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Cayman Aggressor IV
Sept 9th to 16th 2017
Guests Andy & Debby, Nancy & Greg, Dave & Colette, Ed & Liz, Larry & Wesley, Michelle & Ray, Kevin, Al, Adam, Gene, Jon, Jose.
Crew Capt Niall, Helmsman & Instructor Manny, Chef Kingsley, Engineer Rodel, Instructor & Videography Aubri, Steward Oneil.
Water temp 83f
Air temp 87f
Saturday In spite of Hurricane Irma wreaking havoc thru the Caribbean on its way to Florida, all our guests made it in to Grand Cayman, two of whom were on the last flight out of Tampa before the airport was closed. The Cayman Islands were lucky this time round, we had some strong winds and rough seas and we missed a few dives but it was nothing, truly nothing, in comparison to the devastation seen in Florida and elsewhere.
Sunday The winds blew hard and the seas were very rough but we were in the Cayman Islands yacht club tied up securely and all guests and crew safe and sound. Some folks went walking the beach and some went window shopping or just took a drive about the island. The weather gods promised a shift in the wind and a window for us to get out Monday so enjoyed a delicious red snapper dinner and got a good nights rest in anticipation of what tomorrow might bring.
Monday We awoke to a break in the clouds and we were hopeful of a break in the weather. The Captain took a drive out to the east end to assess the sea state at Babylon and returned to happily report that Babylon had settled down and we would head out on the high tide at 2pm. We pushed off the dock as the lagoon was flooding to peak and made our way to Babylon for a late afternoon and night dive. Folks were certainly very happy to splash into warm Caribbean water and the visibility was surprisingly good considering out disturbed the sea had been. A turtle and feeding sting ray were cool sightings on the first dive along with lobster, channel crab and a sleeping turtle on the night dive.
Tuesday We awoke a bright but breezy day on the east end of Grand Cayman and a couple of morning dives right there at Babylon. The visibility had vastly improved from the day before and we cruised the wall top and pinnacles in clear blue water. A tasty Italian lunch was our treat as we made our way across Old Man Bay to White Stroke Canyon for a couple of afternoon dives and a night dive. We had turtles and eagle rays and a cool nurse shark encounter and for the night dive it was a thousand eyes affair from all the lobsters half hiding in the reef and their position being betrayed by the luminous reflection of the neon like eyes.
Wednesday Our day started at Hammerhead Hill just a short hop along the North Wall of Grand Cayman. This site is pretty much front and center of the North Wall and the visibility was bright blue with just a hint of current. We again had eagle rays and nurse sharks and very friendly turtles. Lunch was the old favorite of Cheese Burgers in Paradise as we moved into the North Sound for a dive with the world famous southern sting rays of Sting Ray City. A rare event of clear water at Tarpon Alley had us stop for a late afternoon dive at this much sought after site. There always an air of eeriness to Tarpon Alley, the wall top was blue but the gullies slight green and Tarpon moved in and out of the shadows like aquatic ghosts. Our final dive of the day was a night dive back at Hammerhead Hill and it was quite the night dive, we had a large green Moray eel, several lobster, a feisty channel crab and a gloriously hunting Octopus………a great way to end a superb day of diving.
Thursday We had ourselves a wreck of a day. We started the day with a couple of dives at the USS Kittiwake, we splashed just after 7.30am which ensured we had that majestic wreck all to ourselves in what was easily 100ft visibility. We explored inside and out and it seemed that everywhere we turned or looked there was a photo op. An Asian themed lunch kept us well served in culinary delights as we made the short run to the Ship Wreck Doc Poulson. The Doc Poulson these days is far more of a ship reef than ship wreck and we again had stellar visibility. We ended the day at the wreckage of the Oro Verde and we most certainly could see all stages of ship wreck diving. A new wreck like the Kittiwake, completely intact and upright in the sand. The Doc Poulson by comparison is coral adorn and looks her age where as the Oro Verde is completely broken to pieces and scattered all over the ocean floor.
Friday Our day began with a dive at Big Tunnels in clear blue water and with atmosheric swim thrus to explore. A friendly turtle and curious moray eel were cool sightings before it was all back on board and we were under for the Devils Grotto for our final dive of the week. The Grotto is always a big hit and a very popular spot. The swim thrus here are old Cayman favorites and the schooling tarpon as always add to the ambience of the dive.
Special mention should go to Jose and Jon for completing their nitrox courses and Jon also kick on and did his advanced open water course.
Our cocktail party had a truly dramatic back drop of orange and grey as the sun slipped in the ocean and thunder clouds gathered.
All in all it was a great week of diving and we hope to see all of this happy and eager gang of divers back on board the Cayman Aggressor Iv or any other Aggressor deck before to long.
Until Next Week
Your Cayman Aggressor Crew.