Belize Aggressor III Captain’s Log
June 11-18, 2016
Sea State: light chop to choppy
Avg. Air Temp: 86F
Avg. Water Temp: 80F
Avg. Visibility: 80-100ft +
Stewardess - Vanessa
Instructors – Andre & Daniel
Deck Asst - Jadiel
Saturday June 11, 2016
3:00 PM – Guest board
This week we had 17 guests. Welcome aboard Merri, Kylie, Moriah, Joshua, Patricia, Brian, Ken, Jim, Garry, Jodie, Kara, Kayte, Beth, Kenji, Judi, Joanne, & John.
Sunday June 12, 2016
Dive Sites: Sandy Slope & Julie’s Jungle
One of the first things we saw to start the week off was and Eagle Ray. It swam right up to some of the divers on the check-out dive. Friendly groupers tagged along, and several lobster waved their antennas around. There were schools of Creole wrasse, jacks, and mahogany snappers throughout the dive. In the sand we found a Southern stingray, yellow head jawfish, peacock flounder, garden eels, pipefish, pipehorses, head shield slugs, and a lined Elysia. Groups of tarpon came out later, and we saw dozens of tiny squid, and an octopus. A huge scorpion fish was hiding in plain sight on the top of the reef, and we found several lettuce sea slugs and white speckled nudibranchs.
Monday June 13, 2016
Dive Sites: Long Caye Ridge & X-Site
We had a great day of diving at Long Caye Ridge and X-Site. We did not even have to go far, below the boat was a school of Horse-eye jacks, bar jacks, and Bermuda Chubs. As we descended, we were swarmed by Creole wrasse. We could see a Caribbean Reef shark circling at depth down the wall, while another was swimming on top of the reef in the shallows…then we saw another coming along the edge of the drop-off. A hawksbill cruised by, but didn’t stay around, and then a massive whiptail stingray glided along the sandy bottom…it had to be over 5ft across. We also went on a neck crab hunt…we found 11. There were beautiful sponges along the top of the reef as well as down the wall. X-Site also has some of the most beautiful and lush deep water gorgonians of any of our sites. It was just a great day of diving on some beautiful dive sites. One of the coolest things today was to watch a green moray grab a lionfish, it stalked it and then snatched it out of mid-water. Good to see that they are starting to hunt them.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Dive Sites: Blue Hole & Silver Caves
We did one dive at the world famous Blue Hole on Wednesday morning. The Blue Hole is a natural monument and world heritage site, and divers come from all over the world to explore the massive stalactite formations at the depths below.
After the Blue Hole we went for a short island excursion on Half Moon Caye, another natural monument and world heritage site. Half Moon Caye is home to a colony of over 4,000 red-foot booby birds that nest on the island along with the magnificent frigate birds.
After having some cheeseburgers in Paradise for lunch, we headed to Silver Caves where we had some great dives for the rest of the day. On the first afternoon dive we found a pregnant black seahorse hanging on to a red rope sponge…when we went back to find it, we found another black seahorse on another red rope sponge (this one did not look pregnant). We also saw Eagle Rays, Caribbean Reef sharks, and 2 hawksbill turtles…one was down below us as we looked at a seahorse, and the other was feeding on the edge of the wall along with some Queen Angelfish. We also found 3 types of morays…the green, the spotted, and the golden tail. We also found some neck crabs, flamingo tongues, gobies, blennies, skeleton shrimp, and a hamner’s tritonia nudibranch. There were numerous squid, nudibranchs, eels, crabs, and 5 octopi on the night dive.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Dive Sites: Half Moon Caye Wall & Painted Wall
Today was another exciting day of diving. We could see Southern stingrays in the sand below as we made our descent, and a Caribbean reef shark swam lazily as we made our way down the drop-off. Later in the dive, 2 other Caribbean reef sharks came by…one was a small one and the other was a big fat mama. A hawksbill turtle swam up above us, while groupers and barracuda were in abundance throughout the dive. In the sandy area we saw another shark and a gigantic Eagle ray. There were also hundreds of garden eels and razor fish, peacock flounder, pipehorses, flapping dingbats, and 4 different types of head shield slugs.
For the remainder of the day, we saw more sharks, morays, turtles, and another Eagle ray. There were also lots of beautiful reef fish all over the place, making it feel like we were swimming inside and aquarium.
Dive Sites: Nurse Shark Ridge & Long Caye Wall
Our final full dive day of the week was one for the books…not only did we have great visibility, but there were lots to see. Today the sharks were out in full force…we had sharks next to us, in front, below, and above. We even saw a shark on the surface from the boat…we also saw dolphins and a turtle from the boat today. As we cruised the wall, 2 Caribbean reef sharks were cruising below criss-crossing each other. One of them almost collided with a small hawksbill turtle, but they both veered away at the last minute…quite funny. As we stopped along the wall to look at 2 seahorses and some decorator crabs, the sharks continued zig-zagging below as they waited to accompany on our dive. Another shark was competing with a giant cubera snapper for a fish…the shark got the fish. We saw about 8 different reef sharks. A beautiful Eagle Ray swam by, but didn’t hang around too long. We also saw some cool nudibranchs and a scorpionfish.
Dive Sites: “Shark City” & Triple Anchor
Though we did not see any sharks at Shark City, we did have to fantastic morning dives to finish off the week…one at Lighthouse Reef and one at Turneffe. We saw turtles, eels, and Eagle Rays, as well as schools of Horse-eye jacks and Creole wrasse. There were lobsters all over the reef, and lots of other fish scurrying about. Two great dives to finish off a great week.
Congrats to our Milestone divers…Josh – 100 dives, Beth – 300 dives, Jim – 500 dives, and Judi – 900 dives.
Congrats to Judi, Jim, Beth, Kayte, Brian, Josh, Ken, and Kenji for doing all the dives this week and becoming Belize Aggressor III IRON DIVERS!!!
Thank you all for a GREAT week!
EAT, SLEEP, & DIVE!