Charter 28 Nov – 5 Dec 2015
Air Temp 80F/26C – 85F/31C
Water Temp 82F/28C
Shortie or 3mm Suit.
Sunday: The skies dawned blue and the wind continued to blow. After a week of scheduled maintenance and Gale Force Winds, the crew, boat and guests were itching to get diving. All 15 of our guests arrived throughout afternoon and evening on Sat night. Sunday morning we had a leisurely breakfast, everyone was briefed on all aspects of the boat and day to day schedule. We left the dock with the tide and the boat made its way out of the North Sound and into deeper waters. For the folks eager to get wet they were rewarded with waves crashing over the boat and guess what? Most people did get wet! We surfed our way around to the shelter of West Bay, in time for a quick lunch before diving on the USS Kittiwake. A great afternoon of diving was had along with a fantastic night dive. Just about everyone got to watch an Eagle Ray feeding in the sand, a small Turtle was seen swimming over the reef and a Nurse Shark made an appearance and did not seem fazed by the divers. Most guests also saw an Octopus in the Day time sleeping, trying to hide in the wreck. On the night dive another Octopus was found and the Nurse Shark was still hanging around. What a day, considering the day started out as a “bumpy” joyride, but ended up a perfect Cayman diving day. Can’t wait for tomorrow.
Monday: Are you ready for this!!! The challenge has been laid, 6 dives, if you are keen and mad enough. A spectacular Dawn Dive, with an equally spectacular turn out of guests to dive on Big Tunnels. It never ceases to amazing us all how one minute the reef is sleeping and the next you are surrounded by 100’s of fish. An incredible site that we explored all morning. Swim throughs, archways, tunnels all on the edge of the North West Point drop off, a couple of large Lobster were photographed, an eel, a couple of turtles and lots of File Fish, in a large group all acting suspicious! A stop off at Neptune’s Wall to check out the pinnacle and archway, lots of cleaning stations, a turtle feeding, and mutton snapper keeping a close eye on us all. The Oro Verde, originally the USS Navaho, lives on in 50ft of water. Home to an abundance of critters, eels, snapper, a turtle, yellow headed jaw fish, a large school of Chubbs and Jacks. A late afternoon and night dive was very popular with our guests, some even tried their hand at underwater mountain biking…. A few of the guys are going to get ribbed all week, as they didn’t find the wreck on the night dive, oh, and by the way, we were moored/tied/attached to the wreck!
Tuesday: Good morning! Welcome to Round Rock and Trinity Caves. We spent the morning here checking out these two dive sites. A bit of follow the leader with a train of divers snaking around and under the Round Rock, meandering around the caves and crevices looking for lobsters, turtles, giant crabs, and drumfish. We got great pictures of divers swimming through tunnels and canyons. A tasty lunch back onboard as we attempted to hit the north side, with fairly ugly conditions we turned tail and headed south. This is a treat, we don’t get to dive Pedro’s Castle very often. Pedro’s offers us a unique topography to the Cayman Islands. Sea Mounds rising out of the deep, a small trek from the boat, but well worth the view! Closer to the mooring we have a maze of canyons, home to Lionfish, nursesharks, drumfish and yellow headed jaw fish on the sea floor, and very healthy Elk and Stag Horn Corals in safety stop depth! A great location for the afternoon and night dives!
Wednesday: Divers awoke this morning to a sunrise breaking through the clouds! Also to the sound of Detroit Engines cranking up for our trip West to Eagle Ray Rock. After an ambrosial breakfast of French toast, sausage patties and eggs the divers were ready and raring. Eagle Ray Rock is home to very healthy soft corals, huge ‘trees’, rivers of creole wrasse and a good supply of regular reef fish. Large bommies along the edge of the wall made for interesting topography. Divers had an encounter with a Green Moray Eel, a turtle passed us by and more than a few lobsters watched us from their holes. Lunch and Siesta then Dive again! This time on the North Side, a crew favourite – Hammerhead Hill! The dives brought out a whole host of different species from porcupine fish through to turtles. While we were keeping our eyes peeled for the resident Hammerhead Shark, Irv had a close encounter with not one but two Moray Eels, one was chasing a lionfish all over the reef! Wow! A great afternoon of diving topped off with Kingsley’s scrumptious meal of parmesan crusted salmon with a honey mustard sauce.
Thursday: With tranquil clear waters at Babylon this morning it promised phenomenal diving, and it certainly was! There was a nice giant anemone with squat shrimp doing a boogie. Also spotted were a reef shark, yellow headed jawfish, stream and streams of creole wrasse running over the reef, and a long snouted butterfly fish. Today was also the infamous stingray city day and boy were they hungry! Tal took the cake with a roly-poly over a stingray! To end the day we had a beautiful couple of dives on the Doc Poulson a little tugboat sunk in West Bay. Claire came back from the dive just buzzing with excitement, coming up and declaring “best dive ever!”. It was Noah’s ark down there as animals came in twos, including stingrays, turtles, eagle rays, morays, Rainbow parrotfish and to top it all off… spawing sponges!
Friday: After some late night shenanigans on the sundeck, everyone slowly emerged for breakfast and a dive on Angelfish Reef. Easy shallow finger formations, home to turtles – we saw three! Cameron was busy scouring the Yellowheaded Jawfish nests for Males with eggs, some folks checked out the edge of the wall, but most stayed close in the shallows. Chocolate Brownies mm mmm, for a quick sugar burst before the next splash on Devil’s Grotto. This dive was a hit, some saying it was the best of the week! An eagleray, a nudibranch, lobsters everywhere in twos, and the Tarpon are huge here. Just hanging in the swim throughs – what this place is famous for. Shallow swim throughs right under the entire section of reef, lots of daylight and an impressive lightning and thunder display!
Heading towards the Dock while we have lunch, and the realization hits us that it is Friday!, It is December already, where has the week and year gone! Thank you to everyone for a fun week of diving, a fun week of hanging out on the boat in the Cayman Islands, great people, great crew and a great time.
Travel Safe and we hope to see you all again somewhere soon
Cayman Aggressor IV, Capt and Crew.