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Belize Aggressor III Captain’s Log
Feb 2 – 9, 2019
Sea State: light chop to choppy
Avg. Air Temp: 88F
Avg. Water Temp: 84F
Avg. Visibility: 70-80F
Avg Wind Speed: 15-20knots
This week we welcomed our group from Colorado. There were 10 young students and from Kent High School, Tay, Leigh, Rowan, Chloe, Johnny, Aiden, James, Cooper, Seb, & George, along with their teachers Steve and Christine; as well as Mikki, Mark, Roger, Klara, and Graham from Ocean First & Tides. We had a really fun week with some awesome diving as well as some cool educational projects.
Steward – Randy
Engineer – Fermin
Instructors – Daniel & Rocke
Sun Feb 3, 2019
Dive Sites: Sandy Slope & Zipline
For our first day of diving, we got the kids in the water to get acclimatized and refamiliarize themselves with their equipment. We had a bunch of awesome dives at Sandy Slope and Zipline on the West side of Turneffe Atoll…this day set the standard for the week. We saw Eagle rays, nurse sharks, green morays, spotted morays, huge groupers, Southern stingrays, yellow stingrays, lobsters, schools of different types of fish, spotted toadfish, flounder, jawfish, garden eels, an octopus, pipefish, pipehorses, and dolphins came swimming around the boat.
Monday Feb 4, 2019
Dives Sites: Julie’s Jungle, Hat Caye Wall, & Eel Town
Today we had more fun dives, and we also did some photogrammetry, using lasers to measure larger marine life. We managed to get close enough to an eagle ray that was feeding in the sand. We also saw some green and spotted moray eels, a nurse shark, a Caribbean reef shark, different types of parrotfish & snappers, and a whole bunch of other reef fish. Later we did a Coral Transect line. At night most of the divers were mesmerized by a squadron of squid.
Tues Feb 5, 2019
Dive Sites: Site X & Quebrada
Today we had more dolphins swimming along the yacht…they moved away too quickly before we could get a photogrammetry reading. We did see a lot of cool stuff today again…whiptail stingray, green morays, Eagle rays, and southern stingrays. We saw a cute hawksbill turtle, tarpon, several barracudas and lots of groupers. The viz was phenomenal, and we were surrounded by schools of Creole wrasse, bar jacks, and horse eye jacks. There were thousands of reef fish or all species swimming about over the brightly coloured reef. Beautiful dives today.
We also found the time to visit Half Moon Caye Natural Monument for a little island excursion and lunch picnic on the beach. We went up to the bird tower and saw the nesting grounds for a colony of Red-footed booby birds and magnificent frigate birds. Along the trail we spotted iguanas and hermit crabs.
Wed Feb 6, 2019
Dive Sites: Half Moon Caye Wall & Nurse Shark Ridge
Finally today we saw a bunch of sharks! The students were able to do some photogrammetry on sharks , groupers, and Southern Stingrays. They also did some transects and compass work. The dives were awesome! In addition to sharks, rays, and groupers, we also saw barracudas, hawksbill turtles, schools of blue parrotfish, hogfish, permit, tarpon, and jacks. We found some eels and scorpionfish on the reef.
Thurs Feb 7, 2019
Dive Sites: Blue Hole & Long Caye Wall
Today was probably our best dive day of the week! We started off at the blue hole, and even though the kids were not able to dive down to the stalactites, they were still able to do a shallow dive along the reef rim of this world heritage site.
For the dives in the afternoon we saw EVERYTHING!!! Four Caribbean reef sharks, three nurse sharks, Eagle rays, Southern stingrays, green morays, spotted morays, 2 friendly hawksbill turtles, schools of tarpon, jacks, Creole wrasse, and permit, barracudas, groupers, huge snappers, lobsters, crabs, and macro stuff…neck crabs, wire coral shrimp, skeleton shrimp, blennies, gobies, and tons of other stuff.
Fri Feb 8, 2019
Dive Site: Sandy Slope & Amberhead
Eagle rays continued to grace us with their presence, as we saw two on our early morning dives. Eels were around, and lobsters were hiding in the reef. Schools of mahogany snappers and schoolmasters hung out around the reef, as goat fish and blue tangs searched the reef and sand for food. Curious barracudas came to check us out, and a turtle swam off in the distance, and an octopus stared at us while we stared at him…a great way to end a great week of diving…we had so much fun with Ocean First and their crew, and the kids from Kent were all awesome. We are looking forward to taking our future divers on more Aggressor Liveaboard trips.
In addition to a bunch of fun dives, the students did some educational projects by using photogrammetry (using lasers to measure bigger marine life); they deployed an ROV to shoot video; they did fish & coral transect surveys; they did a plankton trawl and sea surface microplastic sampling; and deployed a BRUV (bate remote underwater video).
Thank you all for a GREAT week!
EAT, SLEEP, & DIVE!