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Bahamas Aggressor Captain Log
April 13th-20th 2019
Temperature- 75-78 F
Suggested wetsuit thickness: 3-5 mm
Photo Pro: Caleb
Video Pro: Rachael
Blue Hole, Jakes Hole, Cut N Run, Split Coral Head, Cobia Cage, Tunnel Rock, Monolith, 3 Peaks, Danger Reef, Shark Reef, Shroud Wall, Crab Mountain, Austin Smith, Up Jumped the Devil, Dog Rocks, Smugglers Plane, Periwinkle.
Our Guests: Alvaro, Carlos, Bill, Dennis, Lenny, Beth, Treven, John, Jeff, Michael, Janet, Kurt
Our new guests from London, Peru, Canada, and all over the USA boarded the Bahamas Aggressor at 4pm. We got to know one another over some drinks and snacks before promptly departing the Elizabeth Bay Marina for the Exumas. We moored in a sheltered area to give everyone a good night sleep before a full day of diving tomorrow.
Our guests filled up on homemade Danishes before a back-deck briefing. By 8 am, we were jumping in at our first dive site: Basket Star Reef. Although shallow, this healthy reef is full of life; we saw a nurse shark, sea goddesses, scrawled file fish, and some enormous lobsters during our two dives here. We moved along the Exuma Sound to Flat Rock, where we spotted a green turtle, a Nassau grouper, and possibly the biggest Southern stingray that we have ever seen here in the Bahamas. It was twice the size of our dive guide Rachael! We dived Barracuda Shoals, one of our favorites, for the afternoon and night dive. Again, we saw the enormous stingray, but this time buried in the sand. We also saw a reef shark, and the cutest juvenile trunk fish. We had someone join us for their first night dive ever, during which we saw a channel crab, another juvenile trunkfish, arrow crabs, and a green turtle sleeping under a coral ledge.
We set off for the Exuma Land and Sea Park where we had our morning dives at Shark Reef. During our two dives here, we witnessed a Bahamian grouper getting a good clean by a cleaning wrasse. A few sharks lurked just under the boat; and a scorpionfish, filefish, and lizardfish hid in the coral. After a filling lunch of fish burgers with homemade avocado aioli, we dived at 3 Peaks. A shark greeted us as we descended on this serene site full of tropical fish, banded sea crabs, and even a southern ray. Next, we arrived at Danger Reef for our afternoon and night dive. As the sun sank lower in the sky, the black jacks began to scour the reefs, groupers hung out just under the boat, and rays glided over the sand. During the night dive we found a slender file fish, and brittle sea stars stretching their legs.
We started the day with Chef Brynne’s delicious French toast with homemade challah bread as we made our way to Cut through City where a loggerhead flirted with our Captain and dive guide, Christy. In addition, one of our guests spotted a large spotted drum within the reef. Monolith, our second dive site of the day, was where we found the elusive Burr fish, a few banded sea shrimps. After lunch, we had an exciting shark dive at Split Coral Head. Loads of reef sharks circled the divers under the boat, and we even had an incredible encounter with a green turtle that also wanted to get in on the action. He came up to each of the divers in the sand to say hello! Then, to top it off, we saw another Loggerhead on the safety stop. For our afternoon and night dives we went to Jakes Hole, an incredible shallow reef where we spotted a channel crabs, a spotted eel, a slipper lobster, and an octopus put on a show during the night dive.
Continuing our exploration of Eleuthera, we started the day at Cobia Cage, where our dive guide and photo pro, Caleb, showed the guests the huge population of tiny yellow line arrow crabs that have claimed this abandoned structure as their home. We also saw a couple of reef sharks, another spotted eel, and a few lionfish. Our next two dives where at Cut N Run, an underwater playground with an old anchor, a small sunken aircraft, and an infinite wall. We saw male and female hogfish, schools of parrotfish, and big barracudas. On the second dive here, a friendly loggerhead turtle sped past then doubled back to come have a closer look at all of our divers on the wall. We finished off the day at Tunnel Rock, where we saw a scorpionfish without the camouflage of the nearby reef; instead, hopping across the sand moving house. Our dive guide and video pro, Racheal also found a mantis shrimp in the tunnel like swim through.
The day began nice and easy at Hole in the Wall, where we swam through the 20-foot hole in the reef that spit us out into the bluest water overhanging the wall 90 feet deep. Yet another Loggerhead made an appearance during these dives, where we also saw a huge spotted drum and a lettuce leaf slug. After lunch we made our way back towards the Exumas to dive the famed Austin Smith shipwreck. Although a bit bumpy on the surface, the sharks were still active and the visibility still pretty good. Marvin and Binx, the want to-be sharks that are actually groupers, gave the divers a warm greeting and even a cuddle. We did the Washing Machine dive later in the day, and the current was pumping! The divers were spun around on high speed then spit out onto Basket Star Reef, a crowd favorite. For the encore, and last dive of the week, we did a night dive at the Smugglers Plane. This sunken plane is a haven for conch, crabs, lemon rays, and Pederson shrimp, as well as a spotted moray eel. The divers warmed up with a warm cup of hot chocolate with baileys.
We ended the week with a drift dive at the Cousteau favorite, Lobster No Lobster. The Coral heads are some of the healthiest in the Caribbean, and the guests enjoyed flying over them in the current. During the crossing back to Nassau, guests enjoyed a buffet lunch and an open bar before departing for land-based activities. At 5 pm we all reunited for a wine and cheese party on the sundeck. We exchanged stories and dive destinations just before we awarded one certification, two iron divers, and one 200 dive milestone! Thanks for a great week guys, hopefully we will see you at Tiger Beach this summer!