Charter 18-25 June 2016
Water Temp 29C/84F Air Temp 80sF
We have a full boat this week, a big welcome to our 17 guests from all over the United States. Welcome back Fred, Diane and Ken; it is always a pleasure having these folks on – part of the family. For some divers this is their first time ever on a Liveaboard adventure, you are about to be spoiled! A few keen Photographers this week, so everyone was keen to board, unpack and set up their equipment. Everyone was aboard by 5pm, a welcome drink was waiting to start up the engines, we untied the lines and we are off. A BBQ Rib dinner and a relaxing evening moored up in West Bay.
Sunday- A perfect sunrise over the bay! We wake to the smell of Eggs, sausages and potatoes cooking for breakfast. Once all divers were fed and loaded on coffee, briefed on the site and Marine Park regulations it was a race to get off the boat. The Doc Poulson was first on the agenda. A very picturesque wreck laid to rest in 50ft of water. Sandy bottom so watch for Eagle Rays and Stingrays feeding. A turtle was found chowing down on the sponge with two Angelfish pickup up scraps. Cathy was lucky enough to encounter some squid on top of the shallow reef! A great start to the week. A quick relocation of the boat to dive the Kittiwake, a former USA navy submarine tender that was intentionally sank over five years ago. The water clarity was phenomenal as we explored this large ship. Another turtle greeted us on the Kittiwakes stern, a large school of silver sides swirled inside the compressor room, lots of photo and video were shot all over this wreck. Alex got some great selfies posing in the crew mess!
Monday- Waking up on Bloody Bay Wall and a superb cooked breakfast thanks to Alan. We had a full briefing, and we are ready…Randys Gazebo was our first site and here we enjoyed descending into the blue, Cruising the drop off, exploring the chimneys and swimming through the Gazebo. Turtles and friendly groupers guided the way, lobsters and schools of Chromis decorated the wall edge, and lettuce leaf slugs were abundant. This was a stunning dive and perfect introduction to Little Cayman. Meadows was the afternoon site and what a great afternoon it was. What a show case of Cayman Diving. Down on the wall, our resident reef sharks came by to check us out, and to escort us along the wall. Swim through taking us under the main reef. Cosmo, the friendly Nassau grouper came by and so did several turtles and even a nurse shark. The night dive was almost a full house, with KC doing his first ever night dive, accompanied by 12 other guests!! We hit the Jackpot with 5 Octopuses. Each buddy group had their own personal Octopus to photograph! All the usual suspects including channel crabs, sharks, lobsters, eels, sleeping turtles, feeding basket stars were out and about along with a couple of turtles fast asleep in La La Land. A fantastic Night Dive!!
Tuesday- Lea Leas Lookout was our AM site. Here we get to enjoy the crevice that runs from the 20ft shallows out to the wall at 100ft, 2 spotted drums, spotted file fish, a green eel, more lobsters than we could all eat, and we all have clean hands thanks to the cleaning Gobies. This place was just teeming with life today, the edge of the wall swarming with wrasse and chromis, Groupers of all types hanging out ready to catch their next meal and a large turtle, fast asleep in the shallows with many divers snapping his picture – just like we did to Fred when he was sleeping in the Salon during breakfast this morning! 3 Fathom wall was up next, this dive site is always a favorite. This is where the shear Bloody Bay Wall meets the knarled wall of the Jackson Bight. Swim throughs, giant crabs, Yellow Headed Jaw fish, Lobsters peering out at us, with sightings of 2 friendly turtles, and schools of Grunts and Snapper on top of the Wall. We enjoyed a Dinner Cruise to Cayman Brac and a Night Dive on the Wreck of the 356 Keith Tibbetts. There were at least three Octopuses out hunting on the wreck, Scorpion Fish, massive crabs and lots of eyes looking at us! A great dive and superb day! Hot Chocolate to top it off and a night filled with editing and looking at the days shots.
Wednesday- morning dawned – a delicious breakfast of French toast, then straight in to discover the Wreck by day. A great dive was had exploring the ins and outs of this purpose sunk ship. From the Bow to Stern, Wheelhouse, Engine Room and of course the Big Guns! Burgers in Paradise as we traveled back to Little Cayman for our next site- Donnas Delight and Marilyns Cut. Fantastic Bloody Bay Wall leading to a natural cut into the wall, a swim through and popping out on top of the wall. As we were meandering back along the edge of the shear drop off among soft corals, sponges, and a constant array of fish life. Just incredible, a few guests had to pinch themselves to be sure they werent dreaming. The final stop for the day was Bus Stop. Can I just say WOW! Swimming past an ancient anchor through a natural tunnel under the reef, emerging out at 100 where we were met by three Reef Sharks. Very inquisitive, and giving all divers the once over as they swam with us all along the wall, even following us back under the reef up into the shallows. Turtles were also thrown into the mix, we didnt know where to look, All good fun. But dont forget about the Sailfin Blennies who were very brave coming out of their holes to show us who is boss! Todd and Chad seemed in a hurry to get back on board with a Large Barracuda eyeing them up.
Thursday- An awesome pre breakfast dive at Nancys Cup of Tea. A little hazy this morning added to the mystic of dawn and the reef waking up around us. A very inquisitive reef shark was hunting for her breakfast, coming close to us all!! Who needs coffee when you have a shark to wake you up! Discovering ancient anchors along the inside wall as we made our way back to the boat for a well deserved breakfast. A quick stop in at Joys Joy – all the big stuff was waiting for us! A loggerhead turtle right under the boat, he was giant!! It was very impressive. Then along came a Goliath Grouper! Only one more site left to do, The Great Wall. Here we enjoyed lots of lobsters, flounders, feeding hawks bill turtles, giant crabs going about their business and of course Freddie the original friendly grouper came out to say goodbye to us all before we headed back over to Grand Cayman.
Friday- Fridays always come too fast, the West Bay Big tunnels site was our first dive. A series of cuts, caves, crevices and tunnels make for a fun dive with abundant life and color. An Array of Angel Fish to complete any ID Book, but we cant stay too long as Devils Grotto is up next. This week we enjoyed the caves with shafts of sunlight dancing down among them – amazing sight to see. A Bonus dive was had for some while lunch was being served; it was a search and recovery mission for Mikes Dive Computer he decided to throw off the boat! Manny found it, so all ended well.
All too soon it is time to wash down the dive gear, pack those bags, and scrub down the boat. A cocktail Party and a few awards!! Congratulations to Cathy, Alex, Todd, KC and Chad for completing their Nitrox course on board. Congrats to Fred on doing his 25th Trip with Aggressor! He really is part of the family. Thanks to Diane and Ken for all the Chocolate, keeping everyone loaded on sugar. A big shout out to Chad and KC who are off to Trinity University the Naval Academy! Thank you to everyone this week for an incredible week both above and below the water. We look forward to seeing you all again for another week of Eating Sleeping and Diving aboard the Cayman Aggressor IV.
The CAIV Capt and Crew