Log Date: Saturday, Sep 26, 2015
Entry By: Cayman Aggressor Crew
Charter 26-6 Oct 2015
Water Temp 30-31C/85-86F Warm!
Saturday. Another busy day in Grand Cayman. The Boat is stocked, the fuel tanks are full, all we need are our 17 guests who trickle in throughout the afternoon. By 5pm everyone is onboard. A few familiar faces to the Cayman Aggressor and some new ones. A warm welcome to all, as we let loose the lines and head out to our first dive site of the week. BBQ Dinner, introductions and a Welcome Briefing then for most folks it’s early to bed after a long day traveling. Rest up, as we have ten days of Eating Sleeping and Diving ahead of us!
Sunday. Ready for our first day of diving. The shallow wreck of the Doc Poulson is up first. A few of our divers are a little rusty so this is the perfect spot to become reacquainted with our gear and getting the gills wet. A picturesque wreck, lots of macro life and colour. Some divers dropped down the sandy chute out on to the wall, keeping their eyes peeled for turtles and rays resident to this area. A quick splash on Neptune’s Wall, a couple of turtles feeding and meandering about the reef, cleaning stations and very curious mutton snapper following divers about the reef. The highlight of the day was the Oro Verde, again a shallow wreck. Lo and behold…. A new bike has arrived, still shiny! So very excited divers and bike enthusiasts tried their skills underwater! Hilarious antics ensued and yes we have photos and video! Not to be out done, Fin our friendly nurse shark stopped by to inspect us all! A super fun afternoon of diving and a great night dive where we encountered the largest Parrotfish and Lobsters you have ever seen! Back on board we were lucky enough to see the Lunar Eclipse and Super Blood Moon!
Monday. Waking up to the beautiful sites of Grand Cayman couldn’t be easier with a beautiful sunrise and a breakfast of bacon, eggs and cinnamon apple hot cakes made fresh by Chef Kingsley. As soon as breakfast is finished it’s a quick splash straight into Round Rock/ Trinity caves. The site has something for everyone this morning, with walls dropping way into the deep and a shallow top reef for our keen photographers. A few decided they needed their daily adrenalin rush and so took to some of the finer swim throughs that Trinity caves had. Kingsley swapped his Jamaican hat for an Italian hat today, serving up a smorgasbord from what must have been shipped in straight from the streets of Rome itself. The afternoon brought about the much anticipated Kittiwake dive. The photo gang quickly took to the top decks to look for some macro while others combed through the passages and stairways of the ship below. Dinner was an exquisite feast of salmon with mango sauce, wild rice and accompaniment of vegetables. What had most divers drooling though was the Orange and Nutella crepes for dessert!
Tuesday. The Capt’s favorite site on this side of Grand Cayman, Big Tunnels! Spectacular formations and wall structure with large archways, and swim throughs, tunnels right under the reef. The west coasters on board were crossing their fingers we wouldn’t have an earthquake while under the reef! We survived, and had great fun in the clear waters, tarpon, lobsters and a turtle were seen, along with very healthy soft and hard corals. All too soon our computers tell us time is up, but ‘no problem mon’ as we are here for two dives. A lunch jaunt around to the north side and Sting Ray City, the clearest waters we have seen in a few weeks. The most fun 12ft dive ever! With half a dozen large and small Southern Stingrays smooching around for a tasty snack. Liz appeared to be the resident Stingray Wrangler! Even Pat got in on the action via snorkel. Last dive of the day just along the North Wall at Hammerhead Hill. A deep, knarly wall, teeming with life. A free swimming moray eel hunting with John and Krist, an Eagle Ray out in the blue, a few Lionfish and lots of juvenile reef fish. Awesome fun. All aboard and it is off to Little Cayman!
Wednesday. We woke this morning to the gorgeous beaches of Little Cayman, Welcome! After a quick breakfast, divers were revving at the start line to get stuck in to some diving. 3 fathom wall lived up to its reputation with most divers staying in the shadows of the boat as they spotted everything from turtles, to sharks to groupers all lurking right underneath the boat! This was also a sensational opportunity for Tom, Eileen and Tony to tune in some of their Nitrox skills by getting stuck into the course today. After an awesome lunch of sub sandwiches which didn’t have a crumb left, we headed straight to the Meadows. The bar was set high from the mornings dives but it inched a few notches further in the afternoon with critters from sea horses, green turtles, sharks and groupers through to sail fin blennies and yellowheaded jaw fish all being quickly spotted around the site. The night dive at the Meadows also offered up excellent viewing with lobsters, turtles, sharks, crabs and of course an Octopus all posing for photos it seemed. Congratulations to Tom for having his first night dive as well!
Thursday. Weather conditions deteriorating during the morning so we jump over to the South Side for some diving. The Black Hole! Drop offs over the wall, very different coral formations on this side. Lobsters, Groupers, giant Channel Crabs lurking about and a fairytale castle of Pillar Coral! Just beautiful. Some folks followed a turtle, (it won’t bring you back), but all made it back to the boat to feast on a yummy snack of Coconut Lemon Bars. Another dive on this site all before lunch! Now Hurricane Joaquin seemed intent on tracking south and was making her presence felt in Little Cayman, with Bloody Bay Wall due to get very rough and unsafe to dive, we made the call, had movie time in the salon and motored back to Grand Cayman.
Friday. Woke up to the beautiful south side of Grand Cayman at a dive site called ‘the maze’. After having their gills dried out the afternoon before, divers were quickly keen to get back in the water. A Deep Wall with sections of reef sitting out into the blue, narrow steep channels to swim through, a couple of friendly local reef sharks came around continuously during the dive, just checking us out. Divers returned wide eyed, and buzzing with conversation all the grouper, snapper, macro life and moray eels around the site. Many guests found themselves in that predicament of a ‘Nap taking them’ after the lunch feast! But most were back awake in time for the Tunnel of Love. The sheer wall presenting two remarkable swim thrus, the adrenaline was quickly pumping for many. Coupled with more channels to negotiate, scorpion fish, some were sea horse hunting, all in all a great dive site. A Dusk Dive this evening before yet another outstanding dinner of Surf and Turf, hold on to your Lobsters Tails because Lorraine is hungry!
Saturday. A busy day ahead with a Dawn Dive on the Tunnel of Love, numbers were thin this morning, but a lot of guests were enjoying a sleep in. Waking up with the reef, a perfect sunrise. Looks like we may get some sun today after the hurricane fallout. Scrumptious Eggs Bennedict post dive – what a way to start the day. Heading West along the South Side of the Island to Crushers Wall and Kelly’s Caverns. An impressive wall with a couple of pinnacles off the edge, sea fans, soft corals and a healthy array of Brain Corals. Yet another Reef Shark, a nurse shark right under the boat, a large turtle just not bothered at all by Steve and Kevin! Kelly’s Caverns is a maze of canyons, swim thrus, over hangs full of Lobsters and Crabs, a Yellow Ray and plenty of reef fish including Yellow Headed Jawfish and lots of Sailfin Blennies! A very promising site for the night dive!
Sunday. First thing this morning we moved on to Pedros Castle to take in the magical underwater views of the deep pinnacles. Rising out of the deep at depths over 130ft the great columns rise up to meet the divers. During the dive plenty of clusters of lion fish are seen. Some took the time to explore the many swim throughs the site had to offer whilst others took to the sand patches to spot some yellow headed jawfish. Kingslie worked away at the BBQ to provide Cheeseburgers in Paradise with all the fixings which was quickly devoured by all. After lunch the call was made to remain on site as the prevailing conditions on the North side of the island precluded us from moving any further. This was taken with great affection by the team with all members having quick rests before jumping back in for some afternoon fun. A collection of juvenile trunk fish was spotted as well as some shenanigans by some mullet snapper who are always up to mischief. The slow roasted pork chop with twice baked potatoes, steamed cauliflower and sautéed kale were warmly welcomed after a dusk dive saw the water temperature plummet to 80F brrrr!
Monday. The final day of a great trip. Bullwinkle was our destination dive site. Perfect clear conditions, large healthy Staghorn and Elkhorn corals. Majestic Caves to swim through, archways to duck under. Plenty of Yellow headed Jaw Fish in the sand, also Sailfin Blennies, flounder, yellow rays, Tarpon and Steve got some amazing footage of Southern Stingrays Mating! Wow, a relaxing afternoon on the boat with swimming, tanning and a few cold beers. A surprise dinner from Kingsley, even dessert, as we were still waiting for our dock to be available. A great week, thank you to everyone for a pleasant week of personalities and diving.
Congrats to Tony, Tom and Eileen for completing their Nitrox Course this week.
We hope to see you all again soon.
Safe Travels and diving.
Cayman Aggressor IV Capt and Crew