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Raja Ampat Aggressor Captains log *14 December 2016
*Air Temp. 28 - 35 C
*Water Temp. 29 C - 30 C
Cruise Director: Antonio
Chief Officer: Ferdi
Chief Engineer: Yuli
2nd Engineer: Daryanto
Chef Assistant: Destri
Dive master: Herry
Dive master: Yamin
Dive master: Abdul
Tender Driver: Carly
Tender Driver: Ody
Th: Baby Rock, Sagof, Farondi Seamount
Fr: Nudi Rock, Tank Rock, Whale Rock, Whale Rock
Sa: Shadow Reef, Shadow Reef, Yillet Kecil, Romeo
Su: Yillet Besar, Boo East, Boo Window
Mo: Melissas Garden, My Reef, Galaxy, Keruo (Night)
Tu: Cape Kri, Blue Magic
GUESTS: Yang Yang, David, Wei, Baris, Ying, Joanna, Xu, Laozhu, Hui, Junjun, Wang, Eva, Irene, Golden, Feifei, Daimon, Jeffers
Wednesday December 14th
At around noon our guests were already onboard! Before any other activities they were shown their staterooms and we proceeded with lunch. After that, a briefing was done about the boat, schedule, crew and safety procedures. Divers had then time to set up their gear and get some rest after the journey.
Already on our way to South Raja Ampat, dinner was served and as guests were having dessert the cruise director explained the diving logistics and after the crew presented themselves. Finally all retired to their rooms to rest and prepare for our first day of diving!
Thursday December 15th
Early in the morning we were already in South Raja Ampat, around Two Tree Island, the destination for the day. The first dive was a check dive for the guests to get comfortable diving within the operation. The dive site was Baby Rock, where the dive guides, already spotted Bumphead Parrotfishes and a some macro life, like the Raja Ampat Denise Pygmy Seahorse, Orangutan Crab and a few lobsters. The current for our first dive was almost none and the vibility around 15 meters/50 feet.
After a full breakfast was time for the second dive of the day, in Sagof. Schooling Yellowtail Barracudas were seen around, while more macro life was also photographed, to name a few: Blue Dragon nudibranch, Crocodile Flathead, Denise and Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse. The current started to pick up but the groups managed to stay in sheltered area of the reef, swimming alongside the wall covered with soft coral.
After rest and lunch we made the third dive of the day: Farondi Seamount. The current this time was a little bit stronger, which brought life to the reef. Napoleon Wrasse, Bunphead Barrotfish, schooling trevalliers in fusiliers were seen amidst the action. Besides that on the shallows a Wobbegong Shark, Crocodile Flathead, Reef Scorpionfish, Bargibanti Pygmy, and schooling Crevron Barracudas were spotted.
This night, due to weather conditions (rain and waves) we decided to cancel the night dive for the benefit of the guests. The dinner was then served earlier and after it the cruise director reinforced the itinerary with the guests and proceeded with a presentation on the history and biodiversity of Raja Ampat. Finally, it was time for sleeping and preparing for what will come next.
Friday December 16th
Early in the morning, already in the region of Fiabacet, and after the daily light breakfast, the guests started preparing for the first dive of the day, done in Nudi Rock. This dive had one special highlight, a Guitar Shark spotted resting on the sandy bottom. Along the slopping reef, covered in hard coral, the guests also spotted schooling Yellowtail Barracudas, Red Snappers and Giant Trevallies.
Next dive was in Tank Rock. It was a great opportunity to spot more pelagic life, in between others, Napoleon Wrasse, High Coral and Barramundi Grouper, schooling Emperors and jacks, Yellowtail Barracudas. The highlight of this dive, though, was the amount of smaller fishes hovering around the colorful soft coral garden in the shallower part of the reef.
Third dive was in Whale Rock, a neighboor dive site. On the split point of the current, Bumphead Parrotfish, Whitetip Reef Shark and schooling fusiliers offered a great view! Having drifted along the wall, once in the sheltered area it was to spot some smaller life, like Peacock Anemone Shrimp, Hard Coral Crab and others like Tasseled Scorpionfish and Giant Moray.
Having enjoyed the sunset in this beautiful area of South Raja Ampat, guests started the preparation for the night dive. This time, Pygmy Cuttlefish, Decorator Crab, a swimming moray and Crocodile Flathead were some of the highlights. Dinner was served and after it was time for the crew and the guests to celebrate the birthday of Joanna, one of our divers!
As the final activity the cruise director did a presentation on the Epaulette Shark, also known as walking shark, which the guests shall spot on the next few days. After that we stayed around talking for a bit and retired to rest.
Saturday December 17th
Having slept in the surroundings of Warakaraket, we started our diving day with two dives in the dive site known as Shadow Reef (a.k.a. Magic Mountain). It is a regularly visited place by Manta Rays, and our divers got to spend a lot of time with them!
Both dives, according to the guests, were unbelievable! Giant Trevally, schooling Gold-spotted and Blue-fin Trevally, Whitetip and Grey Reef Sharks, Wobbegong Shark, Napoleon Wrasse, Cobia, Great Barracuda and a few other pelagics were seen chasing fusiliers or just cruising alongside this seamount covered in hard and soft coral. A fantastic view!
Besides that, both dives presented the groups with the opportunity to photograph and spend time watching Manta Rays, both reef and the gigantic oceanic. All this done with great visibility (20+ meters/66+ feet) and manageable currents.
The third dive of the day, in the afternoon, was done north of Boo, in Yillet Kecil. The currents were mild to non-existant and, even though the visibility was limited (slightly less than 10 meters/33 feet), the divers got to see a lot of life, especially a huge school of batfish swimming along schooling Yellowtail and Chevron Barracuda. Option for macro lovers were also present with a few different species of nudibranchs, Porcelain Crab and the Raja Ampat Denise Pygmy Seahorse!
The second dive was in the neighbour reef named Gus Ridge, another known cleaning station. With the currents bringing nutrients to the water, this time the guests get to experience two groups of Oceanic Mantas being cleaned, one of two and other with three of them swimming around.
After that was time for the night dive, in Romeo. The main goal of this dive was to spot the Epaulette (walking) Shark and all groups succeded! Besides that, a good number of moray eels, decorator crabs, nudibranchs and even a big patroling Yellowtail Barracuda were seen!
After this fabulous day of diving, it was time for shower and dinner. The theme of the presentation done by the cruise director this night were the Derawan Islands, Raja Ampat Aggressor starting on July 2017! After that our guests retired to their staterooms. The boat didnt move for the night.
Sunday December 18th
Our last day of diving in Misool, South Raja Ampat, started in Yellit Besar. With almost no current and visibility around 20 meters/66 feet, it was an easy dive to start the day. Dolphins, Hawksbill Turtle and a Giant Grouper were spotted but it didnt stop there, with a lot of life for macro lovers in different species of pipefishes, like the Ringed Pipefish, nudibranchs, and flatworms.
The second dive of the day, with similar conditions but a stronger current, was in Boo East (Cape Boo). Drifting alongside the ridge filled with gorgonians, barrel sponges and soft coral, the guests could spot schooling fusiliers and silver fish being chased by jacks, a Whitetip and Grey Reef Shark. Toward the end of the dive, the dive guides spotted Pygmy Seahorses, nudibranchs and also a Green Turtle.
For the last dive of the day, in Boo Window, the guests had a great dive, according to them! In the split point they could see two adult Grey Reef Sharks and a Potato Grouper. Bumphead Parrotfish, Napoleon Wrasse, Blubberlip Snapper, Ribbontail Sweetlips and congregating yellow snappers were some of the highlights. A great dive overall!
Since it was the last day in South Raja Ampat, after the day we started the crossing to the central region (Dampier Strait), our destination for the next days. With no night dive and the dinner being served earlier, Jasman, from the crew, played some music for all! After that a presentation on Pygmy Seahorses was given. Finally we enjoyed the rest of the night to rest and prepare for tomorrow, our last full day of diving.
Monday December 19th
Arrived early Peneimu, Central Raja Ampat. The first dive was in Melissas Garden with its astonishing hard coral garden. A few of the highlights spotted cruising alongside the reef were Wobbegong Shark, Napoleon Wrasse, Giant Moray, Blacktip Reef Shark and a Devil Ray! Guests also got to see a few scorpionfishes and different nudibranchs. The visibility was more than 20 meters/66 feet, which was celebrated by the guests.
As for the next dive, done in My Reef, the divers got to see a few different sharks. Three Wobbegong, a couple of Blacktip Reef and also a pregnant female Whitetip Reef Shark were seen. Schooling around were also fusiliers, jacks, Spanish Mackerels. A very good dive for pelagic life in this seamount!
After lunch came dive three, in Galaxy. This dive was special for macro life, since Pygmy Seahorses (including from the species Pontohi), nudibranchs, lobsters, shrimps and pipefishes were pointed out by our dive guides. Besides that, also a Broadclub Cuttlefish was seen! Meanwhile half of our group went diving, the other went on a supervised trek to a view point in the region. After that there was still time for a short cruise around the islets.
As a side note: during sunset the crew and guests had fun jumping from the top of the liveaboard into the ocean and everybody got involved. A great time together!
Night dive was in Keruo (Night) and some of the highlights were: Bobtail Squid, Pygmy Cuttlefish, Marbled Shrimp and a few different colorful nudibranchs. During dessert the cruise director explained the schedule of our last full day together and showed some pictures from previous guests in order to talk a little bit about the marine life weve seen on this trip. Once it was over the guests retired as we were already on our way to Kri.
Tuesday December 20th
We started our last day of diving on this trip around the island of Kri. With mild to non-existant currents and great visibility (20+ meters/66+ feet) in Cape Kri, our first dive site, the guests have seen the Giant Sweetlips, Bumphead Parrotfish, Blacktip Reef Shark, Yellowtail Barracuda and Hawksbill Turtle. Besides that, there was some macro life spotted by the dive guides, like a Pygmy Seahorse!
The last dive was in Blue Magic, one of the great sites in Dampier Strait. With favorable conditions, the guests were amazed by this dive. Schooling Big-Eye Jacks, cardfinalfishes, barracudas, mackerels and fusiliers brought action to the dive. Besides that, a Wobbegong and Epaulette Shark and finally an Oceanic Manta Ray were also seen. A great dive to end a great trip!
After coming back from the dive was time for lunch and rest before our farewell party. The crew started it with a performance for all and after the cruise director announced the prizes.
Yang Yang, David, Joanna, Ying and Laozhu were our Aggressor Iron Divers for having complete all the available dives during the trip!
After sunset we had our last dinner together and it was time for Antonio to show, in a videoclip, some of the underwater life that the guests had seen and and will be remembered from this trip to Raja Ampat. After that weve got to watch a slideshow with images captures from our guests during the trip in what turned to be a great evening! Came then time to rest and prepare for our good-bye in the morning. By this time we were already in Sorong.
Wednesday December 21st
Early in the morning we had our last meal together. After all crew said farewell to the guests and a few took them to the airport for their trips out of Sorong. A great trip is over with a lot of memories to keep. We hope to see them again!