Bahamas Aggressor Captain Log
May 8th- May 18th 2019
Temperature- 75-78 F
Suggested wetsuit thickness: 3-5 mm
Photo Pro: Brynne
Video Pro: Racheal
Lemon Ledge, Shark Paradise, Mini Wall, El Capitan, Sugar Wreck, Fern Gully, Grouper Grotto, Sherwood Forest, Diagon Alley, Hogfish, Fish Tales,
Our Guests: Michaela, Jutta, Gabriele, Brigit, Thomas, Helmut, Andreas, Selina, Erich, Anna, Herbert, Gabriele
Everyone started preparing their gear early for a nice and easy checkout dive at Sherwood Forest. It was a relaxing first dive for our new group of divers. We saw loads of head shield slugs, lettuce leaf slugs, and a plethora of different types of Groupers. Afterwards, we were rewarded with a Mexican style feast for lunch. Our guests enjoyed the Bahamian sunshine on the sundeck with local Kalik beers and Aggressor Fleet Californian wine.
We set off to Tiger beach from Old Bahama Bay Marina at 5 am. We arrived at our first dive site of the day: Lemon Ledge. The water is slowly warming up as we transition into summer here in the Bahamas. We saw a moray eel and an anemone cleaner shrimp. The divers met the local Caribbean reef sharks that are sure to follow us around all week. We refueled on Chef Dorian’s homemade banana bread before heading to Shark Paradise. The current was mild, and the visibility was clear as the divers met a few of the resident Tiger Sharks, and Patches, the Great Hammerhead, also made an appearance during our two dives here. Lemon and reef sharks swam through the schools of yellow-tail snapper just under the boat. We moved to Mini Wall for the afternoon dive, where we saw a few spotted file fish, a slender file fish hiding amongst the many sea fans, and an entourage of reef sharks hogging the spotlight. The divers opted out of the night dive to save energy for the jam-packed week of diving ahead.
Before jumping in for our first dive of the day at El Dorado, the guests enjoyed a delicious eggs benedict breakfast with all the fixings. El Dorado is one of those sites where you can see anything; today, the divers spotted a sneaky hammerhead swim by! We also saw a green turtle, as well as a few friendly lemon sharks. We headed to Shark Paradise for our next two dives, where Xena, a very pregnant female tiger shark, made an appearance. We were also visited by Tigerlily and a couple of other unidentified female tiger sharks. After refueling on some delicious homemade crab cakes, we headed to Hogfish for our afternoon and night dive. This shallow reef is teeming with critters such as spotted moray eels, blennies, and reef and lemon sharks circling overhead.
We jumped in nice and early at a deep dive site called Jawfish Jigsaw. Because it is located quite close to Shark Paradise, we saw loads of lemon, reef, and nurse sharks cruising about, as well as a few spotted file fish, and a banded sea crab. We snacked on Dorian’s delicious homemade banana bread as we made our way to Shark Paradise to say hello to the big girls. During our two dives here, a tiger shark cruised over the top of divers while they spotted 4 male yellow-headed jaw fish with eggs in their mouths.
Sugar Wreck, a staff favorite, was a real treat for our afternoon and night dives. Our video pro, Rachael, found a juvenile trunkfish, and even a baby eel. This old wreck acts as an excellent fish nursery, in which we saw juvenile and adult jewelfish, mating smooth pufferfish, and a plethora of stingrays. At night, the loggerheads come to Sugar Wreck to sleep, thus divers came close to these dinosaurs as they took a breath of air before settling into the cracks of the wreck. As if this weren’t exciting enough, we also found a baby octopus!
We jumped in promptly at 8 am for the first dive of the day at Diagon Alley. During our two dives here, we had some amazing encounters with the spotted eagle rays that call this reef home. While swimming through the large crevices in the reef, a couple of divers found a large green moray eel free swimming. The reef fish covering this area are a spectacular sight in the morning light. After lunch we anchored at Fish Tales for another shark dive. Although we had a couple of tiger sharks cruising around for this dive, we decided to go to Shark Paradise for our next dive. Here, at Shark Paradise, we had Patches, the Great Hammerhead really put on a show. For the whole hour, we watched as Patches swam up each of the divers, and swimming right over our heads. It was incredible watching her swim along the bottom, using her huge dorsal fin to navigate around the divers and sideways through the water column. With heavy rains, and an overhead lightning storm we decided to end the day on a high note and headed back to the anchorage to relax in the calm waters there.
After breakfast, we made our way to white sand ridge to look for wild Atlantic dolphins, which are known to be in the area. Despite the wind and waves, our crew found a pod of dolphins just before 10 am. The guests quickly got their snorkel gear and off they swam where the dolphins waited for them just off the stern. What started out to be a group of 8, quickly turned into a group of 20+ dolphins swimming around the group of guests. They jumped and slapped their tails, swimming right up to each of the snorkelers. We could hear their voices distinctly as they played with us for at least half an hour. There was even a baby dolphin swimming next to its mother! This was one of the best encounters we have had with the wild dolphin pod in this area; well worth the bumpy trip out! The guests enjoyed a delicious minestrone soup as we made our way to Shark Paradise for an afternoon dive. We swam with two of the local female tiger sharks and we tried to capture the male jawfish on the edge of the reef with eggs in his mouth on camera. We moved to Sugar Wreck for our last dives of the day. As usual, this haven for underwater critters did not disappoint. We saw a juvenile trunkfish, juvenile jewelfish, French angel fish and smooth pufferfish mating dance, loggerhead turtles, and an enormous barracuda.
Our first dive site of the day, Fern Gully, is a sloping wall with huge barrel sponges, schools of reef fish, and of course many sea ferns and fans. During our two morning dives here, we saw Atlantic Spadefish, a king crab, reef sharks, and schools of purple chromis in the early morning light. We headed to Shark Paradise for our last shark dives of the trip. The visibility was not great, but there was one tiger shark cruising around the reef here. We decided to anchor a bit shallower in the sand nearby for our next dive and it was a great success! For over an hour, we played with Patches the Hammerhead and 3 Tiger Sharks. After a traditional Aggressor Thanksgiving dinner accompanied by a delicious pineapple rum cake dessert, the guests chose to dive Sugar Wreck for the last night dive of the trip. We saw Loggerheads, slipper lobsters, a giant green moray eel, a tawny nurse shark sleeping under a ledge, and several southern stingrays.
We were very sad to see this 10-day charter come to an end, as we shared so many incredible once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters. We swam up-close with five different types of sharks, wild dolphins, and ancient loggerheads to name a few. We ended the week with a serene dive in the coral labyrinth that is Silver Fox. We saw loads of reef fish, arrow crabs, barrel sponges, and one last reef shark at this site near West End, Grand Bahama. The wine and beer were flowing on the way back to the dock, and we reminisced the week with a champagne toast at the traditional cocktail party on the sundeck. We are so grateful to every one of our guests for sharing these unforgettable moments at Tiger Beach with us this week. Looking forward to what next week has in store!