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Cayman Aggressor IV
Captain’s Log Jan. 9 – 16, 2016
Water temp 28c/82f+
Air Temp 80s
Wet suit 3mm or skin
Light breezes and sunshine made for a perfect day in the Cayman Islands. We welcomed our 15 guests who were all aboard before 6pm! Most folks are from the US this week, with the exception of Monique and Gerard from New Caledonia, and Richard from London! Welcome to all. With everyone organized and settled in.. we started the engines and made for the horizon. Dinner and a safety briefing on the way as we cruised straight to Little Cayman. A perfect crossing, flat calm, a great night to relax, ready those cameras and get in a good night’s sleep!
Sunday, Waking up to flat conditions, a beautiful sunrise, Good Morning Bloody Bay and Little Cayman. Randy’s Gazebo was up first. Crystal clear water and the coral encrusted wall welcomed us in. Two chimneys, the archway, a couple of lobsters, two giant channel crabs, a large turtle appearing to nibble on Ty’s video camera and super friendly groupers escorting everyone around the site. With near limitless visibility, the sunlight hitting the reef, fish running through the sea fans and coral heads this place was just too much to take in all at once, don’t worry we did two dives here! The Meadows was our afternoon and night dive site. - completely different topography with bommies, a shallow mini wall and the main wall, with numerous tunnels underneath. Caribbean Reef Sharks call this place home and yes they came around to check us out. Stingrays feeding in the sand, more groupers, a large school of horseeye jacks and a massive barracuda hiding under the boat! The night dive was insane! There was so much life and action on the reef. Lots of interesting critters not usually found were showing off, a special nudibranch , the Orange Aeolid, a large Beaded Sea Cucumber, Arrow Crabs catching worms, lots of ‘Krill’ were coming in to our lights as well as the usual suspects including, Channel Crabs, sleeping turtles, lobsters and of course the elusive octopus. Well done to Luke on his first ever night dive!
Monday. Day 2 on Little Cayman, with Lea Lea’s Lookout up first. We dropped in and drifted down the crevice that runs from the 20ft shallows out to the wall at 100ft! Today we had incredible visibility. Large Lobsters and a beautiful Green Turtle out in the blue. The cutest baby turtle was not camera or diver shy! Cleaning stations galore, a yellow ray, and a nurse shark! A delicious lunch up on the sundeck before diving in on 3 Fathom Wall/The Mixing Bowl. Schooling fish, a huge free swimming Green Moray surprised us all, Yellow Headed Jawfish in the sand, lettuce leaf sea slugs everywhere, a Southern Sting Ray resting in the shallows. Just a breathtaking dive site. A Dinner Cruise with Chocolate Lava Cake for dessert, took us along the coast of Little Cayman over to the Brac, to our Night Dive location. The Wreck of the Keith Tibbets 356! Octopus!! Who was so intent on feeding, didn’t seem to mind a horde of divers following his hunting expedition around the wreck, the resident crabs and lobsters were seen going about their evening business, another green eel and spotted eel, along with a large haunting wreck to explore. A great dive on the Russian built Frigate, can’t wait to see it in the daylight! Next: hot shower, hot chocolate, hot towel and some Hot Tub Action, a great way to end the day.
Tuesday. Waking up to a gourmet breakfast of Eggs Benedict and Florentine, everyone was soon ready and itching to dive the Wreck from last night. To see it by daylight after exploring in the dark is truly something. Amy did her Advanced Wreck Dive and all divers enjoyed exploring the ins and outs of this wreck. The vis was excellent and plenty of pics were taken around the bow and stern gun. The engine room areas, dials and gauges were inspected as was the exterior. Back to Bloody Bay Wall and a quick stop in at Bus Stop. A large sand strip and swim throughs under the reef. An enormous Eagle Ray came right over us, swooping down into the sand, as we all struggled to reset our cameras she came by for a second look! That made my day! The Sailfin Blennies came out to dance and show off all right under the boat and of course one of our resident Reef Sharks did the routine inspection. Nancy’s Cup of Tea and Paul’s Anchors was the post lunch dive. Ancient Anchors to spot amongst the corals, a Goliath Grouper was found, as big as Amy.. no.. Bigger! Only one more dive to top off this incredible day of Little Cayman and Brac Diving, and that is the Great Wall. Beautiful dive, the best Wall you will ever dive, hawkesbill turtles, a green turtle, lobsters and groupers being cleaned. The Head King Pin of the Groupers Freddy was patrolling to make sure we all knew he was there. Phew, a busy day. Dinner and smooth sailing back to Little Cayman.
Wednesday. Another day another dive, today on the Tunnel of Love. South side of Grand Cayman. A very special place with a long tunnel, again popping you out off the wall in 90ft of water. Cracks in the wall to wind up and down, huge hunks of wall, semi attached to work around. The gang found a scorpion fish, stingrays in the sand, a shark out in the blue along with hundreds of Creole Wrasse Chromis dancing all over the reef. A quick stop in at Kelly’s Caverns where the group spit in two. Some chose the shallow Maze, while others opted for Crushers Wall with Pinnacles off the wall and canyons to negotiate. The day was finished with a couple of afternoon dives on Pedro’s Castle. Here we got to explore the great spectacle of Pedro’s Pinnacles, just awe inspiring out in the blue. As well as marvel at the large healthy forest of Elkhorn Coral, also a nursery to juvenile reef fish. Steak Dinner and a few guilt free drinks as we are done for the day.
Thursday. Waking up on West Bay, out towards the NW Point of the Island, Big Tunnels waited underneath us. Before the Sun was above the horizon we splashed on in and drifted down to the large archways, canyons and swim throughs this site is famous for. A small Green Turtle was there to welcome us in while the rest of the dive was very peaceful, slowly waking up. A great way to start the day! Second site of the day was the USS Kittiwake! Having just celebrated being sunk 5 years ago, we were all excited to check this large Submarine Support Vessel out. Everyone had a blast, going in all areas of this ship, engine room, recompression chambers, wheel house, crew mess. Lots of fun video and photos were taken today! A quick hop over to the Oro Verde, to dive before and after dinner. With a sordid history this wreck is entertaining. Now scattered wreckage she is home to a wide variety of life. Eels, Lobsters, Pufferfish, Goat Fish, Yellow Headed Jawfish, Mantis Shrimp and it is a great place to find Octopus on a night dive, as well as Giant Parrot Fish sleeping in the wreck!
Friday. Friday already! This week has flown by. Round Rock and Trinity Caves – two sites in one! Here we dropped over the wall to explore the natural channels and caves. Sunlight filtering down into the caves to light the way and illuminate the schooling jacks, also on the lookout for our resident eagle ray. Devils Grotto was our last dive of the week and is always a favorite. Swim thru’s, caves, cracks and crevices. Ready and waiting for silverside season the Tarpon, Jacks and Groupers have moved in. What a great way to end an awesome week of diving, awesome weather, awesome guests. All that’s left to do is wash our gear and get ready for a cold drink or two at the farewell party. Congrats this week to Amy and Luke for doing their Nitrox Course, also Amy did her Advanced Open Water! Well done! Thank you to everyone this week for a fun and relaxed week. Great characters, never a dull moment, lots of great photos and video, lots of Eating, Sleeping and Diving – couldn’t ask for more. Thanks from the crew to all, for making this another wonderful week of Aggressor diving in the Cayman Islands
Until next time……
Cayman Aggressor IV crew.