Belize Aggressor III Captain’s Log
May 7-14, 2015
Sea State: choppy
Avg. Air Temp: 86F
Avg. Water Temp: 80F
Avg. Visibility: 80-100ft (some days it was about 200ft)
Stewardess - Vanessa
Engineer - Fermin
Instructor - Daniel
Most of our guests this week are aggressor veterans…some have been on numerous vessels around the world and some have been aboard the Belize Aggressor III with us in the past. This week we welcomed Kim, Gayle, Jeff, Andy, Skeeter, Andrea, Jim, Paula, Dusty, June, Phil, Alan, Robert, Randy, Deborah, Dianne, Bill, and Monica. Here’s to a fun filled and safe week of diving!
Sunday May 8, 2016
Dive Sites: Sandy Slope & Zip line
The week started with beautiful weather and great diving. After doing some buoyancy and weight checks, we descended below to explore the site. Right away, just below the boat, we saw a Southern stingray gliding along the sandy bottom. As we started off, we found a Peacock flounder and a Pipe fish, and then 2 Yellow head Jaw fish that were incubating eggs in their mouths. Along the wall we found lobster, morays, scorpion fish, neck crabs, and loads of shrimp. We swam amongst schools of Creole wrasse and mahogany snappers. An Eagle ray was too busy feeding in the sand to notice the excited divers looking on, and we almost missed the tiny hawksbill as it lazily swam past. Below the boat, just before our safety stop, we found a yellow stingray, 2 seahorses, 3 Pipe horses, and 4 pipe fish…this is the 3rd week in a row that we have found the trifecta of the seahorse family. What an awesome first day of diving.
Monday May 9, 2016
Dive Sites: Julie’s Jungle & Painted Wall
After spending the day diving at Turneffe Atoll yesterday, we did the crossing over to Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Today we started off at Julie’s Jungle, jumping in amidst a school of horse-eye jacks that were circling below the boat. This site is home to numerous beautiful and massive sponges, including a barrel sponge that is over 10ft tall. As we swam around, we came across hundreds of blue chromis feeding mid water. There were also lots of Queen, French, and Gray Angelfish as well as some huge Trumpet fish feeding. At the end of the dive we saw a beautiful green moray out swimming, and a loggerhead turtle headed to the surface for a breath.
For the afternoon and night dives, we went over to Painted Wall. This site gets its name from the painted tunicates that inhabit the wall. It can also be called Painted Wall just from all the color you see from the reefs and marine life. The entire time we cruised the wall there was a steady stream of fish running along. We had schools of Creole wrasse, Rainbow runners, blue chromis, permit, Yellow tail snappers, bar jacks, Parrotfish, Black durgon, Sergeant majors, blue tangs, Bermuda chubs, and horse eye jacks. We also saw a moray resting, another loggerhead, and an eagle ray in the shallows, 4 octopi, and a toad fish. Nice easy relaxing dives today.
Tuesday May 10, 2016
Dive Sites: Blue Hole & Long Caye Wall
Tuesday morning we visited 2 World Heritage Sites…the Great Blue Hole for a dive, and Half Moon Caye Natural Monument for an island excursion. The Blue Hole is known for massive stalactite formation hanging down at the depths below, while Half Moon Caye is nesting grounds for a colony of over 4000 white-phased Red-Foot Booby Birds, as well as the Magnificent Frigate Bird.
In the afternoon, we went over to Long Caye wall for our afternoon and night dives. We saw an Eagle Ray, several morays, lots of tarpon, black groupers, octopus, squid, neck crabs, and lettuce sea slugs.
Wednesday May 11, 2016
Dive Sites: Eagle Ray Pass & Site X
Eagle Ray Pass was the first site of the day. It’s called Eagle Ray Pass because of a sandy area that is nearby and Eagle rays sometimes feed there…well, they sometimes will pass this site on their way. For the afternoon we headed over to Site X, which has great diversity…sand chutes, a wall drop off, scattered coral heads, swim throughs, and magnificent marine life. There is a great coral reef and magnificent sponge life, as well as hundreds of different species of fish. Todays sightings included hawksbill turtles, Eagle Rays, barracuda, black grouper, Nassau grouper, moray eels, channel clinging crabs, tarpon, King mackerel, Cero mackerel, horse-eye jacks, spotted drums, and lettuce sea slugs to name a few.
Thursday May 12, 2016
Dive Sites: Half Moon Caye Wall &
Thursday morning started with 2 great dives at Half Moon Caye Wall. As soon as we dropped down we found a Pipe horse hiding out in the grass beds. As we made our way to the wall, we saw hogfish, schools of blue parrotfish, French Angels, tons of garden eels and Razor fish, a flounder, and some goat fish feeding in the sand. At the edge of the drop off, we were greeted by a hawksbill turtle that literally swam right up to the divers. Down a little ways, we encountered an Eagle ray that was lazily gliding by along the wall, and then a Caribbean Reef Shark came up close and personal before heading off into the depths. As we headed to the mooring, we found a flapping ding bat; saw several stingrays, barracuda, groupers, and jacks. We spent some time looking at the concrete block that we were moored on, and found some juvenile angelfish, squat lobsters, and Sail fin blennies.
The afternoon was spent at Silver Caves over by Long Caye. We dropped into the swim-through and came out on the wall. There were hundreds of Creole wrasse passing as we came out. Some black grouper were down below on the wall, and barracuda were hovering out in the blue. A small hawksbill ignored the divers while it ate sponges. There were also numerous reef fish hustling and bustling about, and on the evening dive we saw black durgon, trunkfish, Creole wrasse, and blue tangs spawning.
On the night dive, we had silver sides everywhere, and that brought in the tarpon to feed. We found some white speckled nudibranch and lettuce sea slugs. Lobsters were out walking around, including a Spanish lobster. We watched an octopus feeding for a while before running off, and saw over 200 squid. Squid were everywhere, and we saw 4 species…the Caribbean reef squid, arrow squid, grass squid, and large eye squid. Last week we found a baby barracuda about 2 inches long, and tonight we found another one, very rare sighting on back to back weeks.
Friday May 13, 2016
Dive Sites: Quebrada
We jumped in at Quebrada for our pre-breakfast dive to amazing visibility, it seemed limitless. We had 2 great dives to finish off the week, with sightings of a loggerhead, a hawksbill, a huge Cubera snapper, lots of horse-eye jacks, groupers, and a trio of Eagle Rays. It was and awesome week with beautiful weather, amazing viz, great marine life, and a wonderful group of people. We Hope to see you all again soon.
Congrats to Robert and Alan for reaching 200 dives this week.
Andrea, Skeeter, Jim, Gayle, and Kim did all the dives this week and became our newest IRON DIVERS on the Belize Aggressor III. CONGRATS!!!
Thank you all for a GREAT week!
EAT, SLEEP, & DIVE!