Cayman Aggressor IV
May 7th to 14th 2016
Saturday : It was our great pleasure and privilege to welcome back Mike Haber and the Jim Church School of Underwater Photography. Mike Haber and business partner Mike Mesgleski tutored under the great Jim Church and their wealth of knowledge in the realm on underwater picture taking is second to none. Saturday afternoon was spent getting gear set up and Mike wasted no time in getting the week long photo course under way.
Sunday : The weather gods sent us an unseasonably late Nor’wester and so we aimed the glass south and headed for Bullwinkle as an opening dive. Just about everybody had a big camera and the first dive was to make sure all system were a go and firing properly. Bullwinkle offers very cool swim thru’s with amazing natural light along with all kinds of macro life, lettuce leaf slugs and sailfin blennys were big hits along with large tarpon for the wide angle shooters. For the afternoon and nightdive we headed a little further east to Pedros Castle that offered just about everything, a wall drop off with coral adorned pinnacles, delightful over hangs and swim thru’s with healthy reef and small critters. The nightdive brought forward all kinds of critters, lobsters and eels, banded shrimp and channel crab but the ace star of any night dive is an octopus and we were entertained by 3 octopi for almost 20 minutes, all agreed it was a great way to end a great day of diving.
Monday: We awoke to a splendid west bay sunrise and started a day of reef/wreck adventure. First stop was the Doc Poulson, a Cayman favourite, were we had a friendly turtle along with stingrays feeding in the sand. This little shipreef is adorned with bright corals and the added feature of lots of small critters. The afternoon was spent at the USS Kittiwake and our photo happy gang descend on a site that had cover shot photo ops just about everywhere. An eagle ray was a very big hit and a small turtle over the reef was snap many times. The night produced several lionfish, lobster and a channel crab and ended yet another great day of diving aboard the Cayman Aggressor.
Tuesday : A bright ball of sunlight was creeping up over Grand Cayman as we made our way to Round Rock/Trinity Caves for a sheer wall dive with very cool swims and caverns. Right off the bat we bumped into a small and somewhat curious turtle that posed nicely for photos and almost right away a free swimming green moray eel cruised right by oblivious to the strobes and bubbles. Next up was world famous Sting Ray city and it was especially clear and bright blue day. We had several Southern Sting Rays gracefully cruising between our group. Strobes fired and shutters shuttered and all in the group got out of the water with more String Ray shots than they had thought possible. Kingsley served up a scrumcious Italian lunch as we made our way to Bayblon on the north east end of Grand Cayman. The lush wall top and coral adorned pinnacle had was wide angle heaven to our photo keen and eager dive gang. Another free swimming moral eel added to the dive along with a loggerhead turtle that did a drive by. All was then stowed and made ready for our crossing to Little Cayman.
Wednesday : We awoke to a delightful Little Cayman sunrise and it was a welcome sight after a we bumped and rolled our ay here the night before. Randys Gazebo was first choice of dive spot this morning and as it always is, it was a big hit. The visibility at Randys was easily 100ft and we had all kinds of photo ops just about everywhere we looked. Turtles and Groupers seemed to be the order of the dive. As Kingsley served up juicy cheeseburgers we made the short run to a dive site known as Bus Stop were we made 2 afternoon and a twilight/nightdive. The Jim Church School of Underwater photography was by now in full swing as seasoned photo instructor Mike Haber continued his twice daily classes and judging by the photos the gang were taking, Mike was definitely doing something right. Sailfin Blenny and Yellow headed Jawfish were the Macro hits at Bus Stop along with a grey reef shark patrolling the blue.
Thursday : The started with a dawn dive at 3 Fathom wall and what a way to start the day. We had numerous schooling fish right under the boat along with a curious nurse shark swimming freely in and around the group and then settled in the sand for a rest oblivious to the cameras and strobes getting busy around it. Lobsters and Jawfish were again framed in view finders along with a friendly turtle that lazily swam thru the group. As Kingsley served up Tenderlion Cubano with Mango Mojo we made the short hop to the Meadows for our final 2 dives at Bloody Bay before our 90 mile run back to Grand Cayman. The Meadows is always a Bloody Bay must see with its diverse mix of macro life, atmospheric swim thru’s and possible pelagic life. In the end it was the Groupers that stole the show and hogged all the limelight, they posed and styled for the cameras and gave the photo happy gang a royal Bloody Bay send off and the chorus on the dive deck from everybody was….. “we’ll be back”.
Friday : After a gentle rolling crossing from Little Cayman we awoke at Grand Cayman for a dive at Big Tunnels, a which is regarded as one of the best wall sites around Grand Cayman. The wall top starts at 50ft and falls away quickly to 6000ft, the swims thrus and tunnels make for great underwater fun and as we nearly always do, we had cool turtle inter-action. Kingsley served up mouth watering chocolate chip brownies as we made our way across west bay to the dive site known as Devils Grotto, which is always a popular spot. The gullys and swim thru’s offer amazing burst of light falling down thru the coral structure and the resident Tarpon were about in good numbers and posing for photos. And so another funfilled week on board the Cayman Aggressor IV. Thanks again to Mike Haber of the Jim Church School of Underwater Photography for being such an amiable teacher and for bringing us fun loving group.
Until Next Week
Cayman Aggressor Crew