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Cayman Aggressor IV
May 2 -9
Water temp 81/82F – 28C
Air Temp 82s
This week we had the pleasure of 18 guests from all over the USA, and a Welsh Couple. Really great to see a few familiar faces back on board, all friends/family now. Fred and Amy, Doug & Donna and Helen & Gus. Welcome back! A few new faces to the Cayman Aggressor, you are in for a treat! A busy day and night in town as the Cayman Batabano Street Parade and festival was in full swing, costumes, music and lots of people. Dinner on board, a couple of late arrivals no problem. After the Safety Briefing folks were free to head into town and check out the festivities or settle in for a good nights sleep.
Sunday. Waking up to the rumble of our engines as we headed out to the first dive location for the week. The Famous (well in Cayman it’s famous) wreck of the Doc Poulson. An easy shallow wreck dive, 50ft in the sand. A green moray eel nestled in under the stern section, a small turtle checking out the reef, lots of soft corals living on the wreck, garden eels and an Eagle Ray. A perfect first dive of the week, wash off those cobwebs and get ready for Sting Ray City. A super 12ft dive in the North Sound. Jumping in to be greeted by a dozen assorted Southern Sting Rays. A slight current made the circle of divers a line up, but it cleared the kicked up sand to make great photos and videos! Mike had the best looking hicky, and everyone had fun interacting with these amazing animals in their own environment. Only one more dive for today, our favorite… Big Tunnels. Incredible topography with arches deep and shallow, dropping off to 6000’. Healthy corals and sponges fed by the deep up welling currents we often get close to the point of the island. Just beautiful. Congratulations to Linda on her 300th Dive! A quick organization of everyone’s gear, then off to Little Cayman.
Monday. After a bumpy crossing we ended up on Bloody Bay Wall, well done everyone! Randi’s Gazebo was our first site and here we enjoyed descending into the blue, cruising the drop off exploring the chimneys and swimming through the archway, several groupers a turtle, a yellow ray,and another huge green moray eel were documented. Such a stunning location. Some weather rolling in so we tucked into the south side for the afternoon. The Soto Trader was a very shallow, old wreck of a supply vessel here in Cayman. Still solid in structure, a few resident groupers, nice sponge life.. named after legendary Bob Soto who was the backbone of Diving here in the Cayman Islands, he actually only passed away two weeks ago. Thanks Bob for all your endeavors in the Diving World, Grundy’s Garden was the afternoon and night site. A finger formation shallow reef, leading out to the wall, a turtle, another eel, plenty of reef fish and lobster on the night dive.
Tuesday. Lea Lea’s Lookout was our AM site. Back on Bloody Bay Wall. Here we get to enjoy the crevice that runs from the 20ft shallows out to the wall at 100ft! Today we had incredible visibility, a little current and were treated to a nurse shark sleeping out in the open, spotted drums, friendly groupers, more lobsters just walking around, schooling wrasse and chromis. A photographers dream dive. Zipping on up to 3 Fathom wall during lunch for two epic dives. 18ft at the pin. Grover raced over to meet us as soon as we splashed. He is the Super Duper Friendly Grouper. He is the star of the show and he knows it. Dave was like a kid in the Candy Shop with Macro Land!!! Jawfish, blennies, pipehorses we had to drag him back to the boat for snack time! As soon as we had enough surface time we splashed again. Once is never enough on this site. A dinner cruise as we made our way over to the Wreck of the Koni Class Frigate the 356 Keith Tibbets. A night dive planned but thwarted by some inclement weather. Safer to stay on the boat tonight… so a hot tub dive and movie night!
Wednesday. A morning dive on the wreck of the Russian Destroyer. A great start to the day. This artificial reef makes a great morning dive, excellent viz and lots of marine life. Exploring from bow to stern, angel fish and groupers, Havana Alley to see the inside of the wreck, also the engine room area to see gauges and levers, switchboard panels etc. The most action was around the stern gun, guests looking at getting that iconic diver and gun photo, and a turtle right on cue, gracefully gliding past. Next up was our short Voyage back over to Little Cayman to check out Bus Stop. Queen Angle fish, sleeping stingrays, lobsters, rainbow squid, Nassau groupers, curious reef sharks, swim throughs under the main wall. But not forgetting the sail fin blennies! Plenty of shots were taken, our Macro Guy Dave was very happy! Meadows was the afternoon site before crossing back to Grand Cayman. What a great Dive. Shallow reef top, exploring the swim thrus. Cosmo the friendly Nassau grouper came by so did a eagle ray, several turtles, a couple of reef sharks. Time for snack and happy hour as we start the journey back to Grand Cayman.
Thursday. A busy day of diving on the big island, with the morning boasting two dives on the USS Kittiwake and surrounding reef. A super dive, the Mikes were in their element, Mike S thought he was back at work in the Navy! Easy entrances and exits, plenty of light and nick nacks left in the wreck to pose with for fun photos and video. Well done to Amy on clocking up her 400th dive, she ws very surprised with a chocolate cake on the back deck J. Neptunes Wall was up next. A little current made for a critter happy dive. Beautiful outcroppings of reef just buzzing with life feeding in the current, and eagle ray made an appearance as did a friendly hawkes bill turtle! On the move again to the wreck of the Oro Verde. This place is truly an aquarium! Yellow Jaw Fish with Eggs!! We know where Dave will be. A large green moray eel, a line up of lobster and the night dive rewarded divers with two octopus, one small and trying so hard to act like a sponge, the other large and bold hunting on the reef and the largest parrotfish you have ever seen!
Friday. A special dawn dive today on Round Rock/Trinity Caves, waking up with the reef five of us came face to face with a large green moray eel swimming out of the caves as we were entering. Twisting and turning up and down the swim throughs, do emerge and realize the reef was awake and fish life abound. Back on board for breakfast then back in for another dive. As always Devils Grotto was our last dive of the week and is always a favorite. All too soon it seems we have come to the close of yet another great week of diving on board the Cayman Aggressor. All that’s left to do is wash our gear and get ready for a cold drink or two at the farewell party.
Thanks to all guests this week, the frequent flyers and the newbies, welcome to the family. We hope to see you all again soon. Happy diving and safe travels.
Until next time……
Cayman Aggressor IV crew.