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“Raja Ampat Aggressor” Captain’s log *02 – 12 Nov.2015
*Air Temp. 90 F
*Water Temp. 28 C/ 84 F
* Visibility 70ft
Cruise Director: Michal
Chief Officer: Niko
Main Engineer: Yuly
2nd Engineer: Olan
Oil man: Rahmad
Chef Assistant: Jemly
Tender Driver: Ody
Tender Driver: Carli
Deck Hand: Jasman
Tu: Nusa Laut Island – 3x Ameth
We: Banda Island - Batu Kapal, Batu Kapal, Moulana Jetti
Th: Koon Island – 3 xToo Many Fish
Fr: Misool – Shadow Reef, Boo Rocks, Barracuda Rock (Night Dive)
Sa: Four Kings, Gorgonian Channel, Barracuda Rock
Su: Nudi Rock, Tank Rock, Whale Rock, Kalig (Night Dive)
Mo: Gus Ridge, Shadow Reef, Yelit Kecil
Tu: Farondi Cave, 3 sisters
We: Central Raja Ampat – Cape Kri, Blue Magic
GUESTS: Denis, Hugues, Jean Paul, Jaques, Regine, Bernard, Liliane, Pierre, Jean Paul, Claudine, Dominique, Anne, Dominique, Jaqueline, Michel, Christine, Arnaud.
Monday November 2nd
We picked up our guests in the early afternoon. Some of the guests stayed in the hotel night before and some had a flight in the morning to Ambon. We picked up everybody and accommodated guests in their staterooms. Before lunch we set all the diving gear in the dive deck and had our first lunch. In the late afternoon we were sailing to our first destination – Nusa Laut island. At the evening we had a dinner and safety briefing.
Tuesday November 3rd
We did 3 dives in Ameth at Nusa Laut Island. It is a small island with 1 but great dive site full of different species of fish. Unfortunately visibility wasn’t great, reaching 10 m./30 ft. We were looking for hammerhead sharks but as the water wasn’t very clear we didn’t find any. However we saw school of bumphead parrotfish, school of surgeon, spade and rabbit fish and big school of jack fish. We had a little bit of current on the 1st dive and on 2nd and 3rd almost no current. After 3rd dive we started sailing to Banda Island.
Wednesday November 4th
We arrived to Banda Island in the morning after long relocation from Nusa Laut Island. We picked up the best dive in this area – Batu Kapal (Ship Rock). We weren’t wrong. This dive site shows how rich is Banda sea. Hundreds of thousands of fish around swimming in the clear blue waters. We saw huge tunas around 70 kg/210 pounds big, grey reef sharks, big groupers and beautiful leopard morays. We dove twice in the morning here as most of our guests claimed it was the best dive in their lives.
After second dive and lunch we moved Raja Ampat Aggressor to the historical Banda harbour. In 18th century it was the biggest plantation and only plantation of Nutmeg in the world and Nutmeg was bringing Dutch’s a great profit at that time. We introduced our guests a land tour around this small Banda town so they could learn more about interesting historical facts.
After the tour we made a sunset dive in below Moulana Jetty in the harbour. It is a famous place where our guests could see colourful and funny mandarin fish. We saw a lot of them during our dive. It was great experience and beautiful day. After the dive we started sailing to Koon Island.
Thursday November 5th
Around 100 miles from Banda Sea, there is a small Koon Island with beautiful white sandy beach. What is even more beautiful that below this island we have huge coral reef spreading all around the island. This reef is home for thousands or more fish and its called Too Many Fish.
During the day we did 3 dives at this dive site and we saw schools of hammerhead sharks!!! We had amazing deep dives reaching 35 meters/ 110 feet. Visibility was around 20 m/60 ft. The currents at all 3 dives were strong at the beginning of the dive and we drifted until a big sandy plateau where current was stopping its speed. We saw huge territorial grouper 2 m/6ft big and probably 100kg/300 pounds heavy which we always spotted around sandy plateau. We saw schools of barracudas, jack fish, rabbit fish, spade and rainbow fish. We also spotted 2 beautiful brown and violet leaf fish.
After the dives we started long relocation to South Raja Ampat – Misool Island.
Friday November 6th
We arrived to Misool in the late morning and we started our first dive at Shadow Reef. Great Sea Mount which is a cleaning station for oceanic mantas. We jumped in and saw 3 mantas reaching 5m/15 feet big. We spent all the dive around theirs cleaning station. All around us there were thousands of fish with schools of barracudas, jackfish, surgeon fish. We also spotted around 5 Napoleaon Wrasse and Wobbegong shark. All together we saw around 10 huge Mantas during 1 dive. Our guests were stunned.
We moved Aggressor to Boo Rock and promised to come back to Shadow Reef again during our trip. Boo Rock is an amazing dive site too and is described in many diving books as the best dive site in all Raja Ampat. What makes it so special is number of fish you can see and beautiful reef formation all covered in soft corals. During the dive, from time to time you see big rocks and boomies with a lot of macro stuff around as nudibranch, crabs, pygmy sea horses and also wobbegong sharks below.
Our third dive was a night dive and we went to the west of Misool to place called Wayill. Night dive was at Barracuda Rock. We spotted many nudibranch, pygmy sea horses, porcelain crabs and many other interesting night creatures.
Saturday November 7th
In the morning we moved our boat to dive site called 4 kings. It is also a great dive site where you dive around 4 pinnacles maybe only 100 m./300 ft. in diameters with walls dropping to 60-70 m./180-210 ft. We had no current and nice visibility reaching 25m./80ft. Highlights of the dive was big school of silver fin barracudas.
After hot breakfast we moved to Gorgionian Channel and did our 2nd dive there. Easy dive with nice steep slope reaching 30 m./120ft. Slope is covered with huge sea funs 2m./6ft big and thousands of glass fish around. The bottom of the dive is a white sand where from time to time you find a big rock or boomies with wobbegong shark below.
Our third dive we started after lunch. We went to Barracuda Rock, the same dive site which we dove yesterday at night. Barracuda Rock is having really big overhang starting from 18m./54ft. reaching 37m./111ft. When you pass overhang you are getting to nice plateau at the corner of the rock where all fish actions is happening. We spotted there big school of jack fish and barracudas. It was really fascinating dive. Combination of drift dive with calm water around the rock corner.
Sunday November 8th
In the morning we changed location to Fiabecet. It is an area with many small rocks around which are locations for amazing dive sites. First dive we did at Nudi Rock. This dive site is one of the best sites in all raja ampat. Corals and number of fish is just incredible. We started our dive at a steep wall and followed a slow current. We spotted a school of surgeon fish, grey reef shark and turtle. At the second part of the dive we spent around 15 minutes of a dive at a flat plateau, where we saw group of yellow fin barracudas. We went slowly to do the safety stop and were amazed with soft coral garden at the shallows.
Second dive after hot breakfast we dove at tank rock. Another dive site with interesting coral reef formation. This small volcanic rock hides some amazing underwater treasures as the reef here is incredible. We spotted jackfish, sweet lips fish, groupers, nudibranch and pygmy sea horses living in the sea fun.
Third dive we dove at whale rock. We started the dive heading towards small pinnacle which is situated around 20 meters from the main rock. At the pinnacle we saw small group of sweetlips fish, snappers, big dogtooth tunas and grey reef sharks. We went back to main rock reef and just before ending the dive we spotted big wobbegong shark.
Monday November 9th
As we promised to our guests we went back to see oceanic mantas. We went first to gus ridge. Deep narrow ridge starting from 17 m./55ft. and going deeper until 30 m./90ft. on the top of the ridge. We saw big tunas, barracudas, sweetlips and groupers. When we were coming back to shallower part of the ridge we found a huge 5m./15ft. oceanic manta. We watched it swimming towards us and we were gazing on each other for the rest of the dive.
Second dive we went to Shadow Reef and straight away at the beginning of a dive we spotted oceanic mantas. During whole dive we were filming and taking pictures of mantas. It was a great dive.
Third dive we did at yellit kecil. It is a small rock with sloping reefs all around. Easy and shallow dive. Most beautiful parts of the dive are around 15m./45ft. We spotted school of spade fish, nudibranch and many reef fish.
After the dive we made a 4 hour relocation to the north part of Misool
Tuesday November 10th
We started our morning with continental breakfast and 1st dive at Farondi Caves. First cave starts at 3m./15ft and when you go down you go out from it at 20m./66ft. We followed a steep slope with many overhangs and plateaus. All over you can see big black corals and sea fans with many hard corals covering rocky walls of Farondi Island. At the end of a dive we entered second cave which has a very big entrance. The bottom of a cave has 14m./46ft. and goes up until 1m./3ft. Divers can go inside the cave and ascent to the surface. Cave has a window so the light comes inside the cave, where you can admire stalactites. During the dive we spotted many fusiliers, spade fish and sweet lips fish.
Second dive after breakfast we dove at 3 sisters or 3 rocks. Dive site has very interesting structure of reef with walls and steep slopes. All over the reef there are big sea funs and white corals. We descended to 20m./66 ft. spotted school of fusiliers in some places there were spade fish and sweet lips hiding behind the rocks. On the rocks we spotted several nudibranch and denis pygmy sea horses living in the matrix of a small purple fan.
After the dive we started long relocation to central Raja Ampat – Kri Island
Wednesday November 11th
At our last day of diving in Raja Ampat we chose for our guests some great 2 spots. Our favourite Cape Kri and Blue Magic. First dive water looked like glass on the surface but below currents were strong. We jumped in the water and negatively descended to 20 m./66ft. We hooked ourselves to the rocks and admired several grey reef sharks, big school of jackfish, yellow fin barracudas, emperor fish and couple of black tip sharks.
After breakfast we started our second dive at blue magic. Our last dive was even better. We jumped in the school of surgeon fish, slowly descended and spotted small groups of fish hiding behind big boomies: spade fish, sweet lips and striped snappers. There was good visibility reaching 25m./82ft. We spotted grey reef sharks and eagle ray in the blue. We went to the top of seamount where we found wobbegong shark and beautiful coral garden with many soft corals covering big boomies of blue magic dive site.
After our second dive we departure to Sorong. On the way back we had lunch and settling the bills. During dinner time we had a slideshow show and small farewell party with our guests.
Thursday November 12th
In the morning we said our farewells to our guests and send them to hotels and airport. It was a great 10 day trip and we made new friends and had a very good time. We hope to see you again!