Water temp 79f+
Air Temp 80s
Vis 80ft-100ft, and then some!
Greetings once again from the Cayman Islands, first charter of 2015. This was our first week back after 5 weeks of repairs and upgrades at dry dock in La Ceiba, Honduras. This girl is looking pretty slick! Plenty of new paint, two rebuilt generators, a rebuilt main engine, flooring upgrades, lots of internal work. Go check our Facebook page and see the photos posted while we were working in the shipyard. Anyway back to our week. We were joined by guests from England, the USA, and Canada – yes they do actually dive up there. Welcome back to repeat guests and new alike. A special welcome back to Fred who is about to complete his 15th Trip with us! This week we also have the Film Crew, Editor and Producers of the Blue Realm TV series ….. aka Danny and the Bubblers. During dinner we moved the boat from West Bay where everyone boarded back to the main dock in town. After a safety briefing and a welcome aboard drink the guests settled in for the night while the crew completed the task of getting the boat out of maintenance mode and ready for action!
Sunday. Moving on out, and up the coast to the wreck of the Doc Poulson. As Kathy said the best first dive ever!! An Eagle Ray, a couple of turtles, a massive free swimming Green Moray Eel and lots of colourful Headshield Slugs. Coupled with a gorgeous small wreck covered in sponges and soft corals in 50ft of water on the edge of a 6000ft wall, makes for a perfect first morning of diving Aggressor Style. Wreck day today with the Kittiwake up next. Sunk four years ago she is a disney wreck. Easy navigation in 60ft of water, portholes, doorways and openings all over the place. Artifacts left in place so you can imagine the working ship life of this Submarine Support Vessel. One of our guests used to be a Submariner so of course he loved this dive! The night dive surprised us with a Goliath Grouper and a Manytooth Conga Eel! Very rare! Hot chocolates, hot towels and hot showers welcomed the divers back on board. What an excellent first day of diving.
Monday. A light southerly today so we motored around to Hammerhead Hill on the North side of Grand Cayman. WOW! Spectacular Dive on this knarly, dramatic wall. 60ft on top of the wall dropping off to 6000ft. As we finned our way across the wall four Eagle Rays in formation swung by! A couple of turtles meandering about, a shark and SQUID!! This is an amazing deep dive but so worth it.. we did it twice! Lunch up on the sundeck, Kingsleys Mexican fiesta mmm mmm. World Famous Stingray City was perfectly clear, calm and a ton of fun! In 12ft of water 15 divers armed with cameras of all sizes had close encounters with these beautiful animals swirling and gliding all around us. Last stop of the day was Babylon, still on the North Side. The highlight of this site is a pinnacle just off the wall, where you can corkscrew your way up from 110ft – 40ft. Very healthy soft and hard corals, rivers of blue chromis and wrasse running wild all over the reef. The night dive turned up lobsters, rays, spotted eels, channel crabs, tons of fun feeding bloodworms to the coral, tigertails hunting about and the phosphorescence was magic.
Tuesday. Tucking around the south eastern side during the night we awoke on the Tunnel of Love. We love this dive site! The tunnel leading us all out on to the wall at 90ft, groupers, snappers and schooling chubbs. Incredible formations/topography create numerous overhangs, crack and crevices, an Eagle Ray popped in for a visit and a forage in the sand , scorpion fish and stingrays, and plenty of the little guys. Very happy divers getting back on the boat in time for lunch and a trip to the next location. Kellys Caverns and Crushers Wall. Two pinnacles off the wall, Todd and Kathy were spotted at warp speed.. maybe they were spooked by the shark? Great finger formation shallow reef system with Elk and Stag Horn corals, Yellow Headed Jawfish, Yellow Rays, another turtle, a nurse shark. With deep and shallow options we were entertained all afternoon. Settling in for a steak dinner and a cruise west along the island.
Wednesday. Pedros Castle aka Lionfish Paradise! Specatular! A fabulous shallow site packed with caves and tunnels just like a maze. The wall was just a short swim away with 3 incredible sea mounts for us to explore. With the help of Jims super video lights in a cave, we collected enough Lionfish for everyone to have a whole fish for their dinner tonight! Cant get much fresher! Today really is the best Elk Horn coral site day, with Pedros in the morning and Bullwinkle in the afternoon. Named after the Elk Horn and Stag Horn Corals, most abundant in this area, beautiful healthy massive Elk Horns with juvenile fish life sheltering, another scorpion fish and nurse shark! A great dive site. Canyons full of slow moving Tarpon, a couple of Sailfin Blennies, Lettuce Leaf Slugs, lots of cleaning stations. A few divers braved the cool conditions and took the plunge on the night dive, they were rewarded with two large squid. Danny got up close and personal with one!!
Thursday. Big Tunnels was our first location, here we get to enjoy the majestic, caverns, caves, swim thrus and tunnels! Turtle Mania – 5 Turtles were spotted. A couple of turtles were feeding and definitely not camera shy. Two free swimming green morays hunting all over the reef, the outer edges of the wall just teeming with life. Quick stop over on Bonnies Arch – a very special shallow site, more turtles, a school of Trunk Fish swimming out in the blue! The highlight of this site really is the Coral Arch right under the boat, and the resident Salt Water Croc! Dan and James had fun with him. For the late afternoon and Super Night Dive we motored down the island to the Oro Verde. Always a popular site with plenty of critter sightings including schooling jacks, spotted drums, Jaw fish, angelfish and a free swimming green eel. The night dive produced plenty of nocturnal critters including a couple of stone crabs, lobsters, spotted eel, squid and the largest parrotfish you have ever seen!
Friday. As always come around too fast! Round Rock & Trinity Caves was first up. Two dives sites for the price of one! A short swim up the wall put us at Trinity Caves! Several long tunnels cut back into the reef making for good explorations! A friendly turtle, Hog snapper, schooling jacks. Not to mention the perfect calm and clear conditions! Of course our week isnt complete until we dive Devils Grotto! Home to the Tarpon, swim throughs galore, a fun fun shallow dive to end a great week. All thats left is to wash down our gear pack our bags and drink a cold one or two at the farewell party. Happy Anniversary to Deborah and Ken, 20 Years! Congrats to James P on joining the Nitrox Gang, thank you for Fred sailing with us for the 15th time! Thanks to all for making this first week in 2015 on board the Cayman Aggressor IV safe and fun, watch for your faces on TV thanks to the Blue Realm team! Until next time be safe, dive safe. The Crew of the Cayman Aggressor IV