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Cayman Aggressor IV :

 

Log Date: Saturday, Jan 23, 2016
Entry By: Cayman Aggressor Crew







 


Charter Date 23-30 Jan 2016

Air Temp 24C/79F   Water Temp 27C/81F

Shortie or Full Length 3mm

Saturday. Embark Day. A cold blast from the North resulted in the Cayman Aggressor IV to be moored up on the South Side of the Island. So the week got off to an adventurous start via a Dinghy Ride to the vessel. With extreme weather up in the states we had numerous flight delays and reschedules, but finally all 14 guests were aboard. Welcome to all. Fantastic to see Michael again, he cruised with us about three years ago. As always it is fantastic to see familiar faces and new faces alike. Dinner, Introductions and the Safety Briefing, a great group, they are already getting along like a house on fire!

Sunday. Our Diesel Detroits roared into life before the sun came up, and we headed off to Pedro’s Castle for the first few dives of the week. A location famous for historical events Pedro’s Castle is also an incredible dive site. In the Deep we have large sea mounds/pinnacles off the wall, we only have enough bottom time to circle the tops of these mounds before heading back to the shallows. In the shallows, a divers playground with canyons, swim through and archways to explore. Yellow Headed Jaw Fish in the rubble, juvenile Damsels and Angelfish hiding in the Elkhorn Corals, very healthy corals and reef life. A great start to the week. Trekking further East during our Deli Style Lunch, to Kelly’s Caverns.   Right under the boat a Labyrinth of coral formations, and a true Cayman Wall just a short swim away. Beautiful soft corals, more pinnacles and spooky swim throughs, pitch black until you emerge on the wall. Awesome! Divers encountered Turtles, an Eel, stingrays feeding in the sand, Yellow Rays and lots of lobsters!   Three Divers braved the first night dive of the week to be rewarded with Hot Towels and Hot Baileys Chocolate upon return.

Monday.   Still on the South Side, Bullwinkle was the site for the first morning dive. This location is famous for its canyons, swim throughs, ledges and variety of corals. Max depth here of 60ft! There were packs of Tarpon just hanging between Coral Fingers, Yellow Rays and Lobsters. Again here we have great Elk Horn Corals, all at safety stop level. Next stop of the day is on the SW corner, Eagle Ray Rock. Giant Coral Heads forming the top of the wall, dropping down towards the Cayman Trench. Big beautiful soft corals forming wild ‘trees’, some bright orange elephant ear sponges made fun backdrops to photos.   A Southern Ray and his Pilot Fish buzzed by us and flew down the wall; it was amazing to see how they really fly. Lunch and siesta before a busy afternoon diving on the wreck of the Kittiwake. Lorena was seen being put through her paces, doing Open Water Skills on the very top of this ship. A couple of divers spotted a green moray eel, a turtle was feeding on the reef and all divers had fun goofing around the wreck and reef.   Our night divers were rewarded with an Octopus, a black and white spotted eel, lobsters and crabs, various anemones and the bioluminescence was out of this world!! A few divers spent half the dive in the dark playing with the sparkles!

Tuesday. Starting the engines at 7am we ventured towards the combination dive site by the name of Round Rock, with an added bonus of Trinity Caves. Dropping in, on top of the Round Rock we circled around the “rock” to be shot out onto the wall, in the deep blue. An easy swim along the wall to Trinity Caves, winding through the tri-swim through -hence its name. Exiting on the shallow side of the wall we were graced with a spotted eagle ray, a turtle as well as a green moray eel.  A fabulous site to keep us occupied all morning.   Italian Lunch, then quick stop in to Devil’s Grotto. Famous in the Cayman Islands, as being the site that really put us on the diving map. Popular because, not only is it shallow with a max depth of 50 feet, but also very healthy coral as well as a maze of swim throughs. Large Tarpon call this place home; they are bold and will stare you down in a tunnel! A free Swimming Moray Eel found by Adrian, as well as a young nurse shark, turtle, and scorpion fish. Next stop was an equally famous dive site by the name of Oro Verde, a cargo vessel that was sunk on purpose in 1980. She got smashed to pieces over the years and now is a wreck of a wreck of a wreck, but an amazing site for lobsters, crabs, a residential green moray eel, as well as a friend inquisitive nurse shark. 7 guests joined us on the night dive on the wreck tonight, where we saw an octopus, green moray eel, spotted moray eel, 2 crabs and 3 spiny lobsters. A big celebration for Gail who clocked her 1900th Dive Today!!   Cake for Everyone!

Wednesday. Good morning all, Eggs Benedict for breakfast then an amazing dive on Big Tunnels. A crew favorite with large archways, and tunnels. A turtle greeted us upon entry; we toured all over the site, awed by a forest of black sea fans and incredible sponge and reef life on the edge of the blue. Pairs of File Fish scattered about the reef, groupers being cleaned and Angel Fish galore! With the weather turning we motored around to the North Side of the Island, tucked in to Babylon. This site is always popular, a beautiful wall with an iconic pinnacle to wind our way around, black corals and whip corals, lots of macro life, Neck Crabs and Arrow Crabs, it seemed there was an endless river of blue chromis and wrasse streaming along the wall. With the whole afternoon here we had plenty of time to explore both East and West along the North Wall. Dinner and a few wines and lots of story telling into the wee hours.

Thursday. A calm day dawning on the North Side of Grand Cayman. Kicking off today is Rum Point, or Lobster Central as we think it should be called. Every hole you looked in, there was a lobster! Michael was cruising up and over the wall when he came face to face with a Caribbean Reef Shark! We are not sure who got the biggest fright!   Congratulations to Greg on his 400th Dive and Michelle on her 100th Dive! Now for 12ft of madness at Stingray City. Great conditions today, clear blue water and lots of hungry rays ready to meet the gang.   We do have a hicky competition on our hands; everyone had an incredible time interacting with these amazing animals. Keep your gear on, we zipped outside the Sound and jumped back in the water on Hammer Head Hill. A very impressive wall with great formations of sponge and coral life.   A large spotted eel was out hunting on the dusk dive, everyone kept the blue in view in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a hammerhead shark. A reef shark came along, another green moray and he was huge!   Large Mutton Snapper following divers around, parrotfish everywhere, also the Deep Ocean Triggerfish were in abundance. Already it is that time of the week for Kingsley’s Thanksgiving Dinner, slideshow and movie night. Followed by a few drinks and star watching on the sundeck.

Friday. An old favorite site this morning, the wreck of the Doc Poulson. Resting in 50ft of water, a wall to one side and shallow reef the other. She is covered in variety of soft corals, a great place for little critters, our resident green moray eel and always keeping an eye out for the Eagle Rays who live and feed in this area. With some excellent NW weather bearing down on us we cruised over to the South Side of the Island. Almost back where we started, for one last look at Bullwinkle!   Looks like we will be onboard for dinner tonight and the awards! So it’s time to wash down that gear, grab a cold one and relax for one more afternoon on the boat.

 

Thank you all for making this week yet another fun and safe event. We had a great bunch this week, great personalities and absolute troopers battling colds and flus. Big Congratulations to Lorena who completed her Open Water Course with Niall this week!!!!   Well done, twice as challenging as she speaks Spanish and we teach in English!  

Safe travels to all and we hope to see you all again somewhere on the seas.

Capt and Crew

Cayman Aggressor IV