Water temp 81/82F – 28C
Air Temp 82s
This week we had 18 guests, in all we had 10 guests that had been on with us before in the last two years. Welcome back old friends and welcome new friends for a great week of diving. During a delicious dinner served up by chef Kingsley we made our 10 hour journey around north side of Grand Cayman going all the way up to Little Cayman. We arrived safe and sound at Bloody bay for a picture perfect morning.
First up was Randy’s Gazebo, the perfect way to introduce Aggressor style diving, the wall is simply stunning, barrel sponges, sea whips, sea fans and that’s only 35 feet!!! Along the wall we cruised to check out the Gazebo and there to greet us was our resident Nassau Grouper eyeing up a lion fish for his breakfast. He followed us for most of the dive allowing everyone to get a photo, as we swam along the wall we spotted a large turtle cruising along he also joined our group and swam with us for a few minutes!! After a spot of lunch we were ready for our afternoon dives at the Meadows, again groupers joined us as soon as we jumped in, as we made our way down a swim through and out onto the wall we spotted a Caribbean reef shark gliding back and forth checking us out. Three turtles later we were up in the shallows enjoying all the schoolmasters and cleaning stations when all of a sudden in the sand we spotted the rare and wonderful male Yellow headed Jaw fish with eggs!!! A very shy subject but at least some of our guests were able to see him, plus as a bonus, a Sail fin Blenny in the same area!!! A Super Macro in a corner of bloody bay that is widely known for wide angle subjects. After a night dive briefing we descended onto the reef. Everywhere we looked we could see Lion Fish, they learned that its safer to come out during the night. Also we spotted crabs, lobster, and two Octopuses feeding on the reef, all in all a great day of diving. A great start to a great week.
What a great start to the day all thanks to Kingsley who dished up another great breakfast, who can resist bacon and eggs? Moving the boat half a mile down Bloody Bay wall we tied up to Lea Lea’s Lookout. Everybody was keen to get in the water so after a brief briefing it was off diving we went. Dropping down into a huge crevice that leads out to the deep blue water I glanced back and could see the look of awe on the faces of the divers who were following me. Along the wall Lobster and a free swimming Moray were spotted, out in the blue water lots of Ocean Trigger fish were to be found. At the turn around point we found a Spotted Drum and more Lobster. After that dive our guest J.R. came up to me and said “That was one of the best dives I’ve ever done”. Lucky for him he got to do it all again, of course only after he had been fed again on Blackberry ‘n’ cream scones. Second dive of the day on Lea Lea’s once more failed to disappoint anyone and just to prove the point Tracy reported “That is now my favorite Cayman dive site”. Can’t be bad then can it? Along with squid the divers also found a sleeping turtle. After another feast at lunch time we moved the boat down to Mixing Bowl (Three Fathom Wall) and completed two afternoon dives. This is a great site to find Yellow Headed Jaw fish where the male of the species incubates the eggs in his mouth and always makes for a great photo op as he spits out the eggs and sucks them back in all in the blink of an eye or the speed of a camera shutter.
After the second dive we headed over to Cayman Brac, dinning on the way over on Pork loin and trimmings., where we did our night dive on the Russian Frigate also known as the 356 or Keith Tibbets. Always a great night dive that comes with the opportunity to see a few Octopi as well as our resident Goliath Grouper christened Sweet Lips.
Sunrise was beautiful as it made its ascent over the East end of Cayman Brac at 0600. After great stories from the night dive on the Keith Tibbets, those that chose not to see it at night were anxious to dive the destroyer during the day. With 100+ foot visibility, divers scoured all parts of the wreck where some of video cameras and others with still cameras acted like Paparazzi on the 356. This wreck has no shortage of photo ops with many yellow colonial tube sponges that contrast the blue water nicely with a bow, gun, or other part of the superstructure for added composition. The rest of the morning and afternoon were spent on Little Cayman with our second morning dive on Donna’s Delight followed by lunch (Chicken Picatta, crab cakes, yumm and yumm). At Bus Stop, our dive site for the afternoon and dusk dive, divers saw a large nurse shark swimming about and Captain Nelson was entertained by a yellow headed jawfish with eggs just 50 feet from the mooring line.
A dawn dive was the call of the day at Nancy’s cup of tea, after some coffee, and some fun stories from our onboard story teller JR, we splashed just after six, what an amazing way to start the day As we descended around the Tea Cup we spotted our first shark, cruising off in the distance. On top of the reef there were Wrasse, Schoolmasters and chubbs all moving in the same direction. Along we went until we ascended up our swim through to check out the anchors that have been encrusted by the reef some of these anchors date back to the 15th century. After a hearty breakfast we splashed again this time going in the opposite direction, the sharks were extremely interested in our group gliding in and out of our vision. On the second dive we saw a Hawksbill and Green turtle along with small schools of blue chromes along the shallower reef area. After our famous cheeseburgers in paradise we splashed again at Great Wall, Freddy our resident grouper as loyal as ever was waiting for us at 20ft, as we descended down the wall we were amazed at the amount of growth, Barrel sponges, Branching tube sponges, pink vase sponges and orange ball sponges, and all this at only 50 ft!!! As we swam along the top of the reef a nurse shark cruised by for a quick photo session, and to bid us farewell, Freddy joined us again for a swim around the boat. It’s that time again us to pack up and make our journey back to Grand Cayman. All in all a wonderful four days of diving.
Arriving in the early hours of the morning we tied up on Babylon, many peoples favorite dive site on the North Wall of Grand Cayman. Following a hearty breakfast all the divers geared up and were in the water by 8 a.m. Swimming around the panicle at this site is truly magical; the healthy Black Coral in all its different shades really makes good viewing and excellent photographs. On this very relaxing and calming dive our divers saw a turtle, some gorgeous plate corals, and lobsters abound. After surface interval we all jumped back in for another great dive. The current picked up a little but it was mild and very manageable. Another turtle came near the famous pinnacle followed by a large free-swimming moral eel which “was about 5 foot long” Over lunch the tales got exaggerated and somehow the 5 foot Moray was more like a 9 foot Moray.
After a fantastic lunch we were at Stingray City for one afternoon dive. This site and this adventure never fails to put smiles on the divers faces, everybody loved it. Appears we arrived and departed just at the right time for this dive as it was very popular with the day boat operations, by the time we left another four dive boats had shown up. After a ninety minute transit around to the West we tied up at the Oro Verde for one P.M. dive. As soon as we jumped in and descended our resident Nurse Shark “Fin” swam up to the divers who had the opportunity to shoot some great pictures and video. From there the dive went from good to great, swimming amongst the wreckage and out in the sand patch we saw a free swimming Green Moray and just as a few of us were coming up for our safety stop a large Eagle Ray was seen cruising around in the sand below us. It’s not over yet, as I write this our divers are getting ready for a night dive….report to follow…… Divers just back from the night dive and it seems the highlight was once again Fin who was swimming around and between the divers; also a major talking point was the “Hugh Parrot Fish down there”. So that’s it, another day of great diving on Grand Cayman.
A short cruise along seven mile beach to Ex-USS Kittiwake, as the sun rose over Seven mile beach we could tell it was going to be one of those picture perfect Cayman mornings. We dove early to avoid the rush, so we had the wreck to ourselves. Visibility was over 150 ft , this artificial wreck attracts a lot of marine life, Jacks, Groupers and Sergeant Mayors, off in the sand an Eagle Ray was spotted. Inside the wreck we went checking out the silversides dancing around trying to get away from the large jacks feeding on them!! Next up was Devil’s Grotto with the wonderful swim through and piecing light flickering onto the sand, plus the resident Tarpon that life all around that reef, a perfect way to end a great week of diving.
From all the crew here onboard thanks for joining us, it was a beautiful week of eating, sleeping and diving!!!
Cayman Aggressor IV crew