Belize Aggressor III Captain’s Log
April 30 – May 7, 2015
Sea State: light chop to choppy
Air Temp: 87F
Water Temp: 80F
Steward – Randy
Instructors – Andre & Daniel
Sunday May 1, 2016
Dive Sites: Sandy Slope & Julie’s Jungle
The week started with an exciting day of diving…we saw EVERYTHING!!! After doing the dive deck safety briefing, our eager divers hopped in for a buoyancy check and then descended to explore our first dive site of the day, Sandy Slope, on Turneffe Atoll. The excitement started with sightings of 2 seahorses, 3 pipe horses, and 6 pipe fish…the Trifecta of the seahorse family! As we continued our dive, we had sightings of Eagle Rays, Southern stingrays, peacock flounder, several hermit crabs, neck crabs, lots of shrimp and cleaning stations, a Jaw fish with eggs, loads of garden eels and Razor fish, Sargassum trigger fish, spotted drum, green and spotted morays, lobsters, and the usual variety of reef fish such as Angels, groupers, snappers, hamlets, damsel fish, gobies, blennies, butterfly fish, etc. We also found the white spotted toad fish, which is indigenous to Turneffe Atoll. The surprise sighting was a rare appearance of an 8ft bull shark. After lunch, we headed over to Lighthouse Reef Atoll. As we were transiting, a small pod of bottle nose dolphins swam along with the boat for a little while.
Our afternoon and night dives were awesome as well. We had a huge green moray swimming along the reef below the divers, saw more of the usual reef fish that inhabit our waters, checked out some barracuda and groupers, spotted some white speckled nudibranch and lettuce sea slugs, and found a sleeping green turtle. We also found lots of squid, including a squadron of about 3 dozen of them, and watched an octopus gliding along the reef. Another cool thing was a baby barracuda that was about an inch and a half long. Not bad for the first day.
Monday May 2, 2016
Dive Sites: Eagle Ray Pass & Long Caye Wall
Monday’s first dive site was called Eagle Ray Pass, which made our divers hopeful to see some Eagle Rays, and it did not disappoint. We also saw green morays, turtles, Scorpion fish, and a Black tip reef shark.
Tuesday May 3, 2016
Dive Sites: Blue Hole & Silver Caves
Tuesday we visited Belize’s most popular dive site, the Great Blue Hole. This site is a natural monument in Belize, and World Heritage Site. On this dive, we dropped down to explore massive stalactite formations formed thousands of years ago when the Blue Hole was once a cave above ground.
Next we did our island excursion on another natural monument and World Heritage Site, Half Moon Caye. This island is home to a colony of around 4000 white phased Red-Footed booby birds that nest along with the Magnificent Frigate bird.
We spent the afternoon at Silver Caves, where the great dives continued. There were tons of Horse-eyed Jacks and a squadron of 18 Tarpon just hanging out below the boat. Along the wall we saw an Eagle Ray and a shark down below, and a pair of king mackerel scurried past the group.
Wednesday May 4, 2016
Dive Sites: Half Moon Caye Wall & Chain Wall
Today we had some awesome weather, amazing visibility, and great dives at Half Moon Caye Wall and Chain wall. We dropped off down the wall, had fun with swim-throughs, observed the marine life and corals, on top of the reef, and finished off the dives exploring the sand and grass beds. Off the wall we saw Caribbean Reef sharks, Eagle rays, barracuda, mackerel, Creole wrasse, and groupers. As we came back over the top of the wall, we ran into a massive Loggerhead turtle swimming along the sandy bottom. We stopped to look neon gobies cleaning a grouper at their cleaning station, and then a school of Bar Jacks surrounded us as we made our way back to the boat. We also saw several Southern stingrays, garden eels, razor fish, blue parrotfish, midnight parrotfish, peacock flounder, Pipe horses, and a flapping dingbat. Two more turtles showed up, a hawks bill and a green sea turtle.
Thursday May 5, 2016
Dive Sites: Tarpon Caves & Grand Bogue
We had a fantastic day of diving on our last full dive day of the week. First we dropped in at Tarpon Caves, before we did the crossing from Lighthouse Reef to Turneffe Atoll to finish our dive day at Grand Bogue. As soon as we hopped in, we found a Nassau grouper laying in the sand like it was posing for pictures, above that a small green turtle swam passed us and headed down the wall. We continued along the top of the reef to find a swim-through called “The Chimney”, and on the way there a huge loggerhead turtle swam right up to us then swooped up above us and headed to the surface for air. As we dropped down the chimney, we saw several lobsters out walking and a giant Lion fish hiding in the cavern. The chimney brought us out on the wall and we continued along before making our way back up via another swim-through. We stopped to watch a Southern stingray feeding in the sand. As we headed back to the boat along the top of the reef, we were visited by 2 Caribbean reef sharks and an Eagle Ray.
Our last night dive of the week was great! One of the first things we found was a Lettuce Sea Slug. We also found a Lined Sole, several Big Eye Squid, a baby Caribbean Reef Squid, a White Spotted Toadfish, several channel clinging crabs, an octopus, a giant Rough Tail Stingray, and several eels. There were also numerous different species of shrimp and crabs, we saw loads of sleeping Parrot fish, and at the end, as we watched 2 Southern stingrays we were surrounded by hundreds of tiny silver fish.
Friday May 6, 2016
Dive Sites: Front Porch & Black Beauty
We finished off the week’s diving on the Southern tip of Turneffe Atoll. A green moray escorted our divers around the dive site for most of the dive. We also found a spotted toadfish, several spotted morays, lobsters, a Hawks bill turtle and tons of jacks below the boat
Congrats to Mike on reaching 200 dives and Andy for reaching 100 dives this week!
Also, congrats to Andy on getting his Rescue diver, deep dive specialty, and search and recovery specialty.
Congrats to Andy on doing all the dives along with Todd and Masahiro, our 3 newest IRON DIVERS on the Belize Aggressor III.
Thank you all for a GREAT week!
EAT, SLEEP, & DIVE!