Cayman Aggressor 14-21 Nov 2015
Water Temp, 29C/82F
Sat 14th. Welcome to the Cayman Islands! This week we have 14 guests, 9 from the UK and the remaining 5 hail from the US. A multi national crew, Jamaican, Irish, English, Australian and a Kiwi. This week we have a few frequent flyers – Welcome Back! A very warm welcome back to the Longe Family who dive with us every year, sometimes twice a year! Everyone was aboard and making themselves at home by 4pm. Looking at the weather this is the perfect time to head over to Little Cayman. With everything packed away, safety briefing done we settled in for the next ten hours. Dinner and a movie on the way!
Sun 15th. After a bumpy overnight crossing we woke up on Little Cayman’s, Bloody Bay Wall! Randy’s Gazebo was the first site. An easy start to the day, sorting out weights and getting into dive mode. This site is fantastic, chimneys and swim thru’s, super friendly groupers, a couple of turtles just mozying around on top of the reef, not bothered by the cameras, lobsters peeking out at us. Wow, and this is only the start of the week! The Meadows with our resident Caribbean Reef Shark family was the highlight of the afternoon. Everyone had a great experience diving along the wall with an escort of sharks, Fric, Frac and Fro. For a while we didn’t know where to look, a couple of turtles on the top of the wall with the sharks tooling around, dropping down a crevice to stumble across a Goliath Grouper! On being disturbed she swam out to show off, everyone got great photos and video! A night dive to follow dinner – or Tea as it is known by this week., a super start to a great week of diving the Cayman Islands.
Mon 16th. Everyone was up nice and early for a great breakfast of Eggs, Bacon and Pancakes then splashing by 8am. After hearing the legend of Lea Lea’s Lookout we jumped on in. Here we enjoyed free falling down a crack in the reef to the Great Room, popping out at 100’ on the wall to wind our way back up the wall through sponges, turtles, and another cut in the reef. Plenty of cleaning stations and hiding spots for Lobsters and Nurse Sharks! After Chef Kingsley’s super Mexican Monday Lunch and a wee siesta we dived world famous ‘3 Fathom Wall’, also known as The Mixing Bowl. True to form this dive site delivered, hosted by the friendliest Grouper in town, Grover! We spotted Lettuce Leaf Slugs, Lobster, cleaning stations with lots of groupers being ‘worked on’, Yellow Headed Jaw Fish with Eggs! Large schools of chubbs, jacks and snappers all right under the boat. Back on board for Tea and a cruise over to Cayman Brac - night dive on the Keith Tibbetts – Russian Built Koni Class Frigate! The guys had a great night dive with an Octopus entertaining them all, along with giant Crabs, scorpion fish and inquisitive stingrays in the sand. As the night wore on, the weather deteriorated, once all the divers were back on board, the wind continued to pick up, so we motored back to Bloody Bay on Little Cayman.
Tuesday 17th. A sequel dive on Lea Lea’s Lookout, an incredible dive. Visability improved from the day before and a light current made for perfect conditions to explore this site. The famous ‘Corner’ was just teeming with life, critters of all sizes were feeding in the up flow of water. Creole Wrasse, Chromis, Tiger Groupers and Nassau Groupers laying in wait, the water was thick with fish life, then up through the traffic climbed a large Sea Turtle – picture perfect. Craig was there to capture the moment on his Go Pro – Magic! Stop the Bus!! An emergency run to the island for PG Tips before the guests called mutiny! Classic Tea drinking guests are happy once again, so back to the diving. Our final stop for the day is Bus Stop. Lots of tunnels under the reef, Three Reef Sharks checking every one out, stingrays feeding in the sand, yellow headed jaw fish and sailfin blennies, this place has something for everyone. Our Dusk dive ended up being more of a night dive but we had a very cool Octopus hunting and showing his colours - just in front of the mooring! As well as Lobster and Crabs, corals feeding on the bloodworms. Also very cool to see at this time of the year are the Pelagic Tunicates floating through the water in a variety of formations. Hot Towels, Dinner/Tea and a few Vinos once back on board - you can’t ask for a much better way to finish the day!
Wednesday 18th Day broke to find us on the west end of bloody bay at a divesite known as Joys Joy and with a brilliant ball of sun rising in the sky we knew the scene was set of a great day of diving. Joys Joy is a bit deeper to the top of the wall but the topography offers a mini wall before the actually wall with several channels and swim thrus. Large grouper and several lionfish were the order of the morning with at least 100ft of vis. After the best hamburgers this side of the Azores we headed for Donna’s delight for 2 afternoon dives that offered up a couple of photogenic turtles and a free swimming 6th bright green moral eel, again the vis was in the triple digits, the beauty of the coral garden on the top of the wall turned safety stops into one of the best parts of the dive. For a night dive we made the short hop to 3 Fathom wall and powered on by chef Kingsley’s Tiramisu dessert, several of us braved the 82 degree water to be rewarded by a channel crab within the first couple of minutes, shortly after a spiny lobster marched into our lights and at the latter end of the dive we got the prize of all nightdives, an octopus gave us a brief but fantastic show and all agreed it was a brilliant way to end a great day of diving.
Thursday 19th. Most divers were up before the Crack of Dawn for a dawn dive! Unfortunately we couldn’t dive Nancy’s Cup of Tea as there was a very strong current, so a quick hop over to the Meadows and the best wake up dive ever! Shark Central – the Ref Sharks were very interested in our activities so early in the morning. Our shark escort provided much entertainment as the reef woke up around us. Before we knew it we were surrounded by wrasse and chromis. A Hawkes Bill turtle joined in the group and meandered along with Lora and Jenn for a long time as we made our way along the wall. Lots of Southern Sting Rays feeding in the sand and of course the Groupers were never too far away! A well deserved breaky of Eggs, Bacon and Hot Cakes mmm. A busy morning with a dive on Sarah’s Set before making our way to the Great Wall. This Wall is breath taking! Sheer, and seemingly never ending. Large Crabs, another turtle, an impressive green moray eel lazing under a coral head. Everyone got the chance to meet the iconic figure head of Little Cayman, Freddy the original friendly grouper! A bonus dive on Bloody Bay’s Marilyn’s Cut, our last chance to enjoy the wonderland that it is famous for. A forest of sea fans, coral heads, cleaning stations all on the edge of a 6000ft drop off! Time for showers and downloading all our images while we dine, thanksgiving style and cross back to Grand Cayman.
Friday 20th. Welcome back to the big island. Clear skies as the sun rose over flat calm west bay and the wreck of the Kittiwake. We spent the last morning of diving exploring every nook and cranny of this wreck and reef. Purpose sunk almost 5 years ago the Kittiwake is a Wreck Lovers playground! Dropping down through the Funnel to the Drive Shaft, working our way up through the engine room, galley, crew mess, recompression chambers, wheel house and super structure… fun fun fun. Horse eye jacks swirling under the boat, stingrays feeding the sand and sand chutes disappearing off into the blue. Everyone had a great morning of diving. Gear rinsed and hung out to dry as we had lunch on the way to the dock. A few awards, a toast to top off a great week and fantastic guests. Thank you to all for a fun and safe week of diving aboard the Cayman Aggressor.
Till next time.
Cayman Aggressor IV Capt and Crew.