Bahamas Aggressor Captain’s Log 19-26th March 2016
Air Temp. 85 - 90+ F
Water Temp. 71 - 75 F
Visibility 80 - 100+ft
Captain David Patterson
Engineer Ramon Wong
Instructor Celeste Charnley
Instructor Gabi Ruben
Dive Master Ramon Wong
Chef Shea Markwell
Tony, Jim, Jason, Su, Melissa, James, Jorge, Melchor, Ann-Marie, Tim, Val, John, David & Steve
Saturday March 19th 2016
The crew of the Bahamas Aggressor welcomed 14 divers aboard for a week of live aboard diving around the wonderful Exuma Islands. Our guests busied themselves setting up dive and photography equipment after which they were shown to their cabins so they could unpack and get settled. Captain David then delivered the welcome briefing and introduced the crew. We opted to leave the dock on Saturday night due to a gentle northern swell that was moving us around on our dock. We then rounded the Yellow banks and picked up the mooring for our first dive of the trip - Barracuda Shoals.
Sunday March 20th
The smell of freshly brewed coffee and bacon wafting down the hallways had our divers flocking to the salon where they enjoyed a wonderful breakfast cooked by our excellent chef Shea. Once the deck and dive briefings were covered it was soon time to dive on Barracuda Shoals. This wonderful Shallow site is a perfect place to begin the week as it is shallow, colorful and full of fish! Our group saw 3 Lemon Rays, a huge Rough Tail Stingray, Nassau Grouper, Queen Angelfish and barracuda having their teeth cleaned at a cleaning station. Guests enjoyed their first dive and with weights trimmed and buoyancy perfected it was time to venture out onto the Exuma Sound to explore the walls and wreck on offer.
Next up was Jew fish Wall. This Splendid wall dive often has large fish cruising in the blue and today was no different. As soon as our divers entered the water they see a 6 foot Reef shark swimming by many feet below. We also saw Barracuda, Lobsters, Trumpet fish, Scorpion fish and Trigger fish to name but a few. After an awesome dive here we picked up the wreck of Austin Smith for the remainder of the day. The Austin Smith is where we see a lot of sharks, mostly in part due to our fish attraction triangle. The sharks are attracted to us to check out the goodies hidden inside our voodoo pyramid.
On the first dive we placed the triangle onto the bow of the wreckage and we were surrounded by up to 12 sharks all vying for our attention. After about 30 minutes we open the triangle up and gave it to one of the sharks. One of our guests Ann-Marie managed to get the ‘money shot’ with the shark gulping the fish from the deck of the wreck. Great work Ann-Marie! We completed our afternoon and night dive on the Austin Smith where we saw many more Sharks as well as a whole host of reef critters.
After a long hard day of diving our guests were tired so they decided to get an early night of sleep.
Monday March 21st
We decided to dive the ever popular Black tip Wall for our two morning dives. This beautiful wall structure starts in around 30ft and plummets down to the abyss way below us. Atop the wall we see lovely colorful soft and hard corals that have given homes to many of the fish life we see here. Whip corals and sponges adorn the walls which gave our divers some brilliant picture opportunities. We saw Lobsters hiding under the overhanging ledges, schools of Spade fish, Reef Sharks and a couple of huge Amber Jack zoom by us at break neck speed. We also say Angelfish, Barracuda, Permits, Porgies and Slipper Lobster. All in all it was a great way to start our day. We then moved the yacht north to our final dive site of the day Crab Mountain East. This is where we completed the two afternoon dives and also the night dive. We saw a ton of Channel clinging crabs crawling around the reef tops, we saw free swimming Moray eels, Turtles, Reef Sharks and Barracuda.
Tuesday March 22nd
We woke up to 20 Knot winds so Captain David took the Bahamas Aggressor inside to the Exuma Bank where we found shelter on the Leeward side of the island. Our next dive site of the trip was Lobster No Lobster, named for either its abundance of or lack of lobsters. This shallow dive site is always a hit with our divers and today was no different. We had crystal clear visibility with little to zero current so the diving conditions were 100% pristine. Over the course of our two dives here we saw a huge Rough Tail Stingray, numerous Yellow rays, Loggerhead turtle, Nurse Shark and some very inquisitive lion fish.
The thing that makes this dive site special is the fact that it lies in close proximity to a channel in between two islands. This means that twice per day it is flushed of all debris and algae so therefore is kept in amazing condition. The current brings nutrients to the corals which allow this shallow outcrop to flourish. The healthy reefs of the Exuma Sound sure do not disappoint! After two long dives our hungry group enjoyed a beautiful lunch prepared by our We then tied up to our next dive site - Cave Rock here we saw playful Nassau Groupers, Lobsters, Silver sides, Stingrays and Porcupine fish.
Wednesday March 23rd
First up for us was the ever popular Cobia Cage. This giant cage is suspended in mid water and was previously used to house Cobia by the local school on the island. They conducted research into breeding, and life span of these fish. The program has now since been disbanded but the cage remains. The sandy bottom is at around 90 feet which is not too far from the wall which is where our group found a very curious Reef shark cruising by them. On top of the wall they saw Parrot fish pecking away enjoying a morning snack. On the cage itself we saw the resident Atlantic Spade fish as well as a huge school of Horse Eyed Jacks. We also saw French Angel Fish, Midnight Parrot fish, Arrowhead Crabs and Hog fish.
After a wonderful dive we chose Cut n Run for our next dive.
On this dive site we dive on the wreckage of an old Cessena airplane. There is also an old ships anchor wedged into the reef also. Over the course of two dives here we saw Queen Angels, Lobster, School Masters, spotted Eel and a massive Stingray.
Thursday March 24th
First dive site up was Cut Thru City. This amazing wall structure has many swim throughs that will lead you out onto the wall. Our group enjoyed weaving their way in and out of these tunnels. On the dive we saw a plethora of Nassau Grouper, Oceanic Trigger fish, Parrot fish, Butterfly fish and a spotted moray eel.
We then moved south to Split Coral. Here we took our fish attraction triangle in and settled into the sandy flats. The Reef sharks came zooming close by our divers which made for some fantastic picture opportunities. The guests also explored the wall and the huge coral head which was teaming with life.
Once all divers were up we then crossed back over the exam sound to our next site of choice
We then moved to the Plane Wreck for the afternoon and night dive which is where we ended our day of diving. In between the 4th and 5th dive we had a wonderful thanksgiving dinner which was beautifully prepared by Chef Shea. Ramon then showed the video of the week which was enjoyed by all. After the night dive we pulled up the anchor and headed around the yellow banks. We then dropped the anchor not far from the blue hole which was to be our next dive site of the trip.
Friday March 25th
We woke up early to move the yacht from the anchorage to the blue hole proper. Before we knew it we were doing our pre breakfast dive on the blue hole. We completed a wonderful dive here where we saw the resident turtle, Nurse Sharks and reef sharks.
After our dive on the Blue Hole we dived Periwinkle. This was a fantastic dive to end on as we saw a plethora of marine life and some of the healthiest corals around.
We then motored back into Nassau and were soon docked back where it all began at Elizabeth on Bay.
We ended the trip with a wonderful cocktail party on the sundeck prior to the guests having dinner ashore.
We thank you all for joining us here in the Bahamas on board The Bahamas Aggressor
We hope to see you back here again soon, until then………safe diving, always
Bahamas Aggressor Crew