last day of diving for this trip. Urik explain the schedule and then give a presentation about Barracudas, the different kind, where to find them and more details information about the ones we encounter during our trip.

Then after some chats, all the guests went to bed and we start motoring the boat toward our last destination: Batanta

Wednesday June 27th

Along the night we arrived in the surroundings of Batanta, where we done our last two dives. One was a muck dive named Happy Ending. It is in one of the bays of the really green island, with the beach cover by a mist. The second and last dive of these amazing trips was held in Algae Patch 2, a reef in the next bay. Our divers could enjoy to see some really cool underwater creatures like Pygmy Pipefish, Leaf Scorpion fish and once again a Wobbegong shark. This was a good closure for the diving activity.

Once all the divers get back on board, the crew starts rinsing and cleaning all the gears and hang them for drying under Papua sun. Then the boat start heading toward Sorong, the last stop of this memorable journey around Maluku Archipelago, the Banda Sea and the national Park of Rajat Ampat.

All the guests stay in the Salon after the last lunch to watch the video of the week. They all had good laugh and smile a lot, seeing the memories of last 12 days they spent together. During the afternoon they start packing and take a rest before the farewell party that was held on the sun deck. The crew played one more time music and Urik, the cruise director, made a speech, thanking everybody to choose an Aggressor Fleet destination. After the toast came the it was time for the Iron Diver medals. Congratulations to Dan, Phil and Melissa to complete all the dives available during the trip, 35 dives in total.

After the dinner, Urik give the last briefing, talking about the departure arrangement of the next day. Then after a nice chat and lots of jokes, everybody went to bed.

Thursday June 28th

At the scheduled time the crew was waiting to bid their farewells to this fun, kind group of guests and wish all a safe journey back home. Thank you for visiting us and we hope to see you again aboard the Raja Ampat Aggressor. Happy bubbles!