Charter Date 6th -13th Feb 2016
Air Temp 24C/79F Water Temp 27C/81F
Shortie or Full Length 3mm
Wind N/W 15-20 kts
Saturday: With strong North West wind in the post we boarded everyone via short dingy ride to the mother ship: Welcome aboard to our 18 guests, welcome back to Gary, Bob and Dale. Chef Kinsley’s BBQ dinner was delicious as always, Baby back Ribs and Jerk chicken!! All of our guests were impressed. After introductions and our safety briefing it was time to call it a day. Some of our guests had being travelling for 36 hrs.
Sunday: We awoke to flat calm seas. The sunrise was idyllic. We started our engines at 6:30 and motored to a dive site called Doc Poulson. This old shipwreck was sunk in the mid 80ies and makes a wonderful artificial reef. Plenty to see on this wreck and easy penetration, Horse eye jacks swimming all around and an Eagle Ray feeding on the sand. As the wind picked up and switched direction it was time to head south to a site called Pedro’s Castle. This has a sand gully that expands out to large pinnacles. Two large Mutton Snappers followed us around for the entire dive. Up in the shallows we enjoyed swimming through the caverns and checking out the oversized Lionfish. Stag horn Coral decorated the top of this area and the amount of life is break taking. At Night this site comes alive and Gary our octopus Whisperer found us a large reef Octopus.
Monday: The sun had not yet broke the horizon and we were making way to the south east corner of Grand Cayman heading for the dive site known as Tunnel of Love. The tunnel from which the site gets its name snakes and turns from 50ft on the wall top and opens out to the sheer wall at 90ft, some natural light makes it way down into the tunnel creating a very atmospheric way to start the diving day. The coral life here is abundant and colorful, sea fans and whips adorn the wall along with blue chromis and yellow tail snappers that speckle the blue like a Guy Harvey painting. A splendid Mexican lunch was laid on by Chef Kinsley to appease the appetites brought on by a great mornings diving. Our next site up was Kelly’s Caverns and with the sun burning thru the stage was for a fantastic afternoon. Kelly’s caverns is very aptly named, a series of swims thrus and gully’s make for a very cool dive especially when we swam face to face with a camera friendly turtle that posed nicely for photos. The night dive at Kelly’s did not disappoint, slipper lobster, cowfish, channel crabs and a free swimming large green moray eel were among the highlights but the star of the show was most certainly an Octopus out hunting and feeding……..a great ending to a brilliant day of diving !!!!!
Tuesday: Awaking to the sound of our engines starting up, we slowly moved to the south east corner of the island to a dive site called “The Maze” known for the possibility of seeing Reef Sharks, it did not disappoint with the sun shining out over the ocean. Staying there for two dives we encountered a young green moray underneath the boat, a turtle as well as some smaller schooling creatures. Half way through the dive was when some guests pointed out a 5ft reef shark slowly making its rounds. Smoothly gliding through the water it stayed around for a solid 5 minutes, though felt longer. From an Italian lunch to an hour long siesta wherein during that time we moved to another location called “Lighthouse Reef” this had its mooring ball missing so the likelihood of other dive companies diving the site over the last few months left the reef in a beautiful pristine condition. Several cracks in the mountain sized coral, sharing a similar feeling to bloody bay wall of Little Cayman. It was a home of several crawling critters like lobsters and some of the smaller crabs; the guests came back talking about friendly turtles, lobsters, 4 angel fish sharing a meal as well as the blue chromos gathering along the top of the mountain reef. Chef Kingsley prepared a wonderful “Surf and Turf” meal for dinner while the boat was moving to our final location of the day a site by the name of “Spots Reef” where the guests had a night dive waiting for them. Seeing a vast amount of lobsters they were startled to see a nurse shark joining the ranks of creatures spotted today and ended the day with some nice warm hot chocolate, a hot towel and a hot tub, ending an amazing sunny day.
Wednesday: We started our engines at 6:30 and cruised west to a site called Bullwinkle, this site gets its name because of all the Stag Horn Coral that lives here, along with several Tarpon and schooling Jacks. Caverns are found in 50 ft. of water stretching out like fingers out onto the sand. Jill returned with tales of a Jaw Fish with Eggs!! What a sight! Sail Fin blennies have set up home here also with several spotted. Next up was cheeseburgers in Paradise, Chef Kingsley’s homemade burgers we delicious in the afternoon sun. As we motored to a sight called Kelly’s Caverns for an afternoon of Diving. This site has a mix of shallow reef, long meandering sand fingers leading out onto the wall. On the wall there are two large pinnacles covered in life, several anemones , large Lionfish and blue Chromis dancing in the afternoon sun. Up in the shallows we came across a Nurse Shark swimming along the reef. The cuts and caverns here are very impressive, so many places to explore. A Juvenile Green Morey eel was spotted right under the boat. At night this site comes alive; our divers returned with tales of 3 reef Octopus, several lobsters and two large crabs.
Thursday: With the north winds and North West swells still making trouble elsewhere on Grand Cayman we headed for the relatively calm waters off the south east corner and a return to the highly popular Tunnel of Love. The cracks and gully’s along the wall top can easily entertain divers for a morning underwater. Several lion fish and a large turtle were among the highlights along with yet another juvenile spotted drum that enthralled the divers with its elegant dance like movements. During a lunch of Caribbean chicken curry we headed for Pedro’s Castle and an afternoon of underwater arches, swims thrus and crevices that are home to several tarpon and in the sand we hunted for and found the elusive sail fin blenny. By consensus of our happy group we did a dusk/twilight dive so all could enjoy a relaxed traditional Aggressor Thursday thanksgiving meal with perhaps a glass of wine to cheer the occasion. The twilight dive lived up to expectations with a Scorpion fish that was so ugly it was truly cute, 2 large channel crabs, several lobster and a speckled moral eel made it all worthwhile. A great day of diving was had by all and there was more coming just one sleep away.
Friday: The wind switched to NE which allowed us to venture back around to west Bay to the wreck of the kittiwake. Sank in 2011 this makes a wonderful Wreck and reef dive. Nestled in 60 ft of water and is very diver friendly. There is lots to explore on here, from the engine room to the compressor room all the way along the belly of the boat and up through the chain locker. In the galley a decorator crab was walking along trying to look inconspicuous! Our divers could not believe their eyes when they saw him walk along the wreck. On the second diver a Spotted Eagle ray feeding in the sand. The amount of schooling fish on the wreck is impressive. Once all our divers returned in was time to start washing out their equipment and getting packed up. Congratulations to Dale, Brendon, Lori, Kane, Ray, Dave, Gary & Uni for diving every dive and receiving the Iron Diver Certification. Also congratulations to John for Doing 100 Dives, to Dale for completing his advance open diver and to Kane for becoming a Grand Father for the third time. Thank you to all our guests this week for making this charter safe and successful. Until next time safe travels and see you on your next aggressor fleet vacation.
Cayman Aggressor IV Crew