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Charter 26 Dec- 02 Jan 2016
Water temp 80f+
Air Temp 80s
Wind E 20-25
Wetsuit : 3mm+ Wetsuit
Saturday: A Merry Christmas to one and all, a rather busy Saturday here in Cayman getting everything ready for our New Year Charter. Rob from Tennessee is back again with 17 exited divers, everyone was aboard by 4 o’clock so we let go our lines and motored up along 7 Mile Beach to our first site: Doc Poulson. After Chef Kingsley’s BBQ dinner we conducted our safety briefing and introduced the crew and guests. We always have a fun group with Rob and his gang, Island Hoppers Scuba .Once all the intros were completed it was time to call it a night and get some rest.
Sunday: A glorious morning broke over Grand Cayman, blue skies and moderate winds. After breakfast our divers went off to explore the sunken treasure of the Doc Poulson, an old Japanese tug boat sank in the early 80’s, nestled in 50 Ft of water this makes a very interesting dive, and a perfect check out dive. We were lucky to see three Hawksbill Turtles, two Stingrays and an abundance of schooling marine life. During lunch we cruised along the world famous 7 Mile Beach to a site called the Oro Verde. This is an old classic wreck that has been here since the mid 80ies. She lies broken on in reef in 50 feet of water. The wall which is a stern of the wreck makes a wonderful detour. Two large turtles and a free swimming moray eel greeted us. On the wreck a very friendly Nassau Grouper named Marley followed divers around just to see his reflection in the camera. Our night dive here proved to be a hit also, with all divers returning with tales of a magnificent Shark encounter. ‘Fin’ our resident Nurse shark swam around the entire group!!
Monday: An early morning start to the day saw us taking the boat around to the North side of Grand Cayman. The intention was to go there and do a dive a Stingray City, unfortunately the sea conditions dictated that we should turn around and head back to calm waters in the lee of West Bay. For the two morning dives we tied up at Round Rock/Trinity Caves. Everyone had great fun swimming the maze of tunnels and overhead environments. It seems as though there were plenty of Mutton Snapper around along with the Creole Wrasse. A large Channel Crab was also seen out on the edge of the wall. Congratulations to Rob Harris who, under the instruction of Capt. Alan learnt the ancient skill of coaxing a sand eel out of its hole Time for lunch, on “Mexican Monday”, no prizes for guessing what we had! Next up was a couple of dives at Jax Dax, a very easy, relaxing dive site which always has a lot to offer. On the first dive we saw a couple of large Lobsters, Grey, French and Queen Angel fish and a very big free swimming Green Moray. The highlight of the next dive at the same site was the sighting of an Eagle ray cruising across the reef. For the night dive nine people opted to jump in and were greeted by a friendly, inquisitive Nurse shark or simply FIN for short. A good end to a great day with more of the same tomorrow I’m sure.
Tuesday: We started our engines at 6:30 and cruised up towards North West Point. The sun rose over the skyline of Grand Cayman, with a picture perfect blue sky and gusting east winds. Neptune’s Wall was the first site of the day, a sloping wall starting off at 60ft going down to 100 ft. As we cruised along the wall several lionfish were spotted, schooling Wrasse and a couple of resident turtles, off in the distance an eagle Ray was sited also. Our divers returned happy and hungry!! Chef Kingsley was doing his magic again!! The Ex USS Kittiwake was up next. This submarine support vessel was purposely sank in 2011, and sits in 60ft of water. Our divers explored this impressive wreck from stem to stern, taking photos and video of the engine room, compressor room, chart room and of course the recompression chambers that located on the main deck level. For the next after dive we toured all along the sand chutes which are equally impressive. For the night dive we were able to decent onto the Kittiwake, approximately 1 minute into the dive Dawn found an Octopus!! A little later and giant Lobster, a channel crab and two more busy Octopus, feeding on anything they could catch, a perfect way to end a great day of diving aboard the Cayman Aggressor IV.
Wednesday: Another glorious sunrise over 7 mile beach as we cruised to our next Dive site: Big Tunnels, this is a sensational site, lots of swim canyons, caverns and archways. The deepest part is about 105 feet and the high light is the pinnacle that is around 60 feet, it is covered in life, sea fans, sponges, gorgonians and for a keen eye, you can find Neck crabs living on the Fans. Up in the shallows a turtle was feeding on a sponge and a free swimming moray eel, glided along the ocean floor. During a tasty lunch by our chef Kingsley, we cruised to Bonnies Arch. This site is located near North West point and is a photographers dream. The arch is at 35 feet and the life that is adorned on the mini wall is impressive. As we slowly swam up along the shallows we were lucky to see a Hawksbill Turtle feeding on a sponge. Next up was Angel Fish Reef, a shallow reef dive that recently has become a must dive because of our friendly resident Nurse Shark named Fin. He shows up when your least expecting it, and Rob our fearless group leader, was surprised to see Fin swimming towards him!! The encounter was captured with Video and stills to relish the experience forever. On the night dive our divers went on a mission: to find an Octopus for Michelle and our mission was a success. We all returned for hot chocolate, hot towels and of course our hot tub.
Thursday: New Year’s Eye and we are on our way to Stingray City, This world famous attraction has developed into the most popular dive in the Cayman’s. After a history briefing we descended to the max depth of 12 feet. At first our rays were a little shy, but after they could smell our grade A squid, several showed up for breakfast. They were certainly happy to see us and we were equally happy to see them, many of our divers returned with hickeys, Andrea was the winner of t- shirt competition with a sizable hickey! Next up was Lost Treasure, which is located next to Spanish Anchor. The anchor which is lying in plain sight dates back to the 18th century. James located the anchor and showed several of our divers exactly where it was. On the dusk dive again we were lucky enough to another Octopus along with the usual suspects, Parrott Fish, Channel Crabs, blood worms and Lion Fish. After the dive our guests insisted that all the crew of the Cayman Aggressor IV sit and join the group for dinner. Which was an absolute pleasure, we all enjoyed sitting and dining with our guests, reflecting on the year that was. The party continued for many of our group until midnight, and the fireworks over the Cayman sky was very impressive. Happy New Year to our all of our Guests!!!
Friday: We started the New Year with a glorious sunrise and a short journey toward George Town to a site called Devil’s Grotto. After a dive brief we swam along towards the Grotto, which a maze of swim thru’s with piercing light that falls in between the cracks in the reef. This photo op has been used in many cover Shots over the years. Several large tarpon were spotted as well as a large number of schooling fish. Well done to Sara & David for completing their 200 dive with us, for all our Iron Divers: Jim, Gracey, Dawne, Rob, James, Kevin and Rob. We would like to wish Island Hoppers Scuba a happy New Year and all of our guests for making this charter safe and for making it a genuinely fun week.
Safe travels and see you on your next Aggressor fleet vacation.
Cayman Aggressor Crew.