Belize Aggressor III - Captains Log – April 15th to 22nd, 2017
Air Temp: 88 Fahrenheit / 31 Celsius
Water Temp: 85 Fahrenheit / 29 Celsius
18 Guests: Pete, Dan, Marge, Shellie, Ron & Kathy, Steve & Jen, Debra & Ron, John & Kathy, Colin & Jean, Tim & Jan, Doug & Kelly
Sunday- Sandy Slope & Long Caye Ridge
Monday- Lighthouse Wall & Julies Jungle
Tuesday- Blue Hole & Long Caye Wall
Wednesday- Chain Wall & Half Moon Caye Wall
Thursday- Johnny’s Wrench & Grand Bogue
Friday- Front Porch
Guests boarded, refreshments served guests shown to their cabins. Guest and crew introductions plus a vessel safety briefing. Dinner served onboard. A late evening departure from Belize City. Travel eastward. Calm conditions for a passage to the Western side of Turneffe atoll.
Divers awoke with Belize Aggressor already at the first dive site. The initial check dives were completed at Sandy Slope dive site. Plenty to see and all the divers were happy with their dive equipment. Over two dives in the morning, divers found spotted Eagle Rays, hawksbill turtles, and a nurse shark. A diver group also interacted with a pair of dolphins underwater.
During lunch, Aggressor III travelled around the southern tip of Turneffe atoll and then Eastward across to lighthouse reef atoll. An afternoon dive completed at long Caye Ridge dive site. Divers found many southern stingrays, a nurse shark, loggerhead turtle, Eagle rays plus tarpon, spiny lobsters and scorpion fish. After dinner, a night dive was also completed at the same site with divers finding lobsters, squid and scorpion fish.
After guests had dinner onboard, Aggressor III headed East to the Lighthouse reef system. Night mooring within the central lagoon at Lighthouse reef atoll.
After breakfast, a short journey was made from the night mooring in the lagoon to Lighthouse Wall dive site. A reef wall fringing south of Half Moon Caye. Two dives completed here and divers found a scalloped hammerhead shark, large midnight parrotfish, large yellow fin groupers, friendly Nassau groupers, Caribbean reef sharks, southern stingrays, hundreds of garden eels and conch. During lunch and with calm conditions, Belize Aggressor III travelled to Julies Jungle dive site, positioned on the West of Long Caye. On this wall dive site, divers found a nurse shark, Caribbean reef shark plus a large number of wrasse, lobsters, moray eels and groupers. A night dive was also completed at this site and divers found slipper lobsters, squid, basket stars and feather stars. After the night dive, Belize Aggressor stayed at the dive site overnight.
While guests enjoyed breakfast, the Belize Aggressor travelled north, meandering through lighthouse atoll inner reefs, to the ‘Blue Hole’ dive site. There were changing winds throughout the morning. The divers viewed the Blue Holes natural circular form and dived between the underwater stalagmites.
After the dive, Belize Aggressor traveled south to the reefs on the western side of Long Caye.
Two afternoon dives at Long Caye Wall dive site. Excellent visibility here and divers located schools of creole wrasse, numerous barracuda, a large number of horse eyed jacks, groupers, hawksbill turtles, nurse shark and many spiny lobsters. The night dive was completed at the same site. Night divers found many basket stars, feather stars, flamingo tongue cowries, urchins, brittle stars, reef octopus and a large solitary reef shark.
After the night dive, Belize Aggressor headed to its night mooring within the Lighthouse reef lagoon.
In the morning after breakfast, Belize Aggressor headed to the reef walls south of Half Moon Caye. Two morning dives at Chain Wall dive site. Many Caribbean reef sharks plus a large loggerhead turtle met divers. Divers also found hundreds of garden eels and many southern stingrays. The reef wall crest was covered with schools of blue tangs and snapper as well as friendly groupers. While the divers were underwater, a group of guests were taken ashore for an island excursion of Half Moon Caye. This marine and land protected reserve is home to Red breasted Boobie birds and nesting frigate birds. After those guests had returned onboard, the Belize Aggressor III headed further East along the same fringing reef to complete two afternoon dives at Half Moon Caye Wall dive site. Divers interacted with a couple of large spotted Eagle rays plus a large loggerhead turtle. Divers also found many large triggerfish, barracudas and groupers. A night dive was also completed at the same site and divers found hundreds of basket stars, tarpon fish feeding, slipper and spiny lobsters, sting rays hunting in the sand plus many large crabs and shrimps. Divers also found an octopus and a squadron of squid. After the night diving, the Belize Aggressor headed to stay at its’ night mooring within the Lighthouse reef lagoon.
An early morning departure from the night mooring within Lighthouse Atoll. The Belize Aggressor travelled west to the East of Turneffe Island.
Two morning dives at Johnny’s Wrench dive site. As the divers jumped in, they were immediately greeted by a pod of spinner dolphins. Up to 8 dolphins remained around the mooring throughout the dive and approached some divers underwater. Divers found several endemic bearded toadfish, spiny lobsters, moray eels, both loggerhead and hawksbill turtles. After two morning dives at this site, Belize Aggressor III headed slightly south, closer to the mouth of Grand Bogue lagoon inlet. Two afternoon dives at Grand Bogue dive site. Divers found many spiny lobsters, bearded toadfish, sharp-tail eels, many large jackfish, barracudas, flounders and stingrays.
After dinner was served, the guests enjoyed an evening presentation of the weekly movie, filmed by Instructor Daniel. Following the presentation, a night dive was completed at the same site and divers found many toadfish, basket stars, spiny lobsters, octopus and squid.
After the night dive, the Belize Aggressor headed south to the southern tip of Turneffe atoll and into Caye Bokel marine conservation area. Staying at the dive site mooring overnight.
Divers awoke with the Belize Aggressor already at the dive site. An early dawn dive followed by another morning dive at Front Porch dive site. Divers found bearded toadfish; schools of horse eyed jacks, numerous eels and hawksbill turtles.
After the dives, the Aggressor headed north East and back to Belize City for midday.
In the afternoon, guests relaxed onboard or went on tours ashore.
In the evening, guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers while enjoying the photo slideshow compiled by Instructor Jerome with media contribution from our guest photographers.
Award presentations were presented to the following divers:
Iron Diver Awards: Ron, Tim, Deb & Ron
Milestone Award: Ron - 200 Dives
…Well that’s the week over and at 08:00 AM on Saturday, the crew said their farewells to the guests departing the Beautiful Belize Aggressor III.
Captain Matt Rutledge