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Raja Ampat Aggressor Captains log *31 August 2017
*Air Temp. 28 - 35 C *Water Temp. 27 C - 30 C
Chief Officer: Erfan
Cruise Director: Urik
Chief Engineer: Daryanto
2nd Engineer: Aciep
Chef Assistant: Intan
Dive master: Jemy
Dive master: Denny
Dive master: Hery
Tender Driver: Carly
Tender Driver: Ody
Fr: Manta Play, Manta Clean, Ketuts Rock, Jetty Panjang
Sa: Barracuda point, Jelly Fish Lake, Barracuda Point, Gorgonias Wall
Su: Bagan, Bagan, Heavens Reef, Devil Slope
Mo: Mid Reef, Two Sticks, The Channel, Lagoon
GUESTS: Svetlana, Igor, Laurent, Bondi, Marina, Andrey
Thursday August 31st
As usual, once the guests arrived aboard the vessel the crew was there to welcome all. The stewardess, Noci and Angie, offered an welcome drink while Urik, the cruise director, followed with the staterooms introduction. Afterwards the first bell rang for lunch, served in the salon and prepared by Jemly, the chef, and Intan, chef assistant.
When our guests were done with their meals, Urik shared with an introductory briefing about the vessel. Afternoon was time for rest and preparation of dive equipment, which was done with the help of Denny and Jemy, the divemasters.
Sunset came as we started sailing and dinner followed. As our guests finished dessert another briefing was shared, mentioning the diving logistics in our operation. The crew also used the opportunity to formally introduce themselves, mentioning names and position on board.
Respecting the long journey before arrival mosts of our guests had, time for rest came earlier and all retired to their staterooms. By this time we were already on our way to Sangalaki, our first destination in the archipelago of Derawan.
Friday September 1st
As we arrived in Sangalaki, the light buffet breakfast was served and our divers started preparing for the check dive, done in Manta Play. With a small current and visibility around 20 meters, it was the opportunity for our guests to check everything and get ready for the week. Some of the marine life seen included, though: Cuttlefish, Red Snappers, fusiliers and one small Manta Ray
Full breakfast happened with everyone back on board, followed by rest. The following dive was in Manta Clean. With small and the same visibility, it was a possibility to watch life unfold among a plentiful coral garden, of hard and soft species. Some divers also had the opportunity to see some turtles and plenty of reef fish.
As the groups returned, lunch, in a buffet fashion, was waiting. The longer resting time of our day followed and most of our guests opted to have a nap on the sun deck. In the afternoon dive we dove in Ketuts Rock. The small current and great visibility, which allowed all to drift along the gentle slope. The divemasters pointed out a few animals, and we enjoyed the incredible coral garden.
The afternoon snack, as usual, was waiting for our divers as they returned from the water and the late afternoon was a time to rest. In Jetty Panjang we did our night and was an possibility to look for critters and macro subjects. Some of the highlights included: Marble Shrimp, Pygmy Squid, Blue Spotted Stingray.
With divers back aboard and having had shower, the menu dinner was served. As our guests finished dessert, a presentation about Mantas was shared. This was our last activity for the evening and, even though a few guests stayed around chatting, most retired to their staterooms to rest. Tomorrow we dive in Kakaban.
Saturday September 2nd
Early in the morning, already in the northern part of Kakaban, the first dive site was Barracuda point. With medium current and good it was a drift where most of the focus was on the blue and some of the highlights included Whitetip and Grey Reef Sharks, Eagle Ray and schooling Big-Eye Jacks and Chevron Barracudas. The dive ended along a colorful wall among plenty of butterflyfish, turtles, drummers and other smaller species. Two juvenile Whitetip Reef Sharks were also seen at the end of the safety stops!
This day we didnt do the second morning dive, when our guests visited the biggest jellyfish lagoon in the world, hosting Golden, Moon and Cassiopea (upside-down) jellyfish. All used the opportunity to carefully snorkel among them.
Lunch and rest came before the third dive of the day, in Barracuda Point and its colorful landscape. This time we spent some more time along the formations and searching for critters like crustaceans, nudibranchs, flatworms and others. One of the highlights was also the ending along a hard coral garden teeming with life, mostly smaller reef fish.
After sunset we started preparing another night dive, this time in Gorgonias Wall. Some of the highlights seen included: Octopus, Shrimps, Flatworms and sleeping Turtles!
Back on board, dinner was served after our guests had shower. The meal was followedby a presentation about Whale Sharks shared by Urik. As the guests retired to their staterooms the vessel was already cruising towards Talisayan, in Borneo mainland.
Sunday September 3rd
During the night we arrived close to Talisayan, in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) mainland. The first two dives of today were done belowfishing platforms known as bagans, places visited regularly by Whale Sharks. Luckily, our guests had the opportunity to dive with them, such an amazing, personal experience that brought plenty of smiles to everyones faces! Once the dives were finished we start our way back to Derawan Archipielago.
Heavens Reef was our following dive site and along the sloping reef, it was an some macro subjects were found. In between others, our divemasters pointed out: Bargibanty Pygmy Seahorses, Gosthpipefish and Frogfish. The was mild and the visibility was good.
After sunset we started the preparation for the night dive in Devil Slope, place where coral and macro life is also abundant. Some of the findings singled out by the guides included: Pygmy Squid and Marble Shrimp.
Back aboard the vessel from the last dive, we gathered in the salon for dinner. What followed was a presentation about Pygmy Seahorses done by the divemaster Hery, mentioning the species present in Indonesia and some of their characteristics. This was our last activity for the day. By this time we were already on our way to the atoll of Maratua.
Monday September 4th
The sun was not yet in the sky when we were around Maratua. Mid Reef , a wall that extends into a deep plateau, was our first dive site. Some of the pelagic life that passed by in the blue included Thresher Sharks, hundreds of Turtles and Eagle Rays.
Already on the eastern part of Maratua, we did our first dive in Two Sticks , with mild current and good visibility. As the name suggests wrasses, Sargeant Major, parrot, Thresher Shark, butterfly and anglefish are seen hovering on top of coral formations. Besides that, what also stands out here is the quantity of Sea Turtles, both Green and Hawksbill seen around. Enough to lose count!
Third dive today happened in The Channel. First a drift along a wall where pelagic life tunas and mackerel swim by, it turned into a hook dive once we entered the channel. There, action and schooling Big-Eye Jacks were seen beside the spectacular Chevron Barracudas school resident in the area! The current was medium and the visibility very good.
Before sunset we were already inside the Lagoon where our night divers ventured. The divemasters spotted a few critters that included: Long Arms Octopus, Mantis Shrimp and various kinds of Crabs.
With all divers back, the bell rang for dinner. After dessert a presentation shared by Urik about Sharks was done as our last night activity. Some guests stayed around for some time while most retired to their rooms. We sleep in Maratua tonight, our diving region for tomorrow.
Tuesday September 5th
The first morning dive of the day was done in Leo Point. With small current and 15 meter visibility. Some of the highlights of this dive that could be mentioned included schooling Bumphead Parrotfish, Dogtooth Tuna and some Turtles.
Slightly further north, in Jack Point , another stretch of the eastern wall, was the spot for the second dive. What stands out is the amount of small reef fish swimming in shallow waters and also, as in the previous dive, the number of Green and Hawksbill Turtles.
Following lunch and again further north from the previous site, we dove in Big Fish Country, a wall where the coral life is more vivid on the shallows. Fusiliers, drummers and butterflyfish brought color to the dive while along the anthias, damselfish and wrasses did their part formed the majority of life hovering on top of the coral formations with a school or Eagle Ray as highlight.
Night dive followed sunsetand was another visit to Small Fish Country . Our divemasters pointed some critters to the guests, including: Hydroid and Decorator Crab, Banded Cleaner Shrimps, a few Morays and (juvenile) Broadclub Cuttlefish.
Dinner was served as the night divers returned and had shower. As our guests finished dessert Urik detailed our last day of diving and shared a presentation about the day of tomorrow. This was our last activity tonight and tomorrow we dive in the island of Derawan.
Wednesday September 6th
Not so late in the night we arrived around the island of Derawan, our final diving destination. These dives were opportunities to look for critters and macro life hiding along the slope that descends from the jettys where we dove around. Some of the finding by our divemasters included Reef Stonefish, nudibranchs from several species, Crocodile Flathead, Painted Frogfish, in between others. Green Turtles were seen aplenty resting close to coral heads.
As the groups returned and our guests had lunch, the crew rinsed all the dive equipment and put it to dry. After the meal Jemy introduced the boutique. The afternoon was a time to rest and start preparing the luggage.
What followed was the small farewell party where our crew had the opportunity to play some music and also express their gratitude to our guests for the visit. Milestones and awards were also distributed!
MILESTONES: Igor and Svetlana (500 dives!!!)
IRON DIVERS: Laurent
With the sunset on the horizon and already cruising backback to Tarakan, it was time for our last dinner together, a signature dish prepared by the chef and his assistant. Afterwards Urik detailed what was the procedure for check-out and showed a slideshow with the photos taken by our divers along the week. This was all for tonight and most people stayed interacting before going to sleep.
Thursday September 7th
At the usual time the crew was there to bid their farewells to the guests and wish a safe journey back. Thank you guys for the visit, we hope to see you again aboard the Raja Ampat Aggressor!