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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in

Aggressor Fleet: "Derawan Islands aboard the Aggressor", Sep, 2017,

by Paul gillespie, WA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 9864 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments [None] The Aggressor Raja Ampat makes a few trips each year to the Derawan Island area, and that makes if the only liveaboard boat plying those waters. Which is really nice: we were the only divers at all of our sites.
The first day was Saturday, we were picked up at our hotel (most of us stayed at the Swissbel Hotel in Tarakan), and the first day we didnít dive, but motored to our first dive site for day 2. There were usually 4 dives per day, 3 during the day and one night dive. The 13 of us dove in three assigned groups, two of 4 and one of 5 divers, entering the water from the two tenders in 7-10 minute staggering. We backrolled in, photographers picked up their cameras from the tender driver, and all descended quickly to the reef, often in current. On the second day of diving we made 3 dives, and in place of what would have been our 2nd dive, we instead visited a jellyfish lake, like the one in Palau only much larger, and with 3 kinds of jellyfish that have lost their stingers. A truly lovely experience.
On most dives we saw turtles and reef fish. There were a couple of gray reef sharks once, cuttlefish, and on at least two dives, big swirling balls of barracuda. There was one day beneath an Indonesian fishing platform called a bagan, where we spent a good dive watching whale sharks, which swam around us too.
The boat had a guest chef, who prepared delicious gourmet meals.
We had a thoroughly knowledgeable, enthusiastic and fun Brazilian cruise director, Casio, and he was ably assisted by 3 of the most professional divemasters Iíve had the opportunity to dive with: Here, Jemy, and Denny. Theyíve all been working Indonesian waters for years. The other 9 crewmembers worked hard to give us a truly memorable experience too. Beds were made every day, there was turndown service at night, help on and off with our dive gear, or getting cameras into rinse tanks, and choral birthday songs for those of us passing a yearly milestone. I gave the boat 5 stars for value, because the price was right for what you get.
The Aggressor travel desk also will arrange set a 3 or 4 day visit to Tanjung Putting National Park, if you like, to see the wildlife there, including orangutans. I took the tour, and it was fabulous. Though not strenuous, as an add-on to a dive trip, however, you should have a few extra items. These include a lightweight poncho for torrential downpours; lowtop hiking shoes; travel pants and long sleeve shirt (like ex-officio or REI) to keep bugs off; 30%+ deet mosquito repellent; a malaria prophylactic; and antibiotics for intestinal upset.
Furthermore, of the 63 Indonesian airlines, 59 of them are prohibited from flying into the EU, for safety concerns. And their reliability is marginal also. Two of my flights were canceled, without much fanfare. If you travel within Indonesia, almost NOBODY speaks fluent or even any English, even at airports. You have to have lots (!) of rupiah, because outside of 5 star hotels, nobody takes credit cards and nobody takes US dollars. This includes costs for baggage weight overages, cab fare, and anything extra.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Philippines, Palau, British Columbia, Galapagos, Thailand, Colombia, Panama, Belize, Southern Red Sea, Puget Sound
Closest Airport Tarakan Getting There Vancouver, BC -Jakarta-Tarakan. Afterwards, Tarakan-Jakarta-Pangkalan Bun.

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]Depth limits, strict buddy policy (annoying for photographers), no gloves allowed.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]If you can't dive your own profile, then the boat is marginal for underwater photographers. But a fun, safe boat nonetheless.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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