Cayman Islands 10 Day Charter 5th – 15th September 2015
Air Temp 32C / 85F
Water Temp 31C / 86F
Rash Guards and Shorts!
Saturday 5th Sept: Almost everybody made it aboard and were settled in before dinner, welcome back Jean! It is fantastic to see familiar faces again. Our 18th Diver finally arrived in time for the safety briefing after dinner. More than a few wines and cocktails were being enjoyed while we tried to play the name game with more than our fair share of Steve’s, John’s and Mike’s!!! A restful night’s sleep and we will be ready for Ten Days of excellent diving and dining aboard the Cayman Aggressor IV.
Sunday 6th Sept: The West side of Grand Cayman, the Doc Poulson and Marty’s Wall was the first stop of the week. A small wreck, covered in life on a sandy bottom in 50ft of water. The perfect dive for everyone to get reacquainted with their dive gear and cameras. Stingrays feeding in the sand, garden eels shrinking away as we pass over, heading down the chute on to the wall checking out the formations and the deep blue before heading back for lunch. Neptune’s Wall was next for the day, a wall rolling off into the deep but beautiful pinnacles and sponges formations just behind the boat. An Eagle Ray feeding, a curious turtle and a ‘small’ Goliath Grouper! Topping off the first day of diving we hit the Oro Verde for a beautiful day dive and yes the first night dive of the week produced Fin the local nurse shark, a couple of octopus and a giant lobster big enough to carry Mary away!
Monday 7th Sept: Tuesday 10th Sept: Round Rock / Trinity Caves were first up this morning. Swimming around Round Rock two turtles feeding captured our attention and they did not seem fazed by the keen photographers. Touring around the reef and the maze like seascape the divers had a great time exploring this dive site. For some reason there seemed and unusually large number of Scrawled File Fish around! During lunch we moved the boat to North West Point ready for the first afternoon dive at Bonnie’s Arch. A beautiful dive site with the most amazing archway, it’s almost unbelievable that this is a natural creation. The shallow reef just alive with fish, a favourite the Orange Spotted File fish were about, and it’s always a treat to see Spotted Drums. A healthy array of soft and hard corals. A quick move over to the deliberately sunk wreck of the USS Kittiwake. All the divers had a great time exploring the ship, inside and out Lots of posing going on, yes we caught it on video Clare! After a delicious dinner fourteen hardy souls made the plunge for the night dive. With both the wreck and reef available a fantastic night dive was had. The highlight two octopus!! Great spotting Jean!
Tuesday 8th Sept: Wow wow wow, Big Tunnels was up first. Incredible dive. Archways, swimthrus, tarpon, blackcoral sea fans, a small pocket of silversides, a turtle feeding right when we jumped in! Schools of creole wrasse running over the reef and our divers winding in and out the swimthroughs. Such a great dive we have to jump in for a 2nd dive. Hammerhead Hill was the site for the afternoon dives. A dramatic wall, dropping down into the blue. Amazing formations of reef and coral. Knobbly and knarly, full of overhangs, black corals and sponge life, lobsters, an abundance of fish life a free swimming moray who escaped out the ‘backdoor’ whilst we were looking so see where he had gone. A goliath grouper down deep and to top it off Two Eagle Rays gliding wing tip to wing tip right by the mooring!
Wednesday 9th Sept: Everyone awoke this morning to perfect conditions on Little Cayman, after our crossing last night. First two dives were made at Randy’s Gazebo. On both dives lots of lobsters were seen all along the wall. Our resident Groupers were around to escort our divers throughout the dive. A large Nurse Shark sleeping, laying out in the open and a 3inch Fire Worm crawling over a beautiful sea fan. Following lunch and a boat move we found ourselves at Meadows, often people’s favourite dive site. The mini wall, the many swim through and the magnificent wall all add up to an awesome dive site. Our divers encountered a friendly Turtle and an Eagle Ray cruising across the sand. On the second dive things got even better! The Eagle Ray was back, several Sting Rays feeding in the sand, a nurse shark swimming around and everyone’s favourite our Reef Sharks made an appearance. Fifteen divers elected to go on the night dive and all came back very happy after the experience.
Thursday 10th Sept: Three dive sites on the agenda today. The morning started off with just one dive on Donna’s Delight. A very special part of Bloody Bay Wall, a melting pot of colours, sponges and corals. Lobsters peering out at us, a couple of Lionfish, a large channel crab and enough Lettuce Leaf Slugs for a Salad. The pre and post lunch dives are at world famous 3 Fathom Wall/The Mixing Bowl! Where the two topographies of Little Cayman’s Northside meet. The sudden change in landscape lends itself to lots of schooling chubbs, snapper, grunts and jacks. A rollercoaster swim through under the main wall, a couple of turtles, a jawfish with eggs that John was very patient with, an inquisitive nurse shark and Stingrays Sleeping all over the sand! The highlight of this location seems to be Grover the Super Duper Friendly Grouper, he was shown plenty of love by all! Back on board and Regine tells us she found a Seahorse! Yes she proved it with a photo! A busy afternoon with two more dives before dinner. Everyone was excited to check out the Dusk Dive behavior changes at Lea Lea’s Lookout! The Island of coral just off the wall, the cavernous great room and cleaning stations everywhere! Steak night back on board, with a few vinos as we motored over to Cayman Brac.
Friday 11 Sept: Two dives this morning on the wreck of the Russian Frigate. On the first dive most of the divers elected to explore the wreck itself and had great fun exploring. For the next dive several of the group decided to explore the adjacent reefs and were rewarded with the sighting of a Spotted Eel and Feeding in the sand were several Sting Rays. Lunch was served alfresco as we made our way back to Little Cayman – Bus Stop. A great afternoon was had with Reef Sharks coming in nice and close, Mary was super excited, along with a large Nurse Shark. Our stealth divers managed to see and photograph of a male Yellow Headed Jaw fish with the eggs in its mouth and also a couple of Sail Fin Blennies. Everyone seemed to love this dive site and it proved to be a great end to a fantastic day.
Saturday 12th Sept. A great turn out this morning for our epic Dawn Dive at Nancy’s Cup of Tea. She lived up to her reputation and everyone had a blast. Our reef sharks came in super close to see what all the early morning racket was about, ancient anchors, neck crabs, black corals and fun with a furry sea cucumber. All before breakfast! Another dive here then by popular request we stopped off at the Mixing Bowl to find that Sea Horse, a comedy show ensued with Regine and her entourage searching the reef, swimming almost to the next dive site. We found plenty of small critters for the macro fans but it seem the seahorse had galloped off to another reef. An hour later and back under the boat in 18ft Mike spied a little Red Seahorse!!! YAY, the photographers got their fix and Regine is ‘off the hook’. To farewell Little Cayman the Great Wall showed us all of her colours. Black Corals, a rainbow of sponges and corals all precariously arranged on this sheer wall. Freddy the Old Man Grouper was in fine form, sharing the love. It seems more than a few of our divers this week have all formed special bonds with our amazing grouper friends. But all good things come to an end, tanks run dry, Mike clocked 100mins on the dive and everyone got back on board faces beaming. Happy Hour, dinner, and a perfect crossing back to Grand Cayman.
Sunday 13th Sept. Now back at Grand Cayman, on the North side at Babylon, a spectacular dive site that features a wonderful pinnacle sitting just off the main wall. All the divers jumped in on this one and nobody came back disappointed. Crabs, Lobsters, Stingrays along with Neck Crabs, Goudy Clown Crabs, and Squat Shrimp were all spotted. A great welcome back to Grand Cayman – where the little Critters seem giant! Sting Ray City was after lunch, a crazy fun 12ft dive. A nice amount of Rays made an appearance and they put on a good show for our guests. Everyone had a great time wrangling the rays, J.R got a nice hicky, and reluctantly everyone made their way back to the boat. A quick dash around to West bay we picked up the mooring at Angel Fish reef. Here we made one afternoon dive and our final night dive. What a great dive, turtles feeding, a large green moray eel – free swimming, yellow rays, so many weird and wonderful macro critters, giant lobsters just owning the reef.. perfect.
Monday 16th Sept: The Final diving day of the ten day charter. Eagle Ray Rock was up first. A beautiful site that we don’t get to dive enough! Soft corals, swim throughs, more neck crabs – this crowd are the best at finding the little stuff, a large Lionfish peering into the camera lens, chromis running over the reef, don’t forget the stunning display of plate corals. Devil’s Grotto was a hot spot for the last dive. The place where diving really began in Cayman, long tunnels/swim thrus schools of chubs, jacks and tarpon and not one but two Mantis Shrimp! A perfect dive to finish up an amazing 10 day charter.
It has really been an incredible trip, we have seen everything you could hope to see in Cayman waters. Congratulations to Ed on ticking off dive number 500, Happy Birthday Jean. A big thank you to everyone for being a part of one of the best weeks of the year. We hope to see you all again soon on the Cayman Aggressor for more eating, sleeping and diving!
Until next time
The Cayman Aggressor Capt and Crew.