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Raja Ampat Aggressor
Captains log January 2, 2019
Central Rajat Ampat
Air Temp. 28 - 35 C
Water Temp. 28 C - 30 C
Chief Officer: Ferdik
Cruise Director: Urik
Chief Engineer: Yuli
2nd Engineer: Daryanto
2nd Chef: Regi
Dive master: Jemy
Dive master: Jerod
Tender Driver: Carly
Tender Driver: Jasman
Dive Technician: Rahmat
DIVE SITES :
Th: Friwin Bonda, Blue Magic, Mioskon, Mioskon
Fr: Melissas Garden, Keruo Channel, Galaxy, Galaxy Jetty
Sa: Mayhem 1, Karang Bata, Dayang, Biri
Su: Kelapa Mati, Biri Corner, Pulau Yam, Mandarin Jetty
Mo: Cape Kri, Cape Mansuar, Sawandarek, Yenbuba
Tu: Blue Magic, Tapokreng
GUESTS: Kiki, Franck, Jim, Dara, Angie, Kenny, Matt, Steve, Johan, Marie, Simon, Felicia
Wednesday 02nd January
At the scheduled time, the divemaster went to great the guests at their hotel. They took them into taxi and drive them to the harbor. There, more crew members were waiting to transfer the guests by dinghies to the yacht that was anchor in the bay of Sorong. Once on-board, the rest of the crew welcomed them and they could enjoy a fresh towel as well as a welcome drink. Then the Cruise Director Urik and his assistant Remi introduce all the guests to their stateroom.
Soon after this, the bell rang for the first time of the trip, inviting the guests to go to the salon to enjoyed the first meal: an Indonesian style buffet. They could start meeting each other around some delicious local food prepared by our dedicated Chef Komang and his second Regi.
After these tasty meals, the Cruise Director gave an introduction briefing about the boat and the upcoming 10 days, explaining the different area of the yacht and the daily schedule as well as other safety procedures. It was also a good moment for a table round to make sure every guest introduced their self to the other.
During the rest of the afternoon, the guests could start preparing their dive gear, helped by the divemasters Jerod and Jemy. It was also a good time to start checking their camera systems and charging their batteries. The rest of the afternoon, most of the guest took a rest, some just had a long commute to the boat from Europe, Asia or USA.
Dinner was served after sunset and the guests share it in the salon, talking about their diving experience and sharing some expectation. As dessert was over, Remi explained the itinerary and what to expect in terms of marine life encounters. Then all the crew came into the salon to introduce their name and position on-board. After, Remi gave the first dive briefing, explaining the diving and safety procedure aboard the Rajat Ampat Aggressor. Then it was time for a good night of sleep while the boat was navigating toward our first diving destination: Dampiers Straight. We will be arrived there during the night.
Thursday 03rd January
As the sun start rising over the horizons of Dampiers Straight, the first day of diving in Rajat Ampat started.
The guests slowly wake-up around 6am to find a Continental breakfast buffet served in the salon, with some coffee, tea, croissant, home-made bread, cereal and fruit. After the light collation most of them started checking their gear and Nitrox tank while the divemaster went to check the dive site condition such as current and visibility.
The bell rang for the first time of this fantastic day, calling for the first dive briefing in the salon. Remi remind some basic for the check dive before explaining the dive site with a map display on the TV. Then all the guests went to the dive deck, were the Cruise Director point out the different information board and told some safety protocol to board the dinghy. The guests had been divided in three group each one lead by a different divemaster.
The check dive was done on a site name Friwin Bonda, on the East tip of Friwin island. We jumped on the ridge that go out into the blue. The current was coming from the north so we enjoyed big schools of Fish there on the split point such as Yellow-tail Fusilier and Black Surgeon. Then we drift along the sandy slope that is cover by hard-coral. Two Pontohi Pygmy Seahorse were found as well as Nudibranchs, Turtle, Yellow Snappers, Oriental Sweetlips and Blacktip reef Sharks.
Once back to the surface, the two talented dinghy drivers, Jasman and Carly, were waiting to bring back the divers safely to the yacht. There, the crew cheers them on the dive platform and help them with their gear before putting a dry warm towel on their shoulder with a nice shoulder massage at the same time.
Once every one was dry, the bell rang to announce the full breakfast time. Every morning the guests have the opportunity to try a traditional Indonesian breakfast as well as other Western food. As the last guests finished his breakfast, most of them hang out on the sun deck, sharing their feeling after the first dive of the trip.
The bell rang one more time, announcing the second dive briefing of the day. The yacht had moved to a seamount close to Mioskon island. The place is call Blue Magic. The top of the seamount if around 6 meters/18 feet. The current was coming from East so we jumped in the blue there and drift to the starts of the site while going down. There, Oceanic Mantas were cleaning, putting on the show for the divers. Then we spend the rest of the dive, slowly moving on the top of the seamount, hooking in some place to watch schools of Jacks and Snappers, a Whitetip Reef shark and big Tuna passive by and other macro life such as Flatworms and Mantis Shrimp.
As the last divers was back on-board and dry, it was time for the lunch time. As every day it was a buffet style. After all this good food it was time for a nap or to chill on the sun deck.
The afternoon dive was along the reef of Mioskon, a small island in the middle of Dampiers Strait. The reef is made of sand cover by large rock and hard-coral formation. A lot of schools of Yellow Snapper, Blue-strike and Yellow-tail Fusilier and Big-eye Fish were congregating along the slope. On the rocks and coral, at least six different types of Anemones with their Anemones fishes were found. Three Tasseled Wobbegong Sharks and a couple of Pontohi Pygmy seahorse were found as well.
As the divers start to get back on-board, some snacks and fresh juice were served on the dive deck. The rest of the afternoon, the guests chilled on the dive deck, waiting for the stunning sunset over Gam island. As the sun start to fall behind the hills of Gam, thousand of Fruit Bats started flying from Mioskon Island toward the main land. It was the perfect time to take a good sunset pictures and so did the guests.
The bell rang shortly after this, calling the divers for the night dive briefing. After listening to the dive site information and a reminder about night dive safety, the divers went in the water around the island of Mioskon, this time exploring the edge of the slope and the shallow plateau. During this dives, 5 Epaulette Shark (also call Walking Sharks) and a fully grown Tasseled Wobbegong Shark on the top of a coral were found. On the critters side, Decorator Crabs, Marble Shrimp and Flatworms were spotted as well as a few Juvenile Blue-spotted Stingray.
Dinner time arrived shortly after the last diver was back to the yacht. The chef had prepared some Indonesian specialty for the evening. Once the dessert was over, Urik, the cruise Director, gave his daily briefing about the following day of diving, explaining the selected dive spot. Then he gave a presentation about Rajat Ampat National Park, explaining some historic and also why this place is considered as one of the most important centers of biodiversity in the world. Once done, some guests stayed up a little bit longer, talking about diving, before heading to bed.
During the night, the fearless Captain and his crew drove to boat to Penemu area where we will spend the next day of diving.
Friday 04th January
As the first light of the day were shinning in the sky of the Sea of Ceram, the guests waked-up and start enjoying an early breakfast in the salon. We were close to our first dive location: Melissas Garden. This site is probably the most beautiful hard-coral garden of Indonesia. The slope around the reef is cover by coral bump where diver found Wobbegong shark. Passing by in the currents the guests could also enjoy the company of Blacktip reef Sharks, Napoleon Wrasse, schools of Jacks and some Mackerel as well. The top of the reef is a massive hard-coral garden. Here you see healthy coral as far as you can see with all the coral fishes that live there like Clown Triggerfish, Moray eels, lot of schools of different Fusiliers, Anthias and some Lobsters as well.
Second dive of the day was done after the breakfast. We went along the Keruo Channel. This drift dive started on the South part of the wall. Current was small and that allowed the divers to look for critters around the coral, we found Mushroom Pipefish, Mushroom Shrimps, Pygmy Seahorse, Orangutan Crabs, Eels and some Bumphead Parrotfish passing by as well as a Blacktip reef Sharks.
After lunch and a good nap, it was time to gear-up for the third dive of this wonderful day. We dove at Galaxy, a ridge that start on the West side of Penemu island. This place is famous for critters hunting such as Flabelina, Pygmy Seahorse, Flatworms, Scorpionfish, Nembrotha Nudibranchs and other Crab and Shrimps. Out of nowhere, on the top of the ridge, a Reef Manta was seen passing by.
Once all the guests were dry after the dive, they went on a walk to the top of Penemu cliff. The road is made of wooden pier all the way, making it really easy. There, on the top platform, they could enjoy a stunning view of different islets, typical of Rajat Ampat. Then the dinghy driver brings the guests around the internal lagoons of Penemu, letting the guests enjoying some silence while watching the stunning limestone cliff.
The night dive was done shortly after the land tour. Divers enjoy the shallow water around a pier. The slope was cover by white sand, making it a good place to spot two Blue-ring Octopus, Pygmy Cuttlefish, Stonefish, Nudibranchs, Banded Pipefish and Giant Bailer Snail.
For the dessert at the end of dinner, all the crew surprising came into the salon with a birthday cake and playing music to celebrate Steve birthday. They played a few songs while the cake was share among the guests. Then after the daily briefing about the following day of diving done by Urik, it was time for the guests to relax and go to bed.
During the night, the crew started driving the yacht toward our next dive destination for the following day.
Saturday 05th January.
The day started with a stunning sunrise over the island of Gam in the Dampiers Strait. We were in the area of Yangefo. The guests slowly started to wake up and enjoyed their early breakfast while the divemaster where checking the current for our first dive of that will turn to be a fantastic day!
First dive was on a site call Mayhem 1. This seamount starts 6 meters below the surface and the shallow plateau is circular and cover by big rocks and hard-coral formation. The current was coming from the South so we jumped in the blue to drift toward the seamount during our descent. There, we hooked and watched a school of Pick-handle Barracuda hovering over the sandy bottom, around 25 meters/85feet deep. A big school of Bumphead Parrotfish came into view as well along the slope of the seamount. Then we drift for a bit and came to the top of the site, hooking again and taking pictures of Napoleon Wrasse, Bumphead Parrotfish, Wobbegong Sharks and different kind of Fusiliers, Snappers and Travely.
For the second dive of the day we move down to South. This new dive site is call Karang Bata and this was the first time we were diving there. And what a surprise. The seamount is in the open sea. It starts around 10 meters/30 feet under the surface and extend from East to West. We could slowly explore this area cover by thousands of wire corals. Lots of different fishes were found during the dives: Anthias, Fusiliers Damsel, Sharks, Batfish, Rabbitfish, Butterfly fish, Banner fish, Travely… Too much to be all name here.
After a good nap on the sun deck, getting some tan, guests geared-up for the afternoon dive. The yacht moved South again to Batanta island, in front of a small beach call Dayang. The shallow reef there is a cleaning station for Reef Manta. The small currents let the diver swim to the edge of the plateau and they could stay on the slope, watching 5 Reef Manta for the whole dive that were getting cleaned.
After this magic moment, the captain and the crew drove the vessel East of our position to the bay of Biri, still in front of Batanta Island. We did the night dive along a slope in the east side of Biri islands. The divers could enjoy during this dives different Bobtail Squid, Hermit and Decorator Crabs, Broken Back Lobster, Pygmy Cuttlefish, Octopus and Marble Shrimps to name a few.
After dinner, Urik gave the schedule for the following day of diving then made a presentation about Manta Ray, detailing the two different known species and their difference. Then he spoke about the mating and reproduction of the Manta before explaining the different threat Manta are facing in the human world now. After that, most of the guests went to bed, recharging their battery for the next day of fun in Rajat Ampat. The boat stayed anchor for the night at Biri as we will spend the next day there.
Sunday 06th January
As the first light of the day were rising into the blue sky of the Cerams Sea, the passengers of the boat started to wake-up.
We spend this day of diving around 4 different sites of the Biri area: Kelapa Mati, Biri Corner, Pulau Yam and Mandarin jetty for the sunset dive. The day was dedicated to critters hunting along the slope of those site which are covered by white sand, rumble and coral patches. And we found a lot of different and interesting critters: Ornate Ghostpipe fish, Orangutan Crabs, Robust Ghostpipe fish, Sexy Shrimps, Mushroom Shrimps, Squat Lobster, Pygmy Cuttlefish, Electric Clams, Decorator Crabs, Banded Pipefish, Sapsucking Slug, Headshield Slug, Flatworms and more than 20 different kind of Nudibranchs, too much to name them all here. It was a treasure hunt during the day dives and guests were moving from one critter to another, called by the divemaster and cruise director that spotted them all. During the last dive, we stayed in front of an Acropora reef, watching some shy Mandarin fish coming out for sunset. Divers also seen some Blacktip, White tips and Wobbegong sharks during the day.
After dinner, the cruise director made a presentation about Sharks, his favorite animal. He detailed their main characteristics and reproduction behavior of the sharks and the threats that human is now bringing to them such as over fishing and sharks fining especially. He also talked about the fear of sharks that many people have and why we should not fear them.
Monday 07th January
In the middle of the night, the crew pulled-up the anchor and started driving the boat toward Mansuar Island, in the Dampiers Straight. We arrived just after sunrise at our first dive location at a place call Cape Kri. This dive site holds a record in the number of fish species being identify in one single dive.
We start on the North side of the Cap, going down along the wall around 10 meters/30 feet deep. The small current brought lots of life on the edge of the wall such as Jacks, Grey Sharks, Pick-handle Barracuda, Travely and a big group of Bumphead Parrotfish on their cleaning station. Most of them stay still, letting the diver approach them to take nice pictures and video. Then we drifted along the shallow plateau toward the south wall. On the way, more schools of fishes such as Surgeon, Bannerfish, Rabbitfish, Fusiliers and Travely were found as well as Green and Hawksbill Turtle. Once arrived on the other side, the currents change and bring all the fish life there, so the divers could swim through schools of fishes again, seeing more Barracuda, jacks, Fusiliers, Travely, Sharks, Surgeon and Sweetlips.
The boat moved slightly toward West for our second dive of this sunny day. We dove the Cape Mansuar, close to the village of Yenbuba. During the dives, guests could enjoy a huge amount of fish schooling such as Oriental Sweetlips, Yellow-Snappers and school of Barracuda. Also, critters were found along the sandy and coral slope included Peacock mantis Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Leaf Scorpion Fish, Pygmy seahorse and Octopus.
After a good lunch and the usual nap time, the guests went to dive in front of the village of Yenbuba. It is a healthy hard-coral reef that starts at the villages pier. The shallow plateau is home to a school of Emperor fish, Longfin Batfish, Napoleon Wrasse and Red Snappers. On the deep sandy area, a congregation of Oriental Sweetlips and Yellow Snappers was found as well as a Wobbegong sharks laying on the bottom. During our drift along the reef, many Hawksbill and Green Turtle were seen, relaxing on the coral.
The night dive was done at the pier in front of Yenbuba village. This critters hunt dive was a real success with the divemaster spotting Toad Fish, Pygmy Cuttlefish, tiny Octopus, lots of different Eels, Nudibranchs, a large variety of Mollusks and some Decorator Crabs.
After dinner, Urik gave the schedule for the following day of diving as it will be the last day of diving before heading back to Sorong for the end of the trip. Then he made a presentation about Pygmy Seahorses and the five different species that are found in Rajat Ampat Water. He also talked about their reproduction and the predators of the Pygmy Seahorse.
Tuesday 08th January
The last day of diving of this amazing 7-day trip around Rajat Ampat started with a beautiful sunrise over Dampiers straight. The yacht was drove by the captain to our first dive site and after checking the condition all the guests gear-up to what will be one of the most amazing dive of this trip.
The site is call Blue Magic. It is a small seamount starting 8 meters/25 feet below the surface. The side of this mount are sloppy on the East side and more like a wall on the rest of it. The current was coming from South-East and was mild. We jumped on the split point and stay there for a while, watching some action. Dogtooth Tuna, Spanish mackerel, giant Travely, Barracuda and Snappers were hunting. A Greyreef shark come in sight as well. Then we slowly swim along the wall, watching schools of yellow-spotted Travely and Surgeon fish. On the top of the seamount, we use the reef hook to stay stabilize and spent more than 40 minutes with 4 Oceanic Manta cleaning there around the rocks. They kept coming back and forth around the diver, letting them takes pictures and video or just watching them.
The second and last dive of the trip was at a site call Tapokreng. This sandy slope is home to an amazing number of critters. The slope is cover with algae patches. During this dive, divemaster highlight Pygmy Cuttlefish, Seahorse, Pegasus, Juvenile Peacock Razorfish, lots of different shrimps and crabs, Snake Eel and Squids as well.
As the diver were getting back on-board, the crew was waiting them to help with the gear. The crew disassemble of the gear, wash it, rinse it and hang it to make it dry quickly. During this time, the guests enjoyed the last lunch buffet in the salon. Then Remi played the “Video of the Week” that Urik had made during the trip. Some guests bought it as a memory. After that, the boutique was open and guests could buy some souvenir such as t-shirt, polo, books and even some jewelry.
The rest of the sunny afternoon was a resting time and some of the passengers started packing while other enjoy the sundeck.
Then we all gathers, guests and crew, on the sundeck for a farewell party. The crew played more songs. Then Remi gave a little speech, thanking the guests for choosing us and spending their holidays aboard the Rajat Ampat Aggressor. It was time for a toast with champagne before starting the reward time.
This trip Dara reach the Milestone of 600 logged dives. Good Job Dara!
For the divers that completed all the available dive of the trip, the Iron Divers award was discerned as it is the tradition aboard Aggressor boat. This trip we had Frank, Kiki, Steve and Johan that received the medals under a big round of applause. Congratulation, you are tough divers!
The rest of the afternoon and sunset time was a good moment for the passengers to exchange pictures and contact while enjoying some beers on the deck.
Dinner time arrived and the Chef Komang had prepared his signature dinner with Surf and Turf and Lava Cake. The guests gave him a big applause, thankful for the tasty food they had this trip. After dinner, Remi gave the departure time briefing and after the last thanks from his heart, we played a slideshow with the pictures the guests wanted to share their underwater adventures. Everybody enjoyed the photo, remembering some highlight of the trip. Once it was over, Remi thanks the guests one more time. Then it was time for sharing pictures and talking a bit longer in the salon, around a good glass of wine.
The boat was anchored in front of Sorong, in the same place where we started the trip.
Wednesday 09th January
At the scheduled time the crew was waiting to bid their farewells to this fun, kind group of guests and wish all a safe journey back home. Thank you for visiting us and we hope to see you again aboard the Raja Ampat Aggressor. Happy bubbles!