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Raja Ampat Aggressor
Captains log - 25 August 2019
*Air Temp. 28 - 33 C *Water Temp. 26 C - 28 C
Chief Officer: Jemy
Cruise Director: Urik
Cruise Director Assistant: Pep
Chief Engineer: Yuli
2nd Engineer: Esra
3rd Engineer: Rahmat
Chef Assistant: Andy
Dive master: Jerod
Dive master: Agus
Tender Driver: Ody
Tender Driver: Carly
Mo: Manta Play, Manta Clean, Ketuts rock, jetty
Tu: Fusiliers, Gorgonzola, The Channel, Lagoon
We: Jack point, Small fish city, The Channel, Gorgonzola
Th: Barracuda point, Gorgonians wall, 2 islands, The Wall
Fr: Bagan, Bagan, Lunas Kapal, Devil slope
Sa: Derawan Jetty, Derawan Jetty
GUESTS: Mitsuko, Carole, Oliver, Jenny, Rick, John, Julie, Larry, Barbara, Philippe, Tony, Noel, Roland, Johan, Michel.
Barrakuda point, Jellyfish Lake, the wall, gorgonian wall
Sunday August 25th
After being picked-up at the airport or on the hotel, our guests, along with divemasters Jerod and Agus, arrived on board and were greeted by the crew. Lastri and Kedek, the stewardesses, offered a welcome drink as Urik and Pep, the cruise director, proceeded with the introduction of the staterooms. And some of the guest started to set up the equipment.
What followed was our first meal together, an Indonesian lunch buffet prepared by Komang, the chef, and Andy, his assistant. Once the meal was finished a general welcome briefing was shared, mentioning some information about the boat and also rules on board, besides safety procedures. After that Rahmat, the 3rd Engineer, Carly and Ody, the dinghy drivers, joined our guests to finish the preparation of dive equipment.
The rest of the afternoon was time for rest and most of our guests enjoyed the opportunity to recover from a long journey all the way to Berau, Indonesian Borneo. As we approached the open ocean, the dusk came and we rang the bell for dinner.
After dinner Komang and the rest of the crew members to formally introduce themselves before we proceeded with the general dive briefing. It was the last activity of the evening and afterwards most guests opted to rest in order to prepare for the first day of diving tomorrow. By this time we were already on our way to Sangalaki, near Borneo mainland.
Monday August 26th
The weather is very nice today. After the sunrise we woke up in the bay of Sangalaki. The reason we visit this location is to dive on the manta cleaning station and visit if its possible the turtle conservation center on the island.
Green sea Turtles which are seen all year round, are relatively frequent as they come to the beach on that island to lay the eggs.
Our first dive was super nice. It was on Manta Play as the check dive. Easygoing but already with some interesting sea life around like Cuttlefish, Mantis shrimp, nudibranchs, turtles, white tip shark and a couple of mantas.
After a yummy breakfast we did our second dive of the day.
On the dive site Manta Clean, one of the groups have seen a 3 of reef mantas on the cleaning stations.
The coral reef in that area is very nice with big bommies and sandy areas with a lot of reef fish, specially around of the cleaning stations. Octopus, Big green sea turtle, Leopard shark was some of the highlights of the second dive.
After we come back to the boat, the lunch was ready and after that we have been on the island to visit the Turtle center conservation. Super special experience as we have seen one day old turtles on the swimming pool where they wait to be release.
We have release some of them and each of us has named it when we have put it on the beach next to the water.
And after that, we had a good relaxing time on the sundeck until the 3rd and last dive of the day.
One of the tree groups had dive again the same dive again to check if the mantas still there. A part of Ninja or Black Manta we have found Cutlefish, Pipe fish, Barramundis, and one more Leopard shark.
The other groups has dive on Ketuts rock very beautiful site with a sandy bottom with a little islands of coral blocks with a lot of life! Group of Bumphead parrotfish, turtles, eagle rays, Manta ray, and a lot reef fish.
Before dinner we have enjoyed the last dive of the day. Close to the jetty nice and easygoing slope with nice coral blocks. Pigmy Squid, Nudibranchs, Baby turtle (15cm large), Skeleton shrimp, scorpion fish.
With Our guest happy we had a dinner and Urik has showed us a presentation about Mantas.
Time to rest. Next day more!!
Tuesday August 27th
After we start to move at 5am to Kakaban Island and after the sunrise we tried to go to Barracuda point but the visibility it wasnt good enough and it was raining a little bit. So we decided to come back here in a couple of days and we have moved to Maratua Island.
7:30 “Fusiliers” with about 15 or 20 Green Sea Turtles, scorpion fish, Batfish, and reef fish all over! Visibility it wasnt great, about 10-15m. It was better a bit deeper where we have seen a Leopard shark, and a couple of eagle rays. And all that just before breakfast!!!
Gorgonzola. That is the name of the 2nd dive of today. A wall with a crystal blue water made that dive even nicer than it is normally. The wall, have lot of Sea fans, nudibranch, Scorpion fish, Bumphead Parrot fish… The top reef is incredible, amazing hard and soft corals with thousands of very colorful fish. We have seen hundreds of little wrasses spawning on the shallow waters.
Today its a bit windy during the lunch time but the water still as blue as it can be.
As we have very nice incoming current we do The Channel for the 3rd dive today.
A Medium+ current has bring has to the entrance of the channel in about 5 minutes. And a soon as we are there we take our reef hooks and we hook in to start to enjoy of the grey reef sharks. Just 3 of them surfing along the edge of the channel in front of us. After 8 minutes we unhook and we move to the next hooking spot. In the middle of the mouth of the channel a school of Jack fish and some Barracudas start to show up. Before we fly to the end of the dive we have seen a school of Chevron Barracudas and the school of jacks this time it was so massive…
After the snacks and some hot chocolate, getting ready for the night dive.
Inside the Maratua lagoon we have a very shallow little reef. From 8 to 12m deep. Very easygoing night dive were we have seen Pigmy Squid, Cuttlefish, Blue spot stingray, Nudibranchs, Banded Sea Snake, Hornet Craps, and some Scorpion fish.
Last meal of the day: Bruschetta, Home made ravioli ricotta and spinach with pomodoro and Tiramisu for desert J
Today we have finished the day with some life music from the “Raja Ampat Aggressor Band” J.
Wednesday August 28th
As soon the sun is up we move out of the Maratua lagoon, and after a light breakfast we start to get ready for the first dive of the day. Jack point.
A super colorful top Reef with a vertical wall with schools of fusiliers, Oriental Sweet lips a lot of turtles, but not only that. Nudibranchs, leaf scorpion fish, Eagle rays was all we got right before breakfast today J.
After breakfast we get ready for the second dive of the day. We want to get in the water a bit earlier to get the right current we need to dive later on The Channel.
Small fish City is the second dive site from today. The wall here it is maybe not as vertical as Jack point but the top reef corals are very nice. A little school of eagle rays has passed by to say hello. Many nudibranch, Lion fish, about 20 turtles and octopus were some of the sea life we have seen on that dive.
Lunch today 11:45 and the 3rd dive of the day is at 14:30.
We jumped on The Channel where there is a huge resident school of Barracudas. A part of that we have seen about 10 grey reef sharks some white tips sharks and schools of Jackfish, all that while we hook in on the edge of the channel. The Medium+ current, allow us to fly like the sharks does playing with the current. They had come very close, about 5m from us. We got some good videos and pictures from them. Tunas and turtles were also around during the drift on the wall after we crossed the channel.
Now we have earned a long rest before we get ready for the sunset dive. Some of our Guest rest on the sundeck, others on the rooms and the rest on the lounge. But everyone have the same feeling. Everyone is very happy with the dive we have done so far.
The sunset dive today its on the North tip of Maratua Island in a place called Gorgonzola. The same we have done yesterday.
Same style of Jack point and Small fish city as it is on the same side of the island. The wall here its maybe not as vertical but the top reef corals are super nice and a little school of eagle rays has passed to say hello. Many nudibranch, Lionfish, some turtles and octopus were some of the sea life we have seen on that dive. Perfect dive just before we have dinner.
After the dinner Urik did a presentation about the Sharks.
Thursday August 29th
First dive of the day, Barracuda point. Starting with a nice wall with some Gorgonians became before to reach the corner in a nice plateau. With a medium current we went along the wall looking at the school of jack fish and some eagle rays. After 20 minutes of the dives on the second hooking spot we have seen 3 hammerhead sharks and a few eagle rays. Around as well some white tip sharks and grey reef. Lionfish, turtles and some scorpion fish was some of the things we have spotted during the dive.
After a nice breakfast we have split the groups. Some people had visit and snorkel on the biggest lake with jellyfish on the world and the rest has go for diving.
The lake today had very good visibility and an increased number of jellyfish. That means the lake is healthy! The guest has snorkel there for about 45 minutes and take as many pictures as they like J
Gorgonian wall and as the name says very vertical wall cover on colorful gorgonians where we can find pigmy seahorse, leaf scorpion fish, Schools of fusiliers, boxfish, Jackfish passing by and some Tuna. That was the second dive of the day for the people who scape the snorkel on the lake.
After lunch we got ready for the 3rd dive of the day, 2 islands its the name of the dive.
The visibility it wasnt great in this dive but nice corals on the top reef and soft corals on the deepest part with a lot of nudibranchs, Candy crab, pigmy sea horse, some green sea turtles and some scorpion fish.
After some rest on the sundeck or in the saloon, The wall was the last dive of the day. We have seen a tone of Nudibranchs, Pigmy sea horses, Skeleton shrimps. One Hour of exciting dive with a very nice corals on the top reef and nice landscape along the wall.
After enjoyable day and after an awesome dinner, Urik has make us enjoy with a presentation about Whale sharks.
Friday August 30th
During the night we have move to the bay of Talisayan. Very close to a fishing platforms (Bagans) Here is were we are going to do our first and second dives today. The reason we dive here is to try to see the Whale sharks. They come here attracted by the little fish around this platforms and the plankton accumulated during the night fishing activity.
In both of our dives we have seen 2 Whale sharks in each dive. All were male Whale sharks. The biggest was about 7m and the smaller one was about 5m. The visibility decrees on the second dive but we had between 9 to 14m. More than enough to enjoy this gentle giants for 70 minutes in each dive. The temperature was around 28 degrees.
After a 2 great dives while we were having lunch we are moving a bit north towards the submerged atoll of Malalungan, where we spend the rest of the day of diving.
The underwater visibility is about 10-12 meters and small to medium currents.
The third dive site was Lunas Kapal and thanks to our divemasters, plenty of
nudibranchs and flatworms were seen, including individuals from the genus Glossodoris and Flabelina. Besides those, Tasseled Scorpionfish, Ringed Pipefish and Peacock-tail Anemone Shrimp, Ribbon eal were some of the other sights pointed out.
Right after the sunset happened on the hazy horizon and most of our guests enjoyed it on the sundeck before gearing up for the night dive, done in Devil Slope. As it is usually the case on our night dives, the pace was slow and the goal was to find as many critters as possible. Some of the ones pointed out included Decorator Crab, Pygmy Squid, Tasseled Scorpionfish, nudibranchs and other slugs, like the Pleurobranchus.
After the last divers returned on board and had their hot showers, we rang the bell for dinner.
After that Urik has done the last presentation of the trip. It is about Pigmy sea horses.
Saturday August 31st
After we have travel for a few hours during the night we have reach the Island of Derawan. A very populated island for the size of it. With some very interesting Jetties where we are going to do our last 2 dives of the trip.
On the first dive the current was a bit pushing. So, has made the hunting a bit more difficult. Both of them will be under a jetty and surroundings and we could say are a muck dives with so many little critters like Nudibranchs, Octopus, pigmy sea horses, giant crocodile fish. A small wreck guarded by a huge turtle cover inside by beautiful soft corals. Cuttlefish and Ribbon eal,
We end both dives under the jetty where big schools of Snappers fusiliers and Batfish and huge Scorpion fish.
With all the dives done for the trip, we have lunch, wash the equipment and rest until the sunset farewell party on the sundeck where we discover all the Iron divers. Mitsuko from Japan, Julie, Larry from US, Philippe, Noel, Roland and Johan from Belgium where the ones they did all 22 dives of the trip.
After the last dinner and plan the transfers to the airport, we had enjoyed with some of the pictures of the trip from Larry, Rick, Julie, and Urik.
Sunday September 01st
6:30am Morning of see you soon…
After finish all the packing, and have a nice and quiet breakfast all our guest leave the boat looking forward to meet each other again very soon. Maybe in Raja Ampat?