Charter Date 16-23 July 2016
Water Temp 30C/84F
Exposure Protection: Shorts and Rashguard or Skin! Drysuit for Suzanne.
Saturday. A hot day in Georgetown, intermittent showers kept the Crew happy as the Cayman Aggressor IV got a few extra fresh water rinses and kept the heat at bay. All 18 guests arrived throughout the day, mostly from the US with the exception of Simonne and Lionel, mother and son dive team from Paris, France! Welcome back familiar faces such as the Ramos Team, and Scott & Suzanne, as well as the new folks. Peter and Leslie have dived most places around the world, first Live Aboard experience was here in Cayman years ago.. they have finally made it back down here to Cayman to enjoy our famous walls and reefs. With all divers aboard nice and early we headed out straight away to Little Cayman, dinner and briefing on the way..
Sunday. After motoring through the night we woke up to watch the Sunrise over Little Cayman and Bloody Bay Wall. Randy’s Gazebo was the first site for the week, we were lucky on this dive to find everything! A Nurse Shark lying in the middle of the Gazebo, another nurse shark tucked under an overhang, Green turtles and hawksbill turtles feeding, bold puffer fish swimming up to divers, lobsters walking around, a green moray eel free swimming, and we haven’t even mentioned the friendly groupers, stunning colours and healthy soft and hard corals of Bloody Bay. Phew!! Of course we jumped back in for a 2nd look at Randy’s before heading down to the Meadows for the afternoon and Night dives. The Jackson Bight delighted us all with its arty formations of sponge life and corals, swim throughs right under the reef, more groupers to entertain us as well as Fric and Frac, the resident reef sharks who were coming close to check us all out. After Red Snapper for dinner we headed back in for the night dive, “not 1, not 2, but 3 Octopus” said Kelly upon return. Lots of photos and stories about weird and wonderful night life discovered, beaded sea cucumbers, lobsters, crabs, feeding corals, large jacks hunting and stingrays gliding around, what an incredible first day of the diving week! Awesome.
Monday. After a good night sleep divers were up early and ready for another action and animal packed day at Little Cayman. First up was Lea Lea’s Lookout, a site famous for its lookout point and cathedral like swim through. Divers explored the ins and outs of the cut throughs and sand patches to find Spotted Drum fish, Fire Worms, Lettuce Leaf Sea Slugs, Turtles, and even get manicures and pedicures from Gobies at cleaning stations. After indulging in a delicious Mexican Monday meal and getting a quick nap in, divers were ready to splash at our next site- Three Fathom Wall. With on and off rain showers above water, we were pleased to find everything to our liking below water. The dives at Three Fathom exceeded diver’s expectations- there were even remarks that it was the best dive site in the World! Critters spotted included Mantis Shrimp, Hawksbill and Loggerhead Turtles, Scorpion fish, Green Moray Eels, and even a Shark. When divers returned we headed out for a sunset dinner cruise to Cayman Brac where we would dive the 356 Russian Destroyer for our night dive. The bar was set high from last night’s dive but after encountering 5 Octopuses, a Venus’ Girdle, Eels, a Slipper Lobster, Cowrie, Spotted Drum Fish, and lots of little red Shrimp, we knew we had last night’s beat.
Tuesday. We spent the morning exploring the Wreck of the Keith Tibbets – sunk 20years ago! Turtle mania on the first dive, Natalie had her own personal photo shoot with a very cooperative turtle, she didn’t even see the wreck! The Ramos Hockey Team gathered on the gun turret, a small turtle delighted all divers, along with the local barracuda! Back on board and lunch inside as we motored back to Little Cayman’s Bus Stop. Get ready for action as we have three dives here, including a dusk dive. Macro heaven here with Yellowheaded Jaw Fish, Sailfin Blennies, Headshield Slugs, stingrays hunting, two eagle rays passing right over us, Nassau groupers, lobsters and of course Fric and Frac patrolling the wall. Happy Hour and Dinner as we move the boat up to the point of the Bay.
Wednesday. This turned out to be “the best day of diving ever!” Kicking the day off with a dawn dive on Nancy’s Cup of Tea. Some great shark encounters, Reef and Nurse, the reef waking up all around us, all before breakfast! Stopping in at Donna’s Delight, everyone was more than delighted with not one, but Two Sea Horses. Rich was the Eagle Eye in this case, a Yellow Sea Horse caught his eye, then a Black Sea Horse commanded attention too! Of course we stayed another dive here so everyone got a chance to see this very special creature. Green turtles, scorpion fish, more Hawksbill Turtles, and yes groupers. Only time for one more dive – this time The Great Wall. You wouldn’t believe it, but along with Freddy the old time Grouper entertaining us all, turtles, nurse sharks, lobsters, Natalie – who eye was now trained found Another Sea Horse!! Yes that’s three in one day! WOW. All divers were more than stoked with the days findings, plenty to download and edit as we make our way back to Grand Cayman.
Thursday. After a smooth crossing from Little Cayman back to Grand Cayman we awoke to a glorious sunrise and a dive site known as Babylon. For us Babylon sits in the goldilocks zone……..its far enough away that day boats rarely visit it and its close enough for us to make the run to and from Little Cayman. The seas were calm and the water was crystal clear as we descended out over the wall and into the blue. The pinnacle at Babylon is a photographers dream, sponges of every hue hang and drape, sea fans stand proud along with coral whips wave lazily over the abyss. Our next stop was on the North wall proper at a divesite know as Hammerhead Hill and although no Hammerhead were spotted we did meet with a camera friendly turtle and explored the cracks and crevices that cut out from the reef and into deep yonder. While our happy gang enjoyed Kingsley’s Caribbean curry lunch we headed for north west point of Grand Cayman and a dive at Bonnies Arch. The arch creates a fantastic natural port hole and is completely coral adorned. We again had a very camera friendly turtle and we also had several type of angel fish along with the biggest trumpet fish any of us had ever seen. To end the day we had Kingsley delicious thanks giving feast and night dive at the Oro Verde. This old Cayman favourite never disappoints and tonight was no exception. Octocpus and grouper, lionfish and parrot fish brought to a close a day of truly classic Cayman Islands diving.
Friday. A short hop from the Oro Verde to the Kittiwake made for an easy start to the day as waffles and eggs your way were served up by Kingsley. The Kittiwake has only been in Cayman since 2011 but now as become a “must see”. Her clean lines and high structure make her a pleasure to point a camera at. The natural light and silhouettes photo ops are every where and the marine life is becoming more and more abundant. For next and final stop we headed to Devils Grotto for what is quite often one of the highlights of the trip. Large tarpon hang in the gullys with swim thrus seem to go on for ever. Our happy gang we cheerful and sad all at once as time came to start drying out gear and packing starts in earnest. At capts cocktail party all talk turned to the next Aggressor adventure, some said Galapagos and others are for komodo, the whales in DR were also high on the list along and of course the hope that everyone would some day come back to see us again here where it all began in the Cayman Islands.
Until Next Week
Cayman Aggressor Crew