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*Roatan Aggressor Captains Log, July 14 - 21, 2018
*Air Temp. 81-87F
*Water Temp. 79-82 F
* Visibility 70ft-160ft
* Wetsuit req. 3-5 mm full, shortie or skin
Captain - Nestor
Operations Manager - Alan
Chief Engineer - John B
Chef - Milton
Sous Chef/Steward - Janelle
Instructor & Photo Pro - Willie
Instructor & Video Pro - Gabi
Sunday –Virginias Wall, Calvins Crack & Mr Bud
Monday -Cayos Seamounts, Utila - Ted & Jack Neal Points & Spanish Bay
Tuesday -Utila- The Cannery & The Pinnacle. Mandys Eel Garden, Roatan
Wednesday - Odyssey Wreck, Dolphin Caves & Half Moon Bay Wall
Thursday – Cara A Cara, Marys Place, Pirate Point & Captain G
Friday –Forty Foot Point
Saturday July 14th
This week we welcome aboard 18 guests from the states. Another full charter. Our guests are a dive group called Wet Pork Divers who were established in 1978 & originally from Cleveland. They are now known as International Wet Pork Divers as they now include divers from the UK & Nova Scotia. There are some familiar faces amongst them known to many of the crew, its always great to see Aggressor Addicts! Once the dive gear is set up, check in is complete & the welcome meeting concluded its that time of the week to head up to the sundeck for our Saturday BBQ. Willie is manning the grill, he does it so well. Chef Milton & Sous Chef Miss Jana are adding the final touches to all the delicious sides, the hydroponic salads whose base ingredients are all grown on the island. There are tasty baked potatoes, crunchy corn on the cob accompanied by juicy ribs & succulent chicken. Should any room be left for desert we are serving a delicious homemade island style Corn Custard for desert. After a long days travel its a good opportunity for an early night.
Sunday July 15th
Departing French Harbour just before 6am we stay on the south side of the island & head to Virginias Wall which is a reasonable distance east. Mooring up we do a couple of dives our first dive being our check out dive. We see Spiny Lobster. There are pesky lion fish who capture the captains attention. There are beautiful Grey & Queen Angelfish, Rock Beauties, Spotted Butterflyfish, a fabulous Green Moray Eel. During lunch which is followed by ice cream sundaes, we head to Calvins Crack where it appears there is a kindergarten with juvenile Spotted Trunkfish, Trumpetfish, Peacock Flounder & Spotted Drum, how wonderful. We also have the pleasure of seeing gorgeous Brittle Stars, an array of Sea Cucumbers, a giant Channel Clinging Crab, a Pipefish & the Fingerprint Flamingo Tongues. As the day progresses we head over to Mr Buds, where we see a Naked Sole, an awesome Cowfish hovering over 3 Giant Anemones, we check out the residents, several different types of shrimp, Golden Coral, Squat Anemome & Sun Anemone. The Red Snapping Shrimp is found in the Corkscrew Anemone. After dinner & desert, Roatan Key-lime Pie, we do the night dive safety brief for the week. Delving into the deep at 7.15pm, oh my, what an awesome night dive, truly wonderful, from the off we see Reef Octopus, then Reef Mantis, Spiny Lobster, clusters of Cryptic Teardrop Crabs, a giant Channel Clinging Crab bold as brass out in the open feeding, a lovely Furcate Spider Crab on a fan, a colony of Red Reef Hermits. We have the honour of spending 20 minutes with a Common Octopus who was all over Mr Bud, he was wonderful & a fabulous ending to a awesome day.
Monday July 16th
Engines turn over at 4.45am with Captain Nester at the helm we head out to Cayos Seamounts, a unique set of underwater mountains 13 miles from land, an oasis in the ocean. There are the usual shoals of Atlantic Spadefish, Creole Wrasse going about their morning, a tremendous Hawksbill Turtle, one of the largest Nassau Groupers weve seen, Queen Triggers, a pair of mating Ocean Triggerfish, a fabulous juvenile Nurse Shark, what a wonderful treat. This area is a buzz with life, vibrance of colour & activity. Two dives in & the ladders are up. We are off to Utila. Arriving after lunch & a nap we arrive at Teds Point where we dive in to find a Southern Stingray, a Large Eyed Bearded Toadfish, a juvenile Slender Filefish hiding between the fingers of a fan. Willie & Dave got super lucky & found a Flying Gurnard in full regalia. For our next site we move around the island to Jack Neals, where we find a Lesser Electric Ray, Long-snout Seahorse, Upside Down Jellyfish, a massive Arrow Crab who looked like he was on steroids! a gorgeous Sail-fin Blenny, there was a Golden-tail Eel, Bat-fin Coral Crab & a Furcate Spider Crab adorned with sponges! During dinner we move over to Spanish Bay for the night dive with Captain Nestor. Another awesome night dive, Reef Octopus, Large Eyed Squid, Spotted & Spiny Lobsters, all the usual suspects and some!
Tuesday July 17th
Remaining in Utila we travel over to the Cannery dive site for a pre breakfast dive at 7am then onwards to the Pinnacles for a 10.15am splash eating breakfast in-between. Its a nice early dive & a great way to wake up amongst the Feather Dusters & Lion-fish. The clarity of the water is lovely there are Creole Wrasse teeming around us. The slopes of the Pinnacle itself display so many Arrow Crabs, Brittle Stars, Flamingo Tongues, we see Blue Tunicates. Lou sees a wonderful Nurse Shark & a soaring Eagle Ray. We see Spotted Scorpionfish, Fire-worm, juvenile Slender Filefish & intermediate Spotted Trunkfish. There is a wonderful Green Turtle who Scott has a moment with. Steve comes across a rather nice Porcupine Fish, we see an adult Spotted Drum & a beautiful Golden-tail Eel plus the usual stunning reef fish. A last dive after lunch before the long drive back to Roatan a 3 hour journey, time to chill, chat, sunbathe or snooze. Arriving at Mandys Eel Garden which is our night dive site & mooring at 6.30pm. Time to serve dinner which is curried chicken followed by mango cheesecake. 7.15pm & time to splash for the night dive with Captain Nester & 11 divers, a big turn out. Divers came back with tales of Tiger Tail allys, a huge Black Grouper the size of a Goliath & beautiful encounters with Common Octopus. Janelle is ready with the warm towels, hot chocolate & rum for those that fancied it.
Wednesday July 18th
After a good nights rest we head east for a pre breakfast dive at the Odyssey Wreck, this most impressive wreck has many areas to swim thru, abundance of macro life & plenty of light at its highest point at 45ft plunging down to a sandy area where it rests at 110ft. The guests enjoyed this wonderful playground. During breakfast we head further east to Dolphin Caves our furthest site this side of the island. Less than a mile from our site the boat slows & music to our ears, Captain has seen a Whale-shark!!!! We all head outside to catch glimpses of this majestic creature, only with us for a short time but nevertheless a wonderful experience. In we splash with Captain Nester as he guides us through the shallow network of passages as the sunlight penetrates through skylights, light dancing all around us. At the turnaround point Nester finds a seahorse for our guests, there are plenty of Giant Anemones concealing all their treasures, Sun Anemone & Spotted Anemone Shrimp. At the mooring we see two wonderful Reef Squid that parade around allowing us to film them. Back on board and its lunch, cheeseburgers in paradise up on the sundeck. Time for a snooze before a 2nd dive at 1.30pm. We have a fair distance to cover to get back for our afternoon dives. Mooring up at Half Moon Bay Wall we splash for a 4.30pm dive into the blue, making our way along the wall we find sleeping under a ledge a most pretty Green Turtle. Once back onboard we serve dinner, those that dont night dive are deep into a game of Fargo whilst our divers plunge back into the deep waters with Willie for an awesome night dive. Kara gets a bit of a shock as a Large Eyed Squid inks her & Dave is most impressed with what he reckons is one of the biggest Lobster he has ever seen. Once back onboard Miss Janelle greets our guests with rum & hot chocolate.
Thursday July 19th
A 6am start & were off to Cara A Cara for our weekly visit to see our wonderful sharks! We do a pre breakfast dive at 7am with 2 live drops totalling 15 divers. There are plenty of female Caribbean Reef Sharks, some mighty large Black, Nassau & Tiger Groupers who all put on quite a show. Our hungry divers return & delve into a full cooked breakfast, yummy! There is plenty of swell but we managed a pretty awesome dive at Marys Place, another over at Pirates Point which had the guests in fits of giggles with Willie being seen following a huge female Green Turtle as our resident Green Moray, fondly known as Physco is following Willie, its a shame there arent any pictures. The last couple of dives of the day are at Capt. G, where a male Yellow Headed Jawfish puts on a wonderful display of irrigating his eggs. The wind & swell have picked up so much that its the Captains call that we head back to dock at French Harbour. Tonight is Thursday & our speciality dinner, our amazing Lobster Surf & Turf swiftly followed by White Chocolate Creme Brûlée. Its that time of the week again to show the movie of the week. Weve had some pretty amazing sightings this week, please view our Captains Log photos & critters board. After a recap of the week & information on tomorrows schedule an early night is called for as Friday is approaching rapidly.
Friday July 20th
Its a later start this morning as we only have a very short distance to cover before we moor up at Forty Foot Point. We splash at 8am. There are all of the usual suspects around. Its Friday & that time of the week for guests to pay the piper & chow down on Triple Chocolate Brownies, we reflect on the week, as usual it has flown by. In they splash for the 2nd dive with 3 of our guests on a mission to join the 100 minute dive club. Maureen & Steve rise to the challenge and complete, whereas Scott takes it to another level and completes 123 minutes!!! Our guests exit the water as we assist them with rinsing the salty water off their gear & hang it out to dry. Heading into dock we serve lunch, succulent baked chicken & a variety of sides. Docking at Romeos our group this week have an afternoon of relaxation arranged. Guests return at 6pm for our Pirate themed “Rum Punch Cocktail Party", a lively event. We have some awards to give out. We have seven Iron Divers this week, Maureen, Bob, Kara, Paul, Bill, Scott & Dave, Dave & Dean reach 500 dive milestones, while Mare, Scott & Karen reach their 200 dive milestones. It really is a busy week for celebrations. Marnie gets the most improved buddy diver, congratulations to them all & thank you Wet Pork Divers for joining us this week it has been a lot of fun. The party moves forwards as we head over to Romeos, French Harbour, its less than 20 steps away & as always a superb 5 star dinning experience.
Saturday July 21st
Its 7.30am, all our lovely guests are finishing off their continental breakfast & at 8am all 18 guests board our transportation to the airport, we hope you have a safe & speedy onwards journey & come back and visit us very soon or see you somewhere else in the world. Until the next time, the crew of the Roatan Aggressor………..