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Belize Aggressor III Captains Log
Feb 14-21, 2015
Avg. Sea State: light chop to choppy
Avg. Winds: 10 knots
Avg. Water Temp: 79F
Avg. Air Temp: 84F
Avg. Visibility: 100ft+
Stewardess - Vanessa
Engineer - Fermin
Instructor - Jody
Deck Asst. - JR
Dive Sites this week:
Long Caye Ridge
Long Caye Wall
Half Moon Caye Wall
2 of a kind
South East Cut
This week we welcomed aboard our 17 passengers...Connie, Don, Debby, Daniel,
Kristine, Devon, Mike, another Mike, Doug, Anne, David, Brenda, Jaume,
Patrick, Mark, Kim, and Bette.
We started off the charter with great weather and phenomenal visibility! The
week was full of great dives and awesome experiences both under water and
above. We had some amazing encounters with marine life and got to dive
amongst some of the most beautiful reefs in the Caribbean.
The first dive on Sunday was on Turneffe Atoll at Sandy Slope, where we got
wet and did our check out dives. The topography of this site consists of
sloping sandy bottom (hence the name Sandy Slope) starting at around 30ft
right below the boat, and slopes toward the depths to the West. To the
North, South, and East of the sandy bottom are surrounding coral head that
make a horse-shoe like formation. Inhabiting the reefs and sandy bottom is
an abundance of fish including morays, lots of Creole wrasse, groupers,
barracudas, lobster, yellow stingrays, peacock flounder, Sargassum
triggerfish, angel fish, parrotfish, jacks, damselfish, hamlets, and lots of
yellow head jawfish and garden eels to name a few. We also frequently get
visits from Eagle Rays and the occasional pod of dolphins.
Though we didnt get to see dolphins at Sandy Slope this week, we did see
dolphins at Painted Wall and Inspiration over on Lighthouse Reef. On Tuesday
a pod of about 20 dolphins passed right next to the boat as we were doing a
surface interval. On Wednesday, a pod of 13 (including 2 juveniles) swam up
to the boat and circled around Capt Jay as he was down below on a dive.
The majority of the week was spent diving the sites on Lighthouse Reef.
These dive sites are wall dives with the average depth on the top of the
reef being around 30ft, then there is a straight wall drop off into the
depths. There are always an abundance of fish that inhabit these dive sites,
and on any of them you can see the diversity of species that call these
reefs home. Look in any direction and you can typically see trumpetfish,
several species of parrotfish, angelfish, snappers, triggerfish, hamlets,
basslets, jacks, groupers, trigger fish, boxfish, puffers, and wrasses.
There are also lots of Christmas tree worms that decorate the coral reef,
and if you look closely and you can find little gobies and blennies hiding
out. Cleaning stations are all over the place, with Pederson shrimp waving
their antennas to let the fish (and sometimes divers) know that they are
open for business. Look a little closer and you can find other species of
shrimp, crabs, lobster, and nudibranch. Sometimes as you are passing over
the reef, you might see a rock move, then come to realize that you have just
spotted the elusive scorpion fish hiding in plain sight.
There was some pretty exciting diving this week as we had encounters with
green morays out swimming, hawksbill turtles tagging along with divers,
Eagle Rays cruising by along the wall, Southern stingrays and a massive
roughtail stingray gliding across the sand, and Caribbean Reef sharks
swimming around checking out the divers.
There were also some rare sighting of seahorses, pipehorses, and flapping
dingbats. On the night dives we saw eels and octopus feeding, found tons of
lobster, saw several nudibranch, and spent a lot of time watching squid.
On Tuesday we went into the Marine Park to dive the Blue Hole and visit Half
Moon Cayes Booby bird sanctuary. The Blue Hole was once a huge cave that
has since become submerged, and has some massive stalactite formations down
at depth. Definitely a unique dive. Half Moon Caye Natural Monument is home
to a colony of over 4000 white-phased red footed booby birds, and is the
only nesting grounds for these birds in Belize.
The group also spent a half day cave tubing down a river through a cave
system inland Belize at Jaguar Paw. It was a beautiful day to lazily float
down the river on inner tubes.
Congrats to Devon on his Nitrox and Advanced Open Water Cerifications, and
Congrats to David, Doug, and Mike on getting their Iron Diver awards!
A big THANK YOU! to our guests from the crew! Hope to see you again very
EAT, SLEEP, & DIVE!