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Bahamas Aggressor Captain Log
April 6th to 13th 2019
Temperature- 75-78 F
Suggested wetsuit thickness: 3-5 mm
Photo Pro: Ellen
Video Pro: Brynne
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: Hartmut, Marc, Maria, Emily, Sam, John, Tim, Kevin, Brett
The crew prepared to depart the marina just before daybreak, and we arrived at The Blue Hole for our first dives of the week just after breakfast. After an informative briefing, we introduced our guests to what these Bahamian waters have to offer. We saw southern stingrays, an African Pompano, Pederson Shrimp, and a few sharks cruising around. On the second dive we watched a spotted moray eel feeding amongst the coral heads. Then we made the long journey to Eleuthera for an afternoon and night dive at Jakes Hole. This shallow dive site is chock full of little critters and healthy corals; we saw a mantis shrimp, a juvenile drum, arrow crabs, the elusive slipper lobster, and channel crabs in and around the hole.
We jumped in at Cut and Run for our early morning dive, where we ran into a loggerhead turtle. This curious, prehistoric creature swam by in the clear blue waters of Eleuthera coming in close to get a look at the divers. Next, we moved to Split Coral head where we had a shark dive in the sand with about eight Caribbean reef sharks circling the divers. When we swam through the crack in the twenty-foot-tall coral head we came across a pudding wife fish, a tile fish, and even a hogfish. After a buffet lunch by our Chef Caleb, we went for a dive at the Cobia Cage, an old fish farm contraption inhabited by loads of yellow line arrow crabs amongst the encrusting sponges. A school of over fifty Atlantic Spade fish swam over the netting making for a beautiful scene in the afternoon light. Our last dives of the day were at Tunnel Rock, where divers enjoyed the tunnel like swim through and the shallow reef where we swam with the colorful reef fish, jaw fish, and lemon rays. At night, we saw squid, a plethora of crabs, and cleaner shrimp.
We dived one last time in Eleuthera at Monolith, where we were greeted by a huge barracuda. Queen triggers and Angel fish, as well as banded sea crabs were also spotted on the two dives here. We made the crossing to the Exumas islands where we went to the Exuma Land and Sea Park to dive at 3 Peaks. We bounced from one coral head to another on this serene dive, during which we found the unique red-tipped sea goddess, a few sharks, and some local groupers. Danger Reef, our afternoon and night dive site, is a fun site with swim through in the large coral heads. A hawksbill turtle came by to say hello, and after the sun set we watched blackjacks hunt squid by the lights from our torches.
The day was off to a good start at Shark Reef where we came across a Loggerhead, a scorpionfish, a jewel fish, and a porcupine fish all in the first dive! During the second dive at this mini wall we saw a spiny lobster, the notorious lionfish, and a Giant Anemone. We moved to shroud wall after lunch where we were lucky enough to see a nurse shark sleeping under a coral head. The recent rains created a warm thermocline and a foggy haze covered the first 30 feet before descending into the clear blue Bahamian waters off the wall. Trumpetfish hid amongst the many sea fans and lobsters hid in the deep crevices of the wall. Crab mountain was a crowd favorite with the endless swim throughs and deep troughs. At night, especially, the ridges come alive with lobsters and king crabs. Afterwards, our divers warmed up with a hot cup of cocoa and baileys while sitting under the stars in our sundeck hot tub.
We started out the day at the famous Austin Smith shipwreck for an early morning shark dive. The guests swam around the wreck as the Caribbean reef sharks approached from all angles. Marvin, our giant resident Bahamian grouper, is back in his usual spot guarding the bait triangle. Binx, the resident Nassau grouper, being his usual spunky self, approached all the divers looking for a head rub. The groupers stole the show at this shark dive. On the way back to the boat, we could hear rain pattering on the surface as rainbow runners, snappers, and sharks danced in the light just below the surface. On the second dive, our divemaster, Rodney, found an octopus hidden in the wreckage! We moved north to Up Jumped the Devil, a topographically stunning site, where we saw yet another loggerhead!
The morning started with eggs and fresh croissants as we made our way back to Nassau towards our last dive of the charter: Periwinkle, a crowd favorite. It definitely did not disappoint today; we saw a spotted cleaner shrimp tucked in an anemone, and two tawny nurse sharks cruising over the pristine reefs. A slender file fish and of course the swarms of sergeant majors and yellow tail snappers. A beautiful last dive to end the week on a high as we headed for Elizabeth Bay Marina where we enjoyed Chef Caleb’s slow roasted pulled pork and coleslaw sandwiches before the wine and cheese party on the sun deck. We awarded four iron diver certificates to the group of friends that did all 25 dives! Overall, it was a fantastic week with this group and we hope to see them all again on the Bahamas Aggressor someday!