Carib Dancer Captains Log 31st Oct - 7th Nov 2015
Air Temp. 75-80+ F
Water Temp. 82-84 F
Exposure Suit - 3MM full Length/Shorty
Captain David Patterson
Dive Instructor Jason Shaddox
Dive Instructor Gabrielle Reuben
DM / Engineer Ramon Wong
Chef Patricia Larkin
Juliann, Josie, Minna, Bob, Wensi, Kevin, Tim, Ela, Eric, Yves, Joel, Christi & Jay
Sunday – Madison Ave, Dog Rocks, Crab Reef
Monday –Pillar Wall, Austin Smith, Hole in the Wall, Tunnel Rock
Tuesday – Cobia Cage, Cut n Run, Cave Rock
Wednesday –U[ Jump the Devil, Dog Rocks, Madison Ave, Airplane Wreck
Thursday – Pillar Wall, Austin Smith, Jewfish Wall, Crab Reef
Friday – Blue Hole
This week the crew of the Carib Dancer welcomed 13 divers aboard for week of diving and exploring the wonderful Bahamian Islands.
Our divers started arriving early in the day at our home dock -Elizabeth on Bay. They were met at the yacht by one of our friendly; courteous crew members. They were able to leave their luggage with us so they could go and explore the delights on offer in downtown Nassau.
4PM came around quickly and before long all of our divers were aboard. Captain David then welcomed everybody before commencing with the safety briefing.
Once the briefing was over with we slipped our lines and cruised out of the marina toward open ocean and ultimately the Exumas.
Chef Pat served up a fabulous roast pork dinner for our hungry group as we travelled toward the diving grounds.
At around 10.30PM after almost 4 hours of driving we ended up anchoring next to Ships Channel where we enjoyed a restful nights sleep under a wonderful starlit sky.
At around 6.30AM the engines rumbled into life and the crew pulled up the anchor. We then headed toward the first dive site of choice Madison Avenue. This wonderful shallow dive site is a very popular one on our itinerary. We have numerous swim throughs, overhanging ledges and large populations of fish for our divers to photograph.
Before we dive however its time for the all important deck briefing. During the deck briefing the crew give our divers an overview of how we dive from the Carib Dancer. Once the deck briefing is over with our Dive Instructor Jason Shaddox briefs everyone on Madison Avenue.
Before we know it our divers are climbing into their wetsuits and testing their dive equipment one last time prior to hopping into the inviting azure blue aqua.
Everyone wants to be the first diver in the water which creates a traffic jam of divers on the back deck.
Our divers dump the air from their BCDs and descend below into the peaceful unknown.
Schools of French Grunts swarmed over the top of the reef; hovering tightly in packs to greet our divers. Our group also explored the sandy areas next to the reef where we saw Jawfish with eggs in its mouth. This is one of the holy grails of scuba diving so to see it on the first dive of the trip was extremely special indeed. We also see Lobster, Crabs and a couple of Moray Eels too which rounded off our dive wonderfully.
Next up for us was Dog Rocks where we completed two dives. This crew favorite offers our group a little bit of everything. We have meandering swim throughs that just seem to go on forever, we have the dramatic drop off for those who love walls and we have the lush and colorful shallows for those that prefer not to go too deep.
Our divers reported seeing Caribbean Reef sharks cruising in the blue off the wall, they also saw a huge Hawksbill Turtle munching on the coral for some much need nutrients. Huge barracuda were spotted not far from the mooring pin as well as Oceanic Trigger fish flapping by us with consulate ease.
Dog Rocks also has a lot of small stuff that we can feast our eyes on. Beautiful Nudibranchs are spotted clinging to the sea rods and sea whips and a plethora of Arrow Head crabs are found hiding in the knocks and crannies of Dog Rocks.
After two top notch dives we moved around 4 miles south and tied up to Crab Reef where we would complete our afternoon and night dive. This medium range to shallow dive site features beautiful coral fingers which lead out all the way to the wall. We however do not have to swim that far to see the cool stuff.
Sharks and Turtles are again sighted here which pleases our group. We also saw Southern Atlantic Stingrays and Yellow Rays cruising in the sand. On the night dive we saw Lobster and the gigantic Channel Crabs which look very menacing indeed in our night divers glare. One of our guests also reported seeing a Bearded Sea Cucumber which we think was a great find.
The obligatory Hot chocolate and Baileys was dished out post dive which went down a treat with our ravenous group of chocoholics.
First up for us on Monday was Pillar Wall. This awesome dive site features huge coral pinnacles that rise up from the abyss some many thousands of feet below. The tops of the pinnacles which lie just off the main wall start out at around 50 feet. This means that our divers can explore the pinnacles for the majority of the dive.
While diving Pillar Wall we see Reef Sharks, Lobster Lionfish and a beautiful Southern Atlantic Stingray. What a great way this was to start off our day.
Next up for our eager group was the wreck of the Austin Smith. This meant one thing. Sharks, and lots of them!
We took our fish attraction triangle down with us and placed it onto the wreck. We were surrounded by up to 12 sharks all vying for our attention. The sharks weaved throughout our group of divers with grace and style. Here on the wreck we also saw many Nassau grouper, Barracudas and and 4 French Angelfish. Guests boarded the Carib Dancer with smiles on their faces after a thrilling encounter with these pelagic predators!
The winds had started to pick up as had the sea state so we picked up our chase boat and travelled to the island of Eleuthera where we found calm seas and beautiful weather. This is due to the fact that we moored up on the leeward side of the island.
The next dive site of choice was Hole In the Wall.
Here our divers got to explore the magnificent swim through that leads out onto the wall. Divers commented how amazing the visibility was once they got out into the blue.
Our divers saw more sharks here on Hole in the all as well as schooling horse eye jacks which encircled our group. We also saw many Cubera Snapper, Spanish Hogfish and thousands of Fairy Bastets. The Baslets give the reef a vibrant splash of color - especially at depth.
Next it was onto Tunnel Rock where we did our afternoon and night dive.
This shallow site offers us the chance to elongate our bottom time a little after a day spent doing deeper dives.
Divers explored the cool little swim through that penetrates the coral head. We see many different types of Nudibranchs and small reef fish such as Gobies and blennies. The group also saw Arrowhead Crabs, Lobster and a plethora of Grouper. The top of the reef is abuzz with life. The myriad of colors is simply eye boggling. On the night dive we saw Squid, Flounder, Crabs and rays - This rounded off another magnificent day of diving for us.
For the afternoon and night we opted for Cave Rock, this shallow site is perfect for this time of day.
We began our days diving on the incredible Cobia Cage. This funky and quirky dive site is a complete one off. An 80ft cage suspended in mid water - this dive site attracts a whole host of life.
On our dive we see many Horse eye jacks schooling past us, we see Cubera snapper and amberjack too.
On the top of the cage we saw Parrotfish, Grouper and Barracuda all busily going about their daily business.
After one dive on Cobia Cage we moved to CutN Run for two dives.
This Wall dive site features the reminants of an old Cessna airplane and huge ships anchor. The plane sits in about 60ft of water as does the anchor.
We saw so much here that it is impossible to write to all down. Some of the things our divers reported seeing were Rays, Moray Eels, Dog Snapper, Barracuda, Filefish, and Shrimp.
With two dives completed we moved the relatively short distance to Cave Rock where we spent the afternoon and night.
Over the course of 2 dives here we saw many reef fish swarming our group. Some of the highlights at Cave Rock were a beautiful Nurse Shark, Flatworms and an awesome Octopus experience on the night dive.
After a wonderful day of diving our group rested for the night.
The week-long diving extravaganza continued in fine form as we started out at Cut Thru City for dive one. Cut Thru City is a majestic jaw dropping wall dive site that has so many swim throughs on it that we would need to stay her for ten dives to discover them all.
As we meander through the crevices in the reef we see Caribbean Spiny Lobster poking their heads from their hide holes. We also see Dog Snapper and Porgies approach our divers to investigate. Out on the wall we see the wonderful soft corals that adorn Cut Thru City. The divers gazed at the vast amount of black coral on display. On top of the wall our divers explored the plethora of coral heads that inhabit the shallow areas. Here we saw Lionfish, Flounder and a wonderful Green Moray Eel that was free swimming in search of a safe place to rest.
Divers ascended after a magnificent dive and enjoyed a chocolate chip cookie - fresh from the oven!
Next up for us was Split Coral - This was to be our second shark dive.
As always we took down our Fish attraction triangle and placed it in the sandy area. Before we knew it we had around 12 Caribbean reef sharks swimming by us to say hello. We enjoyed the sharks presence - our group of divers shot some incredible pictures and video of this exhilarating and memorable experience.
Over the course of our two dives on this exciting wall dive dive site we see a couple of huge Black Grouper, numerous Parrotfish, Goat Fish, Stingrays and a whole host of shrimps and Crabs.
Once our divers has showered off we motored toward the next site Knuckle Head. We completed one dive here at this shallow spot where we saw Trunkfish, Trumpet Fish, Filefish and Queen Triggers.
The crew of the Carib Dancer then moved the yacht one final time to our last site of the day Tunnel Rock.
Due to strong winds and heavy swell we unable to stay on Knuckle Head so we done a repeat dive on the ever popular Tunnel Rock.
This was to prove a very shrewd move as we saw a lot of cool stuff on this dive.
Our divers reported seeing a sleeping Hawksbill Turtle, 7 Yellow ray - yes thats right 7!!!. We also saw Banded Coral Shrimp, Moray Eels, Lobster and the cherry on the cake was a magnificent Octopus sighting.
Divers boarded the yacht after a wonderful dive with huge grins on their faces.
Stories of an epic day of diving were exchanged over a nice hot mug of hot chocolate.
Our group grabbed an early night to rest for another full day of diving to come.
First up for us today was the magnificent Primo Wall. This sheer vertical drop off attracts a lot of marine life. This is due to its location on Eleuthera. It sometimes has slight currents that flow through it which bring in the much needed nutrients that the fish crave.
Here we see a beautiful Green Sea Turtle, we also see Stingrays, Grouper and Jacks. Divers also explored the many swim throughs and canyon ways on offer at Primo Wall.
We then moved the yacht to a shallower site for the second dive - Krackens Lair.
This site is situated very close to the island. It is inaccessible by land so you must dive it by boat.
The shallow coral heads a full of swim throughs which harbour a wide variety of marine critters. We see Dog Snapper, Trigger Fish, Queen Angels, Lettuce Leaf Sea Slugs, Grouper and Barracuda.After an incredible dive we dropped the mooring and headed back across the Exuma Sound toward our next dive site of choice - The Airplane Wreck.
Since this site doesnt have a mooring we must drop the anchor next to it. Captain David and his crew dropped the Carib Dancers anchor a mere ten feet from the wreckage. Our divers didnt have to swim far to find the dive site.
We completed two dives here - One day dive and one night dive.
This site never ceases to amaze us with the sheer amount of life it throws at us. On the day dive our guests reported seeing Trigger Fish, Banded Coral Shrimp, Yellow Rays, Juvenile French Angel Fish, Fire Clams and a ton of schooling french grunts, Snappers and School Masters. The density of fish under the wings is something to behold.
After dinner we completed our night - Here we saw Hermit Crabs, Groupers, Lionfish, Rays, Cowries, Lobsters and quite possibly the biggest Stingray we have ever encountered. The thing must have been about 5 feet in diameter!!!
We slept at anchor for the night after a wonderful day of diving Dancer Fleet style.
We ended the trip with a magnificent dive on Barracuda Shoals. Here we saw Moray Eels, lots of Barracuda, Shrimps, Lobster and lots of schooling fish zooming around the reef tops. We then departed the Exumas and cruised back to Nassau.
At 6PM we enjoyed a cocktail party upon the sundeck which rounded our trip off wonderfully.
Congratulations to our Iron Divers this week - Josie, Ela, Yves, Eric, Joel, Bob, Jay & Christi
Hope To See Everyone Again Soon…
Until then safe diving always
Carib Dancer Crew