Charter Date: 17-24 Sept 2016
Capt Kiwi, Alan, Kingsley, Rodel, Aubri & Ty
Guests: Denise, Don, Scott, Amy, Lauren, Denise & Nathan, Jon, Alisha & Elizabeth, Debby & Dave, Rhonda & Mitch, Gary, Allan, Tom and Cheryl.
Water Temp 85F, 31C
No Wetsuit Required, just shorts and a rashguard!
Saturday. We set off from George Town early in the afternoon refueled, restocked, and ready for another epic week of diving with 18 guests from all over the USA and Canada aboard the Cayman Aggressor. After everyone unpacked and settled in we began with introductions of guests and crew as well as a safety briefing. The evening ended with a delicious BBQ dinner served up by Kingsley while guests enjoyed the sunset and sea breeze. After a long day of travel, most headed off to bed early.
Sunday. Everyone up early and eager for the first dive of the week on the USS Kittiwake! A Cayman staple, this wreck sits at 60 ft and is a divers dream with the opportunity to go inside almost every room. After spending the morning exploring this submarine support vessel and playing a little scavenger hunt we cruised around the island to the North Sound to visit our friendly Stingrays. The boys and girls were excited to meet and play with some new divers; one female in particular hung around the group the whole time and was so sad to see Nathan go that she tried swimming up with him on the ladder. Sadly we had to leave her behind and head over to our last dive of the day at Babylon, known for the Pinnacle off the wall and black corals, where divers spotted some large crabs and beautiful soft and hanging corals. Tired from the first day, guests were excited for the break and crossing to the much anticipated Little Cayman!
Monday. A stunning sunrise to wake up to on Little Cayman this morning. Moored up on Bloody Bay, Randy’s Gazebo. A quick briefing and everyone leaped off the boat to go check this place out. Dropping down the Chimney, to emerge at 90ft, greeted by some very large Nassau Grouper who wanted us to hunt with them. Making our way to the Gazebo and swimming through the archway, lobsters peering out of their holes, a large green moray eel, a turtle meandering about the colourful sundrench shallow reef. Just Perfect. Team Cali didn’t want to get out of the water… 90 mins later J. Next stop for the day was the Meadows – pulling up to the mooring we knew it was going to be epic as the water clarity was incredible. Sharks! Yes our Family of Reef Sharks were about today, a few turtles and even more friendly groupers, we think Cheryl is in love with a Grouper! Lauren and Amy explored the tunnels under the entire wall, discovered Stingrays hunting in the sand, tiny Headshield Slugs and a horde of Lobsters in their nest! We had a full turn out of 18 divers for the night dive, two octopus, a White Speckled Nudibranch, an unusual decorator crab, arrow crabs feeding on bloodworms, channel crabs owning the reef, more lobsters and very happy divers!
Tuesday. Coffee on the sundeck was enjoyed by our happy divers watching the sun peak over the skyline. Our next stop for the morning was Lea lea’s lookout. After Chef Kingsley’s Eggs benedict, and a brief orientation our divers were ready to explore. The Great Room is a joy to all, descending into this chute and cruising out onto the wall. Our divers were amazed at the amount of life and of course the friendly Nassau Groupers that were waiting for us. Creole Wrasse and brown Chromis are here in abundance, Cheryl and her gang spotted a century old loggerhead turtle feeding on the reef. Next up was the Mixing Bowl/ 3 Fathom Wall. This site separates Bloody bay and Jackson Wall. The top of the wall starts at 18 feet and drops all the way down to the abyss. There are three distinctive areas here, Top of the reef which is covered in growth and life, the sheer wall which is covered with sponges and sea whips and sea fans, and finally a critter hunt in the sandy rubble where several Yellow headed Jaw fish live. All in all our divers were impressed. During a classic Steak dinner we cruised over to Cayman Brac to dive the Russian Wreck at night. The wreck at night is a fantastic site; this wreck has been down since Sept 96and has a lot of growth, tube sponges, flaming scallops and several Octopuses were enjoyed by all. After some hot chocolate, hot towels and hot tub it was time to call it a day.
Wednesday. The day began with yet another beautiful sunrise as we sat above the 356 Keith Tibbetts at Cayman Brac. We would spend the morning here exploring the wreck and surrounding reef. All divers made the most of the daylight and explored every nook and cranny of the 20yr old wreck! Covered in colourful sponge life she is a majestic place to dive. Lots of fun photos posing with the guns and on the bow, and plenty of macro life for those who hadn’t changed their lens! Burgers on the sundeck for lunch as we cruised back to Little Cayman. The afternoon and Dusk dives were on a crew favourite – Bus Stop. This site has it all! Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Turtles, Groupers, Yellow Headed Jaw Fish, Sailfin Blennies, Pipe Horses, Rainbow Parrot Fish along with swim through right under the main wall! Back on board for Italian Dinner and a few drinks while looking at photos and talking about the day’s adventures.
Thursday Already! As yet another incredible day dawned we geared up and splashed in for a pre breakfast dive on Nancy’s Cup of Tea. Black Corals, Cryptic Sponges and reef life waking up, rivers of wrasse running about along with Reef Sharks coming in to check us out. A collection of ancient anchors embedded along the inside reef kept us entertained as we followed our noses back to the boat for breakfast! After another dive at Nancy’s we hopped over to the Great Wall. Iconic Dive Site of Little Cayman. This wall is a true wall, no cuts, crevices, swim throughs, pinnacles, just the sheerest wall you will ever dive. The wall is covered in life, an array of sponge and coral life, fish, lobsters and cleaning stations galore. Rhonda had the encounter of the week with an Eagle Ray swimming past her, coming back for a double take, it swam a loop around her and then finally took off! Magic! More Nurse Shark and large Moray Eels, and of course no dive on the Great Wall is complete without meeting Freddy, the Nassau Grouper – God Father of the Reef here in Little Cayman. No one wanted to get out of the water, a small group made one last effort and swam in to the island for a few minutes of beach time to say goodbye to this incredible little island in the Caribbean. All aboard and its back to Grand Cayman.
Friday. Where do these weeks go? Today is the last day of diving, back on Grand Cayman’s West Side – Round Rock/Trinity Caves. Very picturesque swim throughs, sunlight gleaming down, and schooling snapper, watch for lobsters and eels peering out of the reef, turtles feed and of course we are in Eagle Ray country! Just one dive here then Devil’s Grotto, as it tradition here on the Cayman Aggressor. Back where diving began in the Cayman Islands. This labyrinth of caves, tunnels and swim throughs all in only 40feet of sun drenched water. Tarpon by the dozen hanging, suspended in the Grotto, barely moving when we approach. A great spot for Eels and Nurse Sharks, as well as the little things. Unfortunately it has to come to an end, wash down the gear and have a nice cold one!
This week we had a couple of Milestones, Nathan’s 100th dive and Jon’s 400th. Alisha and Elizabeth completed their Nitrox course this week as well. Congratulations. Also Happy Birthday to Mitch! It has been a fantastic blur of amazing creature interactions, great divers and perfect weather! Thank you to all for being here this week, keeping it safe and keeping the fun in diving!
See you all again next time
Capt and Crew
Cayman Aggressor IV