Cayman Aggressor IV Captain’s Log
Charter Date: 16th-23rd April 2016
Weather: Air Temp 80’s, Water Temp 81F
Saturday: Welcome aboard to our guests, Welcome back to Kirk, Ed & Mike!! After a busy day we are ready for another action packed week of eating, sleeping and diving. Our Super Chef Kingsley impressed everyone with his Super Saturday BBQ Ribs and Chicken.
Sunday: A bright ball of sunshine greeted us as we cruised across the west bay of Grand Cayman heading for our first dive of the day at the Wreck of the Doc Poulson. We had visibility in the range of 100ft as this delightful wreck that is now so adorned with coral growth it can be described as a ShipReef and is so close to the drop off that it was easy to combine the two in a single dive. Camera friendly turtles seem to be the order of the day both on the Doc Poulson and the 2nd dive site of the day, the wreck of the Oro Verde. On both sites turtles seemed to pose for photo & video, one turtle literally kissed the camera. Our 1st night dive of the week was on the Oro Verde and we most of our eager dive gang braved the 80 degree water to be rewarded with a flamed scallop pulsated wonderful colours, several large sleeping parrot fish, 3 spiny lobster out walking on the sand, a very impressive looking channel crab and last but by no means least we found the most prized critter of any nightdive, a delightful octopus that was out hunting and displaying the most vibrant colours. And so ended our first day with the group sipping hot chocolate with baileys all looking forward to doing it all again the very next day.
Monday: A brisk wind was blowing as we made our way to Round Rock/Trinity Caves but a brisk wind would not stop our eager dive gang, fuelled nicely on a delicious and hearty breakfast from chef Kingsley we descend to explore the many swims thrus and tunnels that this amazing site offers. A free swimming moral eel had the attention of the photographers while yet another friendly turtle cruise by. The visibility was easily over 100ft and with little or no current it all added up to a splendid dive. For the afternoon and night we headed to the wreck of the USS Kittiwake and half way thru the briefing we realized we had of the guests, Kirk, had actually served on this ship in his 20 years in the US Navy and so could tell us so much more about the ship than we could learn from any book, kirk very obligingly pointed out which part of the vessel was housed crew and officers and even led our Capt to the Kittiwake Capts quarters, hats off to Kirk for adding such a special touch to our week of diving.
Tuesday: Saw us head north to Big Tunnels for 2 morning dives and this dive site always proves a very popular spot. As the name suggests there is a large tunnel along with a labyrinth of smaller swims thru, tunnels and overhangs. It really is a photographers haven, everywhere you look there are natural corals windows of all sizes to shot thru. We had at least 4 turtle encounters on the dive but the highlight was most certainly a loggerhead turtle that was easily 7ft in length, this immense and majestic creature must be 50 yrs old. Another smaller turtle spent at least 20 minutes munching on some sponge with 2 french angelfish joining in for the meal and then to end the dive we found the cutest juvenile spotted drum at the base of the mooring. For our first afternoon dive we made the short journey to Bonnies Arch which made for a very nice contrast to the mornings dive. The Arch itself proved very popular with the photographers especially upon finding 2 large lionfish posing nicely there. A free swimming eel and a small turtle added nicely to this easy dive. For a late afternoon and night dive we headed for Angel Fish Reef. Angel Fish Reef sits just off shore from the residency of Her Majesty the Queens emissary to the Cayman Islands and the dive is certainly fit for royalty, long fingers of vibrant coral extend out in the sand and host all kinds of reef critters, we again had a friendly turtle come by and a delightful juvenile spotted drum did its dance ritual right under the boat.
Wednesday: Saw us put the glass on 180 degrees and head to the south side of Grand Cayman to dive some rarely visited sites. First up was Bullwinkle, a site named after the famed cartoon character because there is an abundance stands of Elkhorn coral that adorn the site. The topography here is cavernous and also home to dozens of tarpon. Tarpon move slowly and deliberately and are a fantastic subject for the patient photographer. The visibility was at least 100ft and the pourous way the natural light falls thru the cracks and gully’s make it truly atmospheric. As we cruised further east to Pedros castle Kingsley served up the best cheese burgers that paradise could experience. At Pedros we again visibility in the 100ft range with sightings of eagle rays, nurse sharks, lionfish, slipper lobster and juvenile spotted drums and the nightdive seemed to be a festival of spiny lobster, if we saw 1 we saw at least 20. A sleeping nurse shark that awaoke and seemed to want its photo taken was one of the many highlights of the dive. As we cruised back to the west bay of Grand Cayman under starlit sky with a gentle following sea, all were in agreement that we had a great day and all were in anticipation of another day just like it on the way.
Thursday : We awoke early and put 0 degrees on the glass aiming for the north wall of Grand Cayman. First stop was Hammerhead Hill for a sheer wall dive with 100ft visibility. Schooling jacks and friendly turtles seem to be the order of the morning. The sea fans that adorn the wall here are as plenty full as they are vibrant and stand ready for any willing photographer. Next up was world famous Sting Ray City which is arguably the best 12ft dive on the planet. The wind was steady from the east and a slight current made the water as clear as clear can be. We had about a dozen Rays gracefully cruise among the group and pose nicely for photos. First timers and Sting Ray City veterans thought the dive was great fun and well worth the price of admission. While Kingsley served up a sumptuous Caribbean curry we headed east to the rarely visited area known as Babylon. The lush wall and towering pinnacles had everyone entertained and yet another friendly turtle drifted lazily thru the group. A twilight/nightdive finished off the day with several lobster, a sleeping turtle and an octopus out hunting.
Friday: And sadly as our week came to an end we splashed into Neptunes wall on the west side of Grand Cayman, the water was true blue and visibility in excess of 100ft with flat calm ocean. Blue chromis littered the reef top like confetti as a school of blue tangs swam busily along. Yet another camera friendly turtle appeared for an early morning photo. As we cruised across west bay heading for our final dive of the week the sun was now high in the sky offering a bright ball of sunlight that would snake and slip thru the cracks of the coral formation that is Devils Grotto. This site is always a big hit and this week proved no different. The resident tarpon hanging almost motionless in the gullys is a great way to sigh off a week of diving here on the Cayman Aggressor IV. The Capt’s cocktail party had a true Caribbean sunset as a back drop as all talk turned to the next dive trip and which Aggressor was next on the list. Until Next Week
Cayman Aggressor Capt & Crew