Charter Date 27th Feb – 5th March 2016
Water temp 79F/26C Air Temp 80s
Start your engines for another week onboard the Cayman Aggressor IV. We had the pleasure of being joined by 17 guests, all hailing from Amber Waves Diving Company in Kansas! A wave of winter weather still affecting us, so we boarded at Spotts Dock on the South Side of Grand Cayman. BBQ Ribs and Jerk Chicken night, introductions, a few drinks along with a safety briefing and then a well deserved nights sleep! Already this is kicking off to be an entertaining week, plenty of cheeky folks already giving the crew and each other a hard time. We love it.
Sunday, Waking up as we motored around to the West Side of the Island. The Doc Poulson was our first site. The small tugboat shipwreck always provides plenty of critters and the resident green moray! Stingrays and garden eels in the sand, an Eagle Ray gliding across the sand. Everyone had a great dive, equipment all checked out, a perfect start to a week of diving in Cayman. Hopping over to the Kittiwake, a five year old purpose sunk wreck in 50ft of water. A very well laid out wreck with lots of openings and exits to play in. Six divers tried to fit up inside the bell, more squeezed into one of the recompression chambers. While we were swimming around the bow area we discovered a large Goliath Grouper! He was very co-operative in front of the camera. A large school of Jacks spiraled up towards the sun and another Eagle Ray stole the show! One more stop for the day, the Oro Verde. Wow, along with scattered wreckage we had underwater mountain biking, yellow headed Jaw Fish with EGGS, massive Channel Crabs, Lobsters, File Fish, Puffer Fish, Goat Fish, it was an aquarium! The night dive proved very entertaining for those still on board, as we watched the divers completely miss the wreck… appropriately nicknamed the Wreckless Night Dive, tho they did discover an octopus hunting, and a large squid! Hot Towels and Chocolate with Baileys to top of a superb first diving day and also Jeff’s birthday! “Happy Birthday”!
Monday. Big Tunnels, here we get to enjoy the majestic caverns, caves, swim thru’s and tunnels! Tarpon, a turtle, a free swimming moray and Caribbean Lobsters. A great labyrinth of twists and turns. Sting Ray City was a delightful experience. Plenty of Southern Sting Rays, everyone had a great time, Chris so enjoyed the rays sucking on his arm, apparently he was seen rubbing squid on his arm to encourage them – some people will do anything for a prize! Herb admitted rubbing squid on his head! What are these Kansas folks up to? World famous Babylon, with the sheer wall and one of the most picturesque pinnacles to cork screw around was the third and final dive site for the day. Happy faces getting back on the boat, settling in for a night at sea while we make our way to Little Cayman.
Tuesday. Welcome to Little Cayman. A bumpy night was had by most but we did manage a little sleep, a hearty breakfast then a quick dive on Blackies Hole. Home to a beautiful section of Pillar Corals, keep your eyes peeled for sharks, a turtle was feeding and we had plenty of Cayman Wall to explore. Popping around the corner to Bloody Bay Wall, and Lea Lea’s Lookout. This dive site was going off! It was frantic down there with fish charging all over the reef, Groupers everywhere small and large. The beautiful wall and crevices that define this site, coming up through the Great Room to find a Nurse Shark swimming across the shallows, to find an even larger nurse shark settled in under a coral head, a turtle joined in the fun and a large lobster prowling out in the open, it was non stop action, everywhere you looked there was something happening! We spent the afternoon on the Jackson Bight, at the Meadows and Bus Stop. Quite different topography with a shallow reef system and a knarly wall riddled with swim throughs, home to a family of Reef Sharks who were happy to see us, we got the routine inspection. Today seemed crustacean heaven with Giant Channel Crabs and Lobsters in every nook and cranny! Another night dive tonight with more shark action, small reef squid came out, weird and wonderful anemones with lots of blood worms to play with! An action packed day was had, trying to see as much of Little Cayman as possible!
Wednesday. Where is the week going! Nancy’s Cup of Tea greeted the early divers at 6am! My favourite dive of the week. Waking up with the reef, fish, turtles and sharks. The critters and divers alike all moving slow and easy, meandering down the wall, around the pinnacle, through the black corals, searching for ancient anchors dating back to the 1600’s – alas we can’t stay down here forever and breakfast is waiting! Three Fathom Wall and Marilyns Cut. A spectacular dive. Where the shear wall of Bloody Bay, meets Shark Alley and the Jackson Bight. Several crevices running through the edge of the wall make for some fun dives, spotted eels, hog fish, giant groupers and spectacular sponge formations, and a turtle right under the boat having a photo shoot with everyone! The last site before we set sail is Great Wall. The most impressive wall, shear, a tapestry of colourful sponges, black corals and of course the original friendly grouper, Freddy. Everyone got some attention from Freddy, we all fell in love with him, before saying farewell to this Gem of an Island! It’s Happy Hour and time to start the journey back to the Main Island.
Thursday. A serene crossing was had, everyone got a great nights sleep, to wake up on the West Bay of Grand Cayman. Round Rock & Trinity Caves was our morning site. Two dives sites for the price of one! An easy swim along the wall to the caves and long tunnels at Trinity! A green moray made an appearance on both dives, lots of Angel Fish and File Fish about the reef today. A short cruise over to Bonnies Arch for only one dive on this natural phenomenon. A stunning large Archway encrusted with Corals was the backdrop to a Group Photo. We had an entourage of Large Mutton Snapper on the lookout for Lionfish, they did find a large Lionfish nestled inside a healthy Bommie. Lots of Yellow Headed Jaw Fish, very wary of the low flying snappers. Two Drum Fish, one an adult, majestic with her markings, along with lots of other sightings. Time to move again! Angel Fish Reef where we had an incredible encounter with a friendly Nurse Shark. Little did we know that Chris was a shark whisperer and masseuse! Kingsley’s famous Turkey Dinner is waiting, also time for the slideshow and yes Happy Hour!
Friday. Where has the week gone to? Kicking off the morning with Eagle Ray Rock. An old favourite. Deep sections of reef smothered in soft corals, chromis and wrasse. Keeping our eyes peeled for the namesake rays, also large turtles feeding. Devil’s Grotto finished off our week of diving Cayman style! Famous for the shallow swim throughs and schools of Tarpon. It is a fun site, plenty of sunlight, and time to explore before heading back to the boat one last time. All that’s left is to wash down our gear pack our bags and drink a cold one or two at the farewell party. Plenty of awards this week, a special congratulations to Amy completing her Nitrox Course. Thanks to the team from Amber Waves for making this week a very entertaining, safe week of Eating Sleeping & Diving Aggressor style.
Until next time
The Crew of the Cayman Aggressor IV