Log Date: Saturday, May 23, 2015
Entry By: Carib Crew
Carib Dancer Captains Log 23-30 May 2015
Air Temp. 75-80+ F
Water Temp. 82-84 Deg F
Visibility 60-80 ft
Captain David Patterson
2nd Captain Nelson
Instructor David Dunstan
Patricia, Keith, Igor, Christopher, Phil, Jim & Alena, Hilde & Nate, Leslie & Scott
Sunday – Sugar Wreck, Hogfish Reef, Shark Paradise
Monday – Shark Paradise, Tiger Beach
Tuesday – El Dorado
Wednesday – Tiger Beach, drift Dive x2, Mini Wall
Thursday – El Cappitan, Shark Paradise
Friday – Drift Dive (Mt Olympus), Tiger Beach
Saturday May 23rd 2015
This week the crew of The Carib Dancer welcomed 11 eager divers for a fun filled week of diving the northern Bahamas. Our guests met the yacht at Old Bahama Bay Marina on the west end of Grand Bahama. Here they were met by our wonderful and friendly crewmembers.
We decided to spend the night on the dock where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of grilled fish and rice, which was expertly prepared by our chef Brent.
Sunday May 24th 2015
Our first stop on the week was a wonderful dive site known as the Sugar Wreck. The old boat used to carry molasses back in the early 1900s. While underway it started to take on water and it sunk in 20ft of water.
Today what we see is a wonderful artificial reef that is densely populated with copious amounts of fish life.
We see a huge Green Sea Turtle, huge schools of French Grunts, Big Schools of Yellow Tail Snapper and a couple of healthy but huge Moray Eels!
After two fabulous dives here we move over to Hogfish Reef while the guests are treated to an exquisite lunch of BBQ Ribs, Chicken and Potato salad. Those wetsuits were a little bit tighter for the afternoon dives!!
After a little siesta we dropped our fish attraction box into the water to see if we could bring some big pelagics in. We saw around 15 Lemon Sharks, 3 Reef Sharks and a very active Nurse Shark. The guests loved the first experience being up close and personal with the sharks.
The crew then moved the yacht to Shark Paradise. This wonderful dive site was to be our afternoon and dive spot.
The guests dropped down and were instantly met by an 8 foot Lemon shark cruising over the reef. He brought over 6 of his friends to meet these freaky underwater bubble makers! Our divers were in aqua heaven as the gazed eye to eye with these sometimes unknown and misunderstood creatures.
After exploring the majestic reef our divers exited with smiles upon their faces. We enjoyed a sumptuous dinner of roast turkey prior to enjoying our night dive on Shark Paradise.
On the night dive we see more sharks, crabs, lobsters and morays, which made our divers very happy indeed.
Our group of intrepid shark warriors took the time to have good nights sleep to recharge the batteries for another action packed day ahead.
Monday May 25
We decided to hop back in to dive Shark paradise one last time, as the guests loved this site so much. Lemon Sharks swarmed us and a huge school of yellow Tail Snapper packed tightly around the fish box. One of our divers Alena spotted a beautiful Black and white moray Eel that we took some awesome pictures of. The group also saw huge grouper and stingrays cruising over the sand flats. What an epic start to our Monday morning aboard The Carib Dancer.
The crew of The Carib Dancer then untied the vessel and we headed straight for the world famous Tiger Beach. Guests dropped down to a sandy bottom at around 16ft in depth and some very friendly Lemon Sharks met them. We spent the remainder of our diving day here playing with the majestic sharks and shooting some magnificent pictures so we could treasure this memory for years to come.
Tuesday May 26
El Dorado was to be our next dive site of choice. Here we enjoyed seeing the beautiful healthy corals and abundant marine life. We saw a plethora of sharks and rays as well as seeing massive schools of schoolmasters and yellow tail snapper. The reef fish at El Dorado are plentiful so our guests really enjoyed this dive site.
Wednesday May 27
Tiger Beach is where we start the day. Just under the Carib Dancer the flat sandy bottom is a home to a vast amount of sharks and rays. We see many Lemon sharks cruising the beach in search of an early morning snack. We also see big schools of snapper and a couple of huge Barracuda checking our divers out.
The next two dives of the trip were to be drift dives. These dives are very popular, as the divers dont have to worry about navigation; they just go with the flow of the current and see what comes up along the way. As the divers zoom along in the 3-knot current they fly like an eagle over the untouched reefs. The color and health of these underwater playgrounds are simply stunning. We see Puffer fish flap by us with consummate ease; we see a majestic eagle ray cruise by us in stealth mode as well as seeing the colorful reef fish that are ever present. After we have completed the two drift dives we pick up Mini wall which was a favorite site from earlier in the week.
Here at Mini Wall we drop our fish attraction box into the water. Its not long before we get some inquisitive sharks inspecting our divers. Flashbulbs are popping at regular intervals from the divers strobes as the sharks come for a closer inspection. The reef at Mini Wall is a magnificent dive on its own but with the vast amount of sharks we see here then it is simply an incredible underwater experience. Colorful sea fans and an abundance of marine life buzzing over the reef keep our divers very happy indeed.
Our divers reported seeing Lemon Sharks, Reef Sharks and a couple of healthy nurse sharks as well as seeing all the plentiful reef fish that inhabit this part of the world.
On the night dive Keith; Phil and Igor reported seeing a Tiger Shark. These Sharks are difficult to get close to in daylight hours so for our divers to see one at night is simply incredible.
Thursday May 28
Today we started with a dive on a wonderful dive site known as El Cappitan. This beautiful coral mound sits in around 70 feet of water and it is another extremely healthy reef system. We see a couple of huge Caribbean Spiny Lobster hiding in a crevice, we see Lionfish that suspend themselves in mid water – striking a pose for our divers. Divers reported seeing some magnificent nudibranchs clinging to the sea fans in the early morning current. We saw a massive Southern Stingray cruising over the sand flats skimming close to the seabed in search for a spot of breakfast. This wonderful reef structure is abuzz with life. We see hoards of Barracuda and lots of different species of Grouper, Parrotfish & Snapper. Reef Sharks, Lemon Sharks and Nurse Sharks were also sighted on this dive. We completed two dives here at El Cappitan before we moved to the next dive site of choice – Shark Paradise.
Shark paradise afforded us the greatest shark sightings for the week so we opted to tie up here and stay there for the rest of the day. On our two-day dives we saw a plethora of Lemon sharks, Reef Sharks and quite possibly the biggest Nurse Shark we have ever seen. This thing was around 8 feet long!!
On the second afternoon dive our guests were fortunate to see a Tiger shark on no fewer than 5 separate occasions. The shark was around 10 feet in length and it passed close to our divers – even passing in and out of the divers so each one could get a magnificent view of this amazing creature.
Divers ascended in jubilant mood and with some awe-inspiring pictures to boot.
We completed our night dive at Shark paradise where we see crabs, Lobsters, Amberjacks and a huge green moray Eel – Today was a magnificent day and our divers had some brilliant stories to share over dinner.
Friday May 29
Our guests enjoyed another hearty breakfast prepared by chef Brent and all to doon it was timefor an awesome drift dive in Mount Olympus. We dropped the divers right on top of this fantastic coral pinnacle so they could explore the reef to its fullest. There were so many shark sightings here that our guides - Nelson and Dave stopped counting. Numerous sightings of reef sharks and lemon sharks were reported as well as seeing huge parrotfish, big grouper and a giant green moray eel.
Divers boarded the yacht and enjoyed a nice hot shower before Chef Brent tantalised the taste buds with a wonderful tray of Banana bread.
Once everyone had showered and dried off we set sail for one last hurrah at Tiger Beach.
We dropped anchor and threw in our fish attraction triangle and waited to see what showed up.
Guests were greeted upon descending by a plethora of Lemon sharks and reef sharks. There were also a lot of yellow tail snappers around which put a vivid splash of tellow into our divers pictures.
The decision to dive Tiger Beach a 3rd and final time was vindicated 100% when a majestic 10ft Tiger Shark showed up and weaved its way through our divers.
The sharks passed by our divers around 8 times which meant we were able to capture some stunning images of this apex predator in its own domain.
Needless to say our intrepid underwater explorers were overjoyed at such a sight. This capped off a wonderful week of diving the wonderful reefs of Grand Bahama and Tiger beach wonderfully.
We motored back to port with a group of happy divers, enjoying lunch along the way.
We enjoyed a cocktail party on the sundeck prior to taking dinner ashore in the wonderful Old Bahama Bay Marina.
Massive Congratulations to our two Iron Divers this week - Igor & Keith, way to go you two!
A huge congratulations also goes out to Leslie and Scott Zobel who celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary onboard - it was a pleasure to share this moment with you guys.
Finally Happy Birthday again to Jim, the crew would like to have you and Alena back again to celebrate your next Birthday with an awesome spot of drift diving.
We hope you all enjoyed your week aboard The Carib Dancer, Until next time - Safe diving always
Your Carib Dancer Crew
* Tiger shark photo credit - Phil Johnston