Roatan Aggressor Captains Log February 10th-17th 2018
Air Temp. 79-82F
Water Temp. 78-80 F
Wetsuit req. 3-5 mm full, shorty or skin
Captain - Nestor
Chief Engineer - John B
Chef - Jana
Instructor - Gerardo
Instructor - Willie
Sunday – Tavianna & Half Moon Bay Wall
Monday - El Aguila Wreck & Lghthouse Reef
Tuesday – Odyssey Wreck, Spooky Channel & Butchers Bank
Wednesday – Cayos Cochinos Seamounts, Marine Park & Toon Town
Thursday –Seamount, Marys Place, Cara A Cara & Captain G Wreck
Friday – Calvins Crack & Mr Bud
Welcoming onboard this week a full house, 18 guests, Brazilians, Canadians & Americans. After the welcome meeting dive masters G & Willie are manning the grill as Chef Jana puts together the final touches to our delicious BBQ.
Introductions are made, friendships forged & with full bellies our travellers get an early night.
Engines start & we head over to West Point & the North Side, a 45 minute journey to Taviana, as we moor up the dive bell rings , with briefings given our first splash is at 8am, immediately upon descent we discover Peterson, Banded & Snapping Shrimp, a pair of fighting Spiny Lobsters, a Green Turtle which is rare but rarer still is a Manta Ray!!!! Seen by Ann Marie recently back from Raja Ampat where she saw many, so its a confirmed sighting, Michelle & Garrick spot an Eagle Ray, on dive 2 a Nurse Shark is seen along with a Pea Crab, Channel Clinging Crab & a Lettuce Leaf Slug. Its time for lunch with a dip in the hot tub & a snooze. Traveling a short distance to Half Moon Bay Wall where we remain for the day & night This week we have 4 students undertaking their Night Dive Specialty, for 2 of them it was their very first night dive! They were spoilt rotten descending down we are greeted by a Reef Octopus, a free swimming Spotted Moray, 7 Spotted & 4 Spiny Lobster with a couple of Squid on our ascent.
Engines roar at 6.30am, we head to the wreck of the El Aguila, Spanish for The Eagle El Aguila was wrecked travelling from Puerto Cortes to Haiti carrying a large cargo of concrete, it was then purchased & sank to create a diverse dive site over 20 years ago, its 230ft body rests on the sand at a max depth of 110ft, a busy week for study with 2 students thrilled to embark on their Wreck Specialty. We see Slender Sea Spiders, Bristle Flatworm, Rugged Sea Hares, Common Octopus & spotted by our Captain, a juvenile Blue Fin Cornet Fish, during our safety stop we have a ginormous Cubra Snapper with a couple of adorning Shark Suckers lingering under the hull. Travelling a short distance to Lighthouse Reef its lunch, Island made Tamales & other tasty treats. Splashing at 1.30pm we see Juvenile Drums, Juvenile Spotted Trunk the size of a large dice, the biggest treat was gliding through the water alongside a huge Eagle Ray which was breathtaking. The night dive was bursting to the seams with Lobster & Crab. Another wonderful dinner from Chef Jana with Lava Cake & a rendition of Happy Birthday to Suzanne.
Moving slightly East we head to the Odyssey a freighter sitting at 110ft, 300ft long, 50ft wide & 85ft tall, its Roatans largest wreck dive & one of the largest in the Caribbean. Intentionally sunk in 2002, its mainly intact & our specialty students 3rd wreck dive. All the usual suspects in addition to shoals of Sargent Majors, Yellow Tail Snappers & Fire Worms, after 1 dive we head to Spooky Channel which links the lagoon to the outer reef, this gorge now provides a beautiful underwater canyon.
Arriving at Butchers Bank, known for its sand shoots & exceptional beauty we moor up. Splashing at 1.30pm Sean finds a Seahorse, plenty of Grey & French Angel fish, Hogfish, Trumpet, Honeycomb Cow, Spotted Box Juveniles & Slender Filefish. This crowd really like to get their dives in before dinner. Its curry night, delicious!
Survivor man Les Stroud, is onboard with a guitar, Augusto & Michelle are fabulous at singing & soon all the guests are playing & singing well know songs.
An early start at 5.30am over to Cayos Cochinos, 1 of the 4 Bay Islands more than 20 miles east, from the moment we splash there is an Eagle Ray souring around us, on the top reef & in-between the coral heads we see a Nurse Shark, Nassau Grouper, White Spotted File Fish, several Bur Fish, an Oscillated Box Crab & a huge Wahoo as we descend. Heading to Toon Town, known for its Bluebell Tunicates, we fondly call it Toad City, you can hear their call but to find them can be tricky! Abundant with Lobsters, Balloon Fish & a beautiful shoal of Atlantic Spade Fish with busy swarming Creole Wrasse. The night dive is the final dive for most of our Night Specialty divers who completed their course with flying colors, congratulations to Michelle, Garrick & Logan, they were rewarded by a very happy Reef Octopus thoroughly enjoying the attention.
Thursday February 15th
The following morning is very exciting for us all, we are able to dive on the other Seamount, rarely do we get to dive this spot. A pre breakfast dive we descend down to a Bearded Toadfish, tons of Lobster, a Striped Elysia & Spotted Scorpion Fish. During breakfast we head to the South Side of Roatan and dive at Marys Place, the guests thoroughly enjoy the swim thrus, the general beauty & plethora of marine life. Its lunch & Chef Janas famous Conch & Fish Stew, an island specialty. With a fun packed, adrenaline rush afternoon with a visit to Cara A Cara & the sharks! Ending the day at Captain G, an old sunken shrimp trawler which shelters juvenile drums, Spotted Eels, Giant File & Cowfish, huge Spiny Lobsters that march over the sand. Congratulations to Cal who completed his Night Specialty. The wind picks up we head to the safety & calm of our home dock for a good nights sleep, Dinner is our well known & delicious Surf & Turf followed by White Chocolate Crème Brulée followed by our movie of the week produced by our very own G Master.
Sadly Friday comes too soon, with an awesome dive at Calvins Crack, which rarely disappoints. There are Seahorses, Slender Sea Spiders & a huge free swimming Green Moray. At our last dive site, Mr. Bud, the site of an old tugboat wreck our 2 Wreck Specialty divers complete their course. Congratulations to Cal & Logan. Heading back to our dock at French Harbor, dive gear is rinsed & hug to dry, bags are packed. Slow cooked Chicken is cooked to perfection & served for lunch followed by an afternoon nap for some & Zip Lining for others. At 6pm its our farewell Captains Pirate themed cocktail party. Toasts & Awards are handed out with a glass or 2 of our rum punch followed by a 5 star dinner at Romeos Restaurant at our home dock.
Once again its time to say our goodbyes, we wish safe travels & give thanks to such a great group of people, especially Michelle, Garrick, Logan & Cal for completing their Night Specialty, Logan & Call their Wreck Specialty, Caroline her Nitrox Specialty, its been a busy week for students. Wishing Happy Birthday again to Suzanne.
Until next time, The Crew of the Roatan Aggressor……