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Cayman Aggressor IV
May 20th to 27th 2017
The Jim Church School of Underwater Photography.
It was our great pleasure to welcome the 2 Mikes back on board for another photography class thought with the Jim Church virtues of patience, abundant knowledge, 40 yrs of experience and of course brilliant humour.
The course was led, as always, by Mike H & Mike M whom both started their underwater photography with Jim Church over 40 years ago and they represent Jim’s legacy class & dignity. Their wealth of photography knowledge is truly 2nd to none.
Guests Christine, Linda, Bob & Mere, Hurt & Sherry, Jackie & Gary, Dave, Josh, Mike, Joe, John and of course Mike & Mike.
Crew Capt Niall, 1st mate & Chef Alan, Instructors Aubri & Justin, engineer Oneil, stewrd Latoya.
Water Temp 81f Air Temp 84f
Exposure Protection 3mm wetsuit or rash guard & board shorts
Saturday By 5pm we had all guests on board and we got the welcome & safety brief done before dinner so we could give the floor to the 2 Mikes to start the photo course and get everyone ready and excited for the coming week of underwater adventures.
Sunday Our start point for the week was the Doc Poulson, a small Japanese tugboat that was sunk back in the late 80’s and it is evident all over this little artificial reef that the wreck has been in the water for so with the abundance of coral life that adorns the wreck. We quite often start our week at the Doc Poulson and this week it was truly the perfect place to start because there were photos ops just about everywhere we looked and we had 3 turtle to boot. Next stop was Lost Treasure for afternoon and night dive. We had turtle and lobster and some very colour squid and a night dive that produced the largest moray eel any of us had ever seen and a very cool encounter with a little octopus.
Monday Our day started on the north west point of Grand Cayman at a very popular dive site known as big tunnels. The labyrinth of swim thrus carve their way in and out of the wall top and with 3 turtle encounters it certainly was a great way to the dive day rolling. Next up was world famous Sting Ray City for a dive among some very friendly Sting Rays and all at only 12 feet of water. Chef Alan served up a mouth watering Mexican lunch as we made our way out east to Babylon for afternoon of sheer drop offs, coral adorned pinnacles and a very lush olden garden on the wall top.
Tuesday An early start saw us make our way to the North wall of Grand Cayman for a couple of dives at Rum Point Drop Off. The wall this far north is sheer and dramatic and always offers the hint of pelagic life which was evident in a very big loggerhead turtle that did a drive by. Alan served up a delightful Italian lunch as we cruised around northwest point and over to a dive site known as Angelfish reef for some afternoon and night dives. We had a beautiful juvenile spotted drum and a very big loggerhead turtle but the night dive was the place to be, free swimming and hunting octopus were on display for everyone to see and Jim Church would have been proud of the photo & video that were produced.
Wednesday We made our way to the USS Kittiwake for a morning of diving and the weather the gods had been threatening finally arrived and sent us rough seas from the south, we had 2 very good dives on the Kittiwake and then tucked into Devils Grotto for some calm water and an afternoon of diving in the famous Grottos and swim thrus. We had schooling Tarpon in the dozens and a visit from a huge Goliath Grouper and the night dive again produce Lobster and Octopus and a very cool encounter with 2 squid.
Thursday Our best option for diving and calm waters was the north east end of Grand Cayman at Babylon, so we made an early start at 4.30am and braved the seas in a 3 hour run to what is generally considered one of the best sites in Grand Cayman. We had a day of sheer drop offs and coral adorned pinnacles. We explored all over this underwater play ground and took a break only when Alan served up a tasty curry lunch and with a midday snooze done we headed back in for more.
Friday We awoke to the world making sense again with an gentle easterly wind and a bright ball of sunshine, gone were the high winds and rough seas of the last 2 days and a morning of reef, wreck and drop off to look forward to. We had eagle rays, turtles potted drum and hogfish to entertain. Our cocktail party was a festival of photo talk and return Aggressor trips. Mike and Mike of the Jim Church School of Underwater photography held a truly funny and delightfully serious graduation ceremony and everyone got to show their photo & video and most important we remembered Jim Church for the great gentleman he was, his passion and humor live on in Mike & Mike.
Until Next Week
Your Cayman Aggressor IV Crew