Carib Dancer Captain’s Log
Charter start date: April 25, 2015
Charter end date: May 1, 2015
Air Temp: 80° F
Water Temp: 77-81° F
2nd Captain: Nelson
Dive Master: Ramon
Matthew, Christophe, Ulf, Patrick, David, Jane, Lisa, Edwin, Brian, Corinne, and Karin
Sunday – Periwinkle, Blue Hole, Afternoon Transit to Pillar Wall
Monday – Black Tip, Wreck of the Austin Smith, Madison Ave, Night Transit to Cracked Coral
Tuesday – Shroud Wall, Amber Jack / Danger Reef
Wednesday – Wall City, Three Peaks, Cracked Corral Head
Thursday – Jewfish Wall, Crab Reef, North House Reef
Friday – Up Jumped the Devil
Saturday: Welcome aboard the Carib Dancer to our Guests. Our Guests were greeted with a beautiful buffet of Hors di vours made by Chef Pat. Our newly inducted Captain David (Congratulations David on successfully passing your Captains Training!) briefed our guests on the safety procedures and lay of the boat. After which, we celebrated our begging of a fabulous week with a champagne toast. Final preparations were made for our journey overnight, while the guest enjoyed a very pleasant soak in our bubbling hot tub. Happy Bubbles everyone!
Our voyage began with a beautiful sunrise over Nassau and we made a smooth passage out of Twin Harbors en route to our first dive site of the day….Periwinkle.
What a beautiful day! We were able to drop the anchor to within fifteen feet of the corral structure of Periwinkle, with light winds and calm seas. All divers splashed in
Promptly at 8:00 am and we began our initial safety dive check out and viewing of Periwinkle. Surprise!!! We were greeted by two very friendly and large Remoras circling the reef, looking for a new home to establish. There were very many tropical fish on the shallow reef, and each diver enjoyed the site to their own particular interests, being that of micro or macro critters on the reef itself. Exciting the dive site we even got a wave good bye from a razor back stingray. What a great dive.
Next we travelled a short distance to the Blue Hole, while our guests enjoyed homemade warm banana bread that Pat had just made in the galley. Yum!
We reached the Blue Hole still under beautiful skies and calm water and dove right in. Logger Head Turtles, Nurse Sharks, Rays, Tropical fish, and even a few lobsters towards the swim through in the Blue Hole greeted our guests again.
No lobsters were brought back except in digital format. Everyone was excited about seeing so much diverse sea life all in one spot. Nice Dive!
We climbed aboard the Carib Dancer and began our next leg of our journey by crossing the Exhuma Sound to Pillar Wall for our afternoon dives.
Monday: We next begin our adventure at Black Tip Wall for two dives. As the red –gold sun rose over the calm waters, we dove in and spotted a Black Tip Shark about four foot long. We dove along many Black Coral Yellow and Red Fans, and many Blue Stripped Grunts followed us. Lisa was extremely happy as her shark sighting count for the day so far was at 1… Lets see how that increases with our next dive.
Our next dive found the Carib Dancer moored directly to the Wreck of the Austin Smith. Ramon reported that there were many sharks swimming around the wreck. Thanks Ramon! Ok … into the deep we go. Sixty-Five feet down to the wreck. Eight Black Tip Sharks and Three large grouper swarmed us. The visibility and lighting were perfect for pictures in the early afternoon. The suspense built as the sharks circled closer trying to find out what was so attractive to what we brought for them.
Ramon opened the pyramid and the Black Grouper immediately grabbed the fish and exited the sight with many sharks in pursuit. As an extra bonus, Dave tasked us with finding out the name of the wreck written on the aft of the vessel. Perhaps you will have this challenge also when you come visit us soon!
Late afternoon found us above Madison Avenue, a shallow dive with many different reef fish, and beautiful reef structures. The winds died down completely as we enjoyed a wonderful meal of Grilled Hanger Steaks. The sun set leaving a orange glow over flat calm waters. The night dive was something truly special as the visibility was unlimited and we could view the divers from the boat forty feet down without distortion. We were even able to see the green turtle that they found down below and clapped with joy when it circled the divers. A well deserved Irish Cream Hot Chocolate and a warm towel awaited our over joyed night divers. Everyone retreated to the hot tub and retold their favorite part of the day’s dives with much laughter and joy.
We transited south over-night to anchor at Cracked Corral Head. Thunderbolts and lightning (very, very frightening) awoke us early in the morning . A few rainbows were spotted and Jane was even able to get the center of the dark gray storm photographed. We travelled through an early morning boat wash to our first dive spot of the morning at Shroud Wall. Shroud Wall is a rainbow collection of huge sponges, corral heads, fans, and large crevices. There were so many different colors and shapes to look at we just took a few moments to enjoy the view and then proceeded to swim to the flats above the wall. Wait! What is that? 85 feet down the wall and a Reef Shark appears out of the deep blue. Amazing. What a great way to start the dive off. We followed the shark for a bit and then … a Green Turtle. This Turtle was huge and very friendly. He came right up to us and with his fin made sure that he connected with all 6 divers. We all were able to get some great photographs. Then another Reef Shark showed up and then another! Overall we had 3 Reef Shark Sightings and 2 different Green Turtle sightings in one dive. This is why Shroud Wall is now my most favorite dive. I can’t wait to go back again!
We pulled the chase boat up short and travelled next to Amber Jack and Danger Reef for our late afternoon and night dives. Logger Head Turtles, Spotted Eels and even some very large Yellow Fin Tuna were spotted on both dives along with very colorful soft corral formations.
Wednesday: Early morning travel and a beautiful orange sunrise began our travels to our next dive site Wall City. Wall City is a very deep dive beginning at the mooring pin at 92 feet. Our route was to swim to the pin first and then head south towards the wall. We viewed many rock crabs, grunts, fan corral and squirrel fish on the way to the wall and then Mathew spotted a Green turtle at 115 ft. The turtle had just awoken and was ready to greet visitor and allowed us to take some terrific pictures. After a 30 min dive, we fired up the Carib Dancer and next travelled to Three Peaks. We had a surprise waiting for us at Three Peaks…. A Midnight Parrot Fish 6 feet in length and colored with Jade Green and Brown Scales. What a beautiful creature to behold. Our other divers, Patrick, David, Jane and Lisa found a yellow stripped Gobi cleaning station busy at work cleaning the wrasses at Three Peaks. The thermocline was very present on this dive as the temperature on the first 15 feet of the surface was 81 degrees and deeper it was 78 degrees. This made and optimum environment for a very large school of Horse Eyed Jacks to create a ball formation under the boat and circle the divers upon returning to the boat. We also viewed a fantastic looking Cow Fish about 2 feet in length.
Cracked Corral Head was next on our agenda. We really enjoyed our investigation of Cracked Corral Head with many Silversides, Red Tip Sea Goddess and a Reef Tip Shark. The early afternoon sun really highlighted all the many different colors of the reef.
We next dove on Crab Reef – What a great dive! We encountered a King Size Lobster, a huge Rock Crab, but I think we all have to agree that the best part was Jane’s Green Turtle Encounter. We were swimming along at 65 feet depth and encountered a green turtle. Everyone was very excited to see this beautiful animal, but then it did something very special. In mid water it literally came up to Jane’s diving mask and made contact with her, while gently waving its flippers along side its body as if to say “hello there!” We all were mesmerized by this turtle’s ability to make contact and give Jane such a sweet greeting. None of us, especially Jane will forget this part of our special day of diving.
We ended the dive under a very watchful eye of a 6ft long barracuda that was very forgiving in letting us take many pictures of him. Another fantastic dive!
Thursday: Today we started our dive safari under very dark grey skies, but that did not dampen the mood of our very happy guests after seeing some many wonderful sea creatures and underwater structures. Our first dive of the day was upon Jewfish Wall, or more commonly known as the Goliath Grouper Wall. What a beautiful site. Diving off the boat we could see that we were right over the wall in blue water so we swam towards the front of the boat following the deep drenches that came up from the deep wall. Having reached the edge of the wall we took our time and looked for lobsters, crabs, grunts, octopus, and nudibranchs. Believe it or not, Christophe reported seeing a Hammerhead Shark on our second dive of the wall. When asked how he found it he said he was simply looking for a Nudibranch and was distracted by a very large shadow passing by that turned out to be a Hammerhead Shark. You never know what you will find or how you will find it in the Caribbean, but it is such a tremendous surprise. Brian was able to find this out, as he was lucky enough to catch a view of a Spotted Eagle Ray, with a 15-foot wingspan. It was gracefully flying over the top of the wall right where Brian was filming video. What a great shot Brian!
Our late afternoon dive was on Whales Tale Wall – this wall had very many Rock Crabs, Squirrel Fish, Lobsters, Queen Angel Fish, and even a few spectacular Honey Combed Cow Fish.
We saved the best dive of the day for the night dive on North House Reef. North House Reef has a maximum depth of about 25 feet. It is composed of many little crevices, rocks, corral collections and sea fans. This was an ideal environment to see Caribbean Reef Octopus and Lobsters and Slipper Lobsters, which we saw a lot of!!!!! Jane discovered that the Caribbean Reef Octopus like to perch atop stand alone rock structures so we targeted these structures and found very many Octopi. Lisa, now known as the Shark Whisperer, found two more Caribbean Reef Sharks, as they cam darting by us through the corral. Ulf was fortunate enough to have one of the Octopus wrap one of its arms around his hand and it came out of its hideout to investigate Ulf further. We all got a great show from the Octopus as it changed many different colors as it transited over the multicolor corral. Brian and his Dad were able to take some great pictures of the Octopus. We also found Caribbean Spiny Lobsters, Regal Slipper Lobsters, and even a Bridled Burr Fish! How cool was that! The Bridled Burr Fish hovered right in front of us and buzzed around our masks so we could all see him and take some great pictures.
A Super Big Congratulations to Corrine and Karin for completing each their 100th dive with The Carib Dancer! Not only the 100th dive but also on a Night Dive! Way to go Corrine and Karin.
Friday: Good Morning! A 05:45AM Splash Time was scheduled. I think we woke the fish up. What a great experience to see the sunrise from the perspective of being underwater. Nassau Grouper greeted us as we plunged towards 100 ft. to enjoy the wall on Up Jumped the Devil. Many deep channels and swim through exited out the wall, while large Barrel Sponges of Orange, Red, and Yellow marked the edge of the wall. We also saw Queen Angel Fish, some more spiny lobsters, French Grunts and many, many snapper. We dove twice on this site, and were sad to start to pack and leave from our fantastic diving adventure for the week.
The Crew would like to Thank Everyone For Joining Us On The Carib Dancer In The Bahamas!!! Congratulations to Corrine and Karin for their 100th dive, to Edwin and Brian for having another successful Father and Son reunion underwater, and to all our other Guests, Christope, Ulf, David, Patrick, Lisa, Jane and Mathew for creating some great new friendships within the dive community.
We Hope To See Everyone Again Soon…
Carib Dancer Crew