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Raja Ampat Aggressor :

 

Log Date: Wednesday, Oct 21, 2015
Entry By: Raja Ampat Aggressor Crew

 



Raja Ampat Aggressor Trip RAA21.10.2015

Wednesday 21st October 2015

Guests arriving around 13:00. Some guests delayed after having to fly to Jayapura and then luckily getting into Sorong around 18:30. Depart Sorong harbour at around 20:00 after dinner and briefing presentation.

Vessel bound for the south-west Batanta area and anchoring close to the island of Sagewin before moving over at 06:00 to the dive sites at SW Batanta.

Visibility: Worse than the first dive but not so bad under 5 metres.

Dive 3: Algae Patch 1

A return to this very productive site, but this time with some current. Temperature: 29 C to 27 C.
Visibility: Much stronger current that the previous two dives.

 

Thursday 22nd October 2015

Batanta

Dive 1: Algae Patch 2

Good first/check dive.
Plenty of nudibranchs.
Temperature: 29 C.
Visibility: Very good for the area - 20 metres

Dive 2: Algae Patch 1

One of Raja Ampat’s premier critter dives.
Halgerda nudis, pair of baby cuttlefish, wobbegong shark. Temperature: 29 C to 27 C.

 

Friday 23rd October 2015
Farondi & Harapan Jaya

Dive 1: The Three Sisters

Triple peaked islets in the Wagmab/Farondi Channel. Little bit of current coming from the south but still very pretty and nicely clear.
Temperature: 27 C.
Visibility: Very good for the area - 20 metres.

Dive 2: South Farondi & Killer Cave

The current at dive time were fairly strong on a incoming tide but this didn’t made the dive any less thrilling. Plenty of schooling fish, a fascinating insight into the cavern and a large wobbegong shark resting on a table coral.
Temperature: 27 C.

Visibility: Still very good for the area.

Dive 3: Farondi Arch, Tunnel and Wall

The current at dive time had now switched to outgoing which made it the perfect time to explore the arch and tunnel. Some of us made it all the way down to the cavern again

where the wobbegong was still waiting for us. Temperature: 27 C.
Visibility: Still very good for the area.

Dive 4: Harapan Jaya Jetties Night Dive

A great critter night dive around the rubble and rubbish of the three jetties extending from Harapan Jaya village.
Temperature: 27 C.
Visibility: Fair.

Dive 3: Wedding Cake

A nice rocky islet dive in between Wayil and Wayilbatan. The small island spreads out into several ridges and a set of ledges.
A crocodile fish and clouds of baitfish were the special points of this dive.
Temperature: 27 C.

Visibility: Fair.

Dive 4: Barracuda Rock (Little Wayil) Night Dive

Barracuda Rock is the usual night dive for the Wayil anchorages. The dive does not cover the whole area but instead concentrates on the sandy/rubble/coral slopes on the western side of this small rocky island.
Highlights tonight were a pair of ornate ghostpipefish.

Temperature: 27 C. Visibility: Fair.

Saturday 24th October 2015

Wayil

Dive 1: Four Kings

Large four peaked series of seamounts in open sea. Great surface and in water conditions for this dive this morning with plenty to see underwater.
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: Very good but lack of sunlight due to the haze from the burning forests on mainland Papua prevented the reef from really lighting up.

Dive 2: Fantasea Channel/Gorgonian Passage

Fantasea Channel is the passage that cuts between the islands of Wayilbatan and Karawarapop. The western side of the site is the one that is dived more frequently and today we had a very slight current running to the north, an incoming tide. Temperature: 27 C

Visibility: Not too bad, around 15 metres.

Sunday 25th October 2015

Fiabacet & Boo

Dive 1: Nudi Rock

Nudi Rock is a firm favourite with everyone who visits the Fiabacet area. Interconnecting ridges are formed underneath the surface breaking rock providing magnets for schooling fishes and feeding pelagics.
Animals turning up this morning included a rather inquisitive whitetip reef shark and several mobular rays.

Temperature: 27 C.
Visibility: Fair, around 20 metres.

Dive 2: Boo Windows

One of Misools signature dive sites. This one features some huge window like breaks in the rocky structure of a small island off the eastern side of Boo island itself. Plenty of schooling fish and a grey reef shark.
Temperature: 27 C.

Visibility: Fair, around 15 metres.

Dive 3: Magic Mountain (Karang Bayangan or Shadow Reef)

Magic Mountain is another amazing sea-mount, this time a little way into the Ceram Sea and today she did not let us down. There were a few surprise guests on this fabulous dive, a group of manta rays, including two huge oceanic’s, really huge.....
Visibility: Good, around 20 metres.

Monday 26th October 2015

Koon Island

Dive 1: South of the Point ( Steeply Sloping Reef)

A nice start to the day avoiding the crazy currents that can collect around this south-eastern end of the island chain that extends out from the much larger island of Ceram. Temperature: 25/26 C
Visibility: Good - 20 metres

Dive 2: North of the Point (Wall)

Once again avoiding the current, rising this time, we dropped in on the wall on the north side of the reef system.
Temperature: 25/26 C
Visibility: Fair - 15 metres

Dive 2: On The Point (Too Many Fish)

Dropping in actually on the reef and sandy ridge that extends out to the east into much deeper water. Cross currents were encountered on this dive but there was still plenty of fishy action.
Temperature: 25/26 C

Visibility: Variable - 10-20 metres

Marine Life: Hammerhead Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Mobular Rays, Huge Groupers (Huge), Schooling Big Eye Jacks, Schooling Chevron Barracuda, Black Snapper, Big Moray Eels, Schooling Batfish, Blue Fin Trevally, Giant Trevally, Spotted Sweetlips, Emperors, Large Beige Rays, Thousands of Fusiliers, Dogtooth Tunas, Pompano and many others.

 

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Banda

Dive 1: Pohon Miring

A nice dive on the north-eastern end of Lontar island. This one features a deep swim- though and wall all covered in good growths of hard and soft corals. Creatures featured on this dive included a large Napoleon wrasse, a very friendly honeycomb moray and a sea snake.
Temperature: 27 C.
Visibility: Fair, around 20 metres.

Dive 2: Batu Kapal

Batu Kapal is a thrilling three topped sea-mount just outside Banda Harbour close to Pisang island. Great coral growth and a huge amount of marine life made this dive a winner. Temperature: 27 C.

Visibility: Fair, around 15 metres.

Dive 3: Moalana Mandarin Hotel

While half of the group embarked on a historic tour around the famous town of Banda Neira the others decided to have a look at the muck/critter dive in front of the famous colonial styled hotel on the town’s waterfront. A very good critter dive and it didn’t disappoint this time with a whole host of creepy crawlies on show.

disappoint this time with a whole host of creepy crawlies on show. Temperature: 27 C.
Visibility: Fair, around 10 metres.

 

Wednesday 28th October 2015

Hatta & Banda Neira

Dive 1: Skaru Reef North East

This morning we set out at 05:00 and make our way south-east to the beautiful island of Hatta to explore the sites down there. After some extensive reconnaissance in the tender we decided to dive on the north-east point of the extensive exposed flat reef system a mile or so to the south of the main island. This proved to be a very good idea. The reef system is somewhat rectangular in shape and runs for around 500 metres from west to east and we entered along the eastern side. Here we found a very steeply sloping reef with some sandy ledges before being pushed by the very slight current along to the north-east reef extension.

Very good schooling fish life, particularly fusiliers that seemed to get in the way of everything they were so thick. The coral heads on the slightly sloping reef extension were fully growth with both hard and soft corals.
Temperature: 27/28 C
Visibility: Around 20-25 metres

Dive 2: Hatta Arch & Wall

This dive starts some 200 metres away from a wonderful beach that has some construction work going on, probably a homestay hotel, and a very good place for one it is too. The reef extends from the beach to a depth of around 5 metres where it then turns into a wall that plunges down into the depths. Our entry point was on top of a large limestone arch that produces a really nice swim through out onto the wall. Very good fan coral growths on the wall and huge hard coral heads on the top of the wall. Good schooling fish action. Temperature: 24/27 C

Visibility: Very good for the area - 20 metres

Dive 3: Lava Flow

Our third dive today takes us back into the shelter of Banda harbour to dive the lava flow that was formed by the catastrophic eruption of the Gunung Api volcano back in 1988. A huge black river of volcanic debris splits into two close to the waters edge and while all is desolate above the water under the surface it is a different story. For the last 27 years a magnificent hard coral garden has grown up over the newly introduced rocks bearing testament to the remarkable regeneration abilities of the ocean.

Temperature: 27 C

Temperature: 27 C.
Visibility: Fair, around 10 metres.

Land Excursion in Banda Neira Town

Once the capital of the spice trade where nutmeg was worth more than gold the sleepy town of Banda Neira still has a lot to see. We dropped off at the quaint colonial hotel for a trek around the streets and shops. High points were the museum and the imposing Fort Belgica that towers over the island. Nutmeg jam was purchased and will be tested tomorrow morning at breakfast time.

Dive 4: Moalana Mandarin @ Night

While half of the group embarked on a historic tour around the famous town of Banda Neira the others decided to have a look at the muck/critter dive in front of the famous colonial styled hotel on the town’s waterfront. A very good critter dive and it didn’t

Visibility: Poor, 10 metres

Dive 4: Mandarin Hotel

Time is getting short before we have to motor to our next destination at Nusa Laut. We still decide however to try and make a shallow dive in the shallow water that laps up against the Moalana Hotel’s rustic gardens. This is one of the very best places to observe the colourful Mandarin Fish, made even better due to the fact that they make their homes among the rocks on the bottom rather than inside complicated corals. There were plenty out this

evening performing their daily mating rituals. Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: Poor, 10 metres

 

Thursday 29th October 2015

Nusa Laut

Dive 1 & 2: Amed - North Nusa Laut Reef And Wall

After hearing some exciting reports of schooling hammerhead sharks from the previous week from friends and other dive operators our visit to Nusa Luat gives us the chance to try and find these elusive beasts.
The reef at Amed is very interesting with huge coral gardens, deep drop-offs and some nice sandy areas. A lot of the credit for this must go to the villagers of Amed, they protect their local marine environment in a first class fashion. Unfortunately the visibility was very poor and we were not able to see any on either of our two dives here this morning.
What we did see however was a very vibrant reef, an absolutely huge black blotched stingray, a massive Napoleon wrasse and a grey reef shark. Schooling big eyed jacks and barracuda were also featured during our dives.

Who knows what was lurking out in the deep though.
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: Poor 10 metres. Better at depth, 20 metres

Dive 3: Molana

Due to the visibility problems and the sea conditions we decided to leave Nusa Laut and head to the west for the uninhabited island
of Molana. Nobody on board had ever dived there before but I had a couple of GPS points in my data base and we decided to check one of them out.

The sea was till fairly bumpy when we arrived at Molana some 15 nautical miles away from Nusa Laut but after a quick check of the entry point we dropped in on a dive site called Mamala.

The underwater was fairly
uninspiring at first but the reef
dropped away to an amazing coral
covered wall. The wall was huge and
bottomed out at around 35 metres, the main feature however was the overhanging aspect of the rock formation that doubled back on itself to create a huge sandy bottomed cavern like structure.
All in all a very nice find.
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: Poor, 10 metres

 

Friday 30th October 2015

Ambon Inlet

Dive 1 & 2: Laha Dock

We left Molana at around 17:30 the previous after noon an arrived in the Ambon Inlet, the huge body of water that runs up to Ambon town a little after 22:00.
The north-west coastline of the inlet is where all of the diving activities have been

concentrated for the last 15 years with Maluku Divers even moving their dive centre from the south coast of Ambon over to the village of Laha, close to the airport. This has turned out to be an inspired choice. It is very close to the airport and is right on top of one of the best critter/muck dive sites in the whole of Indonesia.

We started to dive at around 07:30 and completed two dives, both over pretty much the same are, close to the boat docks. With great visibility and very little current our guides found a whole hose of cryptic critters including: several rinopius, lots of frogfish, huge flamboyant cuttlefish, a hoard of hunting moray eels, especially the snowflake variety and

tons of other interesting photo subjects. On the whole, one of the most popular dives of the trip.
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: Very good for the area - 20 metres

 

Saturday 31st October 2015

Ambon - Departure

Our last morning on board before guests depart for a variety of different locations, both home and abroad.

Goodbye and safe travels and hope to see you all again.........