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Air Temp 80s
Wet suit 3mm or skin
Sunday. The wreck of the Doc Poulson is a nice site for our guests to get acquainted with their dive equipment and work on their buoyancy skills. It’s also a great subject for photographers new and experienced. On the wreck one will find colonies of feather duster works and sponges with a backdrop of clear blue water. On our initial descent, we were greeted by one large and two small southern stingrays just below the Cayman Aggressor. On the adjacent reef, we saw two small lion fish, a large mutton snapper, a hawksbill turtle that was oblivious to us while it munched away at a sponge.
At Jax Dax, our second site of the day, our divers saw a peacock flounder, resident nurse shark called fin, and a turtle within minutes of their entry. Fin was swimming in and around our divers checking everyone out. He is such a friendly shark and is always happy to see divers and welcome photographers to get that perfect shot. After an orientation night dive briefing we descended onto the reef to explore. As we got the reef we spotted Fin our resident Nurse shark again, looking all the more real in night time. Also saw an Octopus and a Squid dancing along changing colors and vanishing in a flash. All on all a superb start to our charter, along with hot towels, hot chocolate and hot tub were the icing on the cake!! Billys received a cake to celebrate his 13th Birthday with us!! Happy Birthday Billy congratulations on becoming a teenager on the Cayman Aggressor IV.
Monday, we woke to a beautiful sunrise as we cruised along Seven Mile, making our way to the world famous Sting Ray City. These southern Stingrays are the most unique attraction to diving the Cayman Islands and this morning they were hungry for breakfast, as were the Yellow Tail Snappers. This week our circle was outstanding!! The stingrays were gliding through the circle looking for that free breakfast. Everyone returned with tales of wonderful encounters with these gentle rays, others told tales of those sneaky Yellow tail snappers nipping fingers to get that Delicious piece of squid! Our hickey competition winner was Isa, even though the hickey was from one of those Yellow Tails!
Hammerhead Hill sites just north of the sound on the north side of Grand Cayman. Although hammerheads have been seen there, the large sea fans and structures along the wall are always impressive. Small schools of jacks are common near the surface and occasionally we have seen huge schools of jacks that have engulfed our dives are they circled around them.
On our last dive before the crossing to Little Cayman, we visited Babylon. We were a little concerned with the current on the surface but our divers did great by descending quickly to the bottom where they were able to confirm that the current was limited to the top 15-20 feet. A spiraling swim around the pinnacle at Babylon is really the best way to experience one of the most impressive sites on the north side of Grand Cayman.
The crossing to Little Cayman started off very bumpy but settled a bit after the first couple of hours of our 7 hour crossing. On Bloody Bay Wall, our first dive site was Donna’s Delight. The wall starts at 25 feet and drops off to several thousand and offers a great profile for divers that want to get a little bit of wall diving as well as a nice long safety stop at 15-20 while exploring amongst the fields of gorgonian corals and other fishes living in the shallows. Two nurse sharks were seen on the dive as well as lettuce leaf slug and a squat shrimp inside an anemone.
Tuesday, we all woke up to a beautiful sunrise beaming across the blissful waters in Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman. The first of two dives were on a site called Donna’s Delight, and what a delight it was. At Donna’s the wall drops off to over 6000 feet just under the boat, and the coral gardens are just 20 feet perfect for ending the dive. Divers moved effortlessly across the reef, finding loads of critters in their hiding spots. A fingerprint Cyphoma was found on a sprig of coral along with a shy little yellow ray tucked under a small ledge. Several turtles were munching on some sponges just a few feet away from some curious divers. After the morning dives we moved to a site called the Meadows. A crowd favorite to say the least with many swim-throughs, turtles, eagle rays, and friendly grouper to be seen by all. Finishing up the day with a night dive we had a total of 11 divers in the water with ambitions to see the elusive octopus feeding on and around the small coral heads just under the boat. Divers were waving their lights as if to say “look over here”…. “Look what I’ve found “. Sure enough the octopus was there, changing colors like a magician in a Las Vegas stage act. All divers returned with big grins, and stories worth telling your grandkids.
Wednesday. We cruised over to Cayman Brac to Dive the Famous Russian Destroyer. This ship was sank in the late 90’s and now makes a wonderful artificial reef. The morning light was great for photographers as were the multitude of stingrays around the sandy areas of the wreck. On the second dive on the Tibbets those of us that prefer more reef over wreck, swam to the wall just to the north of the bow of the wreck. On our way back we visited a small patch reef that has a wonderful swim-through. If one begins their swim from the west side of the swim-through, you end up with a great view of the wreck as you get to the other end.
After a good old American lunch of burgers and crispy fries, we had a chance to do 3 dives on one of the most popular sites on Little Cayman, Three Fathom Wall. This pristine wall starts at only 20 feet and drops continues down as far as your eye can see, this has three different aspects, the wall, on top of the wall and the sandy area, which is always a critter hunt. Well done to Anne & James for completing their Advance Course on this dive, navigating that perfect square in the sand! This site has a concentrated amount of fish life which makes it a favorite among many. Next up was a dusk dive which was a delight to all.
Thursday: There is nothing like waking up to the opportunity of a dawn dive. Divers are a little slow to awaken but so are the fish on the reef. This morning’s dawn dive was done on Nancy’s Cup of Tea (should have been Nancy’s Cup of Coffee). Our first stop was the beautiful pinnacle that, due to the wind direction, was located directly below the Cayman Aggressor. Sea whips and black corals fans adorn this wonderful structure that allows for a swim all around its perimeter. Along we went to check out the old Anchors that are nestled into reef, some of these date back to the 17th century, and are over 6 feet in length. A shy Green turtle joined us for a short tour until we found our way back to our mooring pin. Next up was Randy’s Gazebo. Just about all the divers opted to follow the dive guide on this one which stared with a decent through a chimney which starts at 40’ and goes down to 80’. Once out on the wall we cruised along up to The Gazebo, a couple of lobsters were seen on the way. On the return leg another lobster was seen and sharp eyed Dianna also noticed that there was a Spotted Moray sharing his home with the lobster! After a treat of an Asian lunch served up by Chef Kingsley the divers were back in the water for their second dive at Randy’s. All types of Butterfly fish seemed to be gathering in one place and a large Chanel Crab was also hanging out on the wall. Off to Grand Cayman.
Friday. One dive on the USS Kittiwake, and what a great dive it was. Several silverside schools were found inside the wreck, and several hungry jacks making the school smaller and smaller with each swipe past them. All the guests made their way through shaft alley, the inside portion of this wonderful artificial reef, up to the wheel house for a few videos and photos of guests pretending to drive the Kittiwake through the sand. Water temp and clarity were at an all-time high. And the week came to a close with a nice easy dive on Devils Grotto.
Until next time…… Keep safe and Dive Safer!
Cayman Aggressor IV crew.