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Bahamas Aggressor Captain Log
June 29th-July 5th 2019
Temperature- 80-85 F
Suggested wetsuit thickness: 0-3mm
Photo Pro: Caleb
Video Pro: Ellen
Sherwood Forest, Shark Paradise, Hogfish, Mount Olympus, El Capitan, Sugar Wreck, El Dorado, Mini Wall, Metropolis, Silver Fox Ledges, Predator Alley, Diagon Alley,
Our Guests: Phillip, Damon, Bill, Chris, Brian, Elaine, Florian, Manuel
We welcomed the guests Saturday afternoon, and after an informative briefing and delicious dinner prepared by our in-house Chef, Rob, they settled in for the night at the Old Bahama Bay Marina. At promptly 6 am Sunday morning, we set off for Tiger Beach. Along the way, we stopped at Sherwood forest for our check dive, where we encountered our first Caribbean Reef Shark. We also spotted a southern stingray, a lettuce leaf slug, a couple of arrow crabs, parrotfish, and squirrel fish. After everyone felt comfortable in the water again, we moved along to the main attraction: Shark Paradise. After our first shark-filled dive here amongst the lemon, and reef sharks. We enjoyed some slow cooked ribs, before jumping in for our second dive of the day at Shark Paradise. There were over fifty reef sharks circling just under the boat with schools of horse-eye jacks and yellow-tail snapper. Our afternoon and night dive were just a hop, skip, and jump away at Hogfish. We watched as a cleaner wrasse courageously cleaned the inside of a lemon sharks mouth. Pederson Shrimp, anemone cleaner shrimp, arrow crabs, a spotted moray, a rough back ray, and of course the hogfish were all found taking shelter in this beautiful reef.
After enjoying some homemade French toast, we prepared for our first dive at El Dorado, where we were graced with a hawksbill turtle, a couple of passing spotted eagle rays, a green turtle and a juvenile drum. After refueling with Rob’s irresistible chocolate chip cookies, we returned to Shark paradise for more charismatic megafauna. What did we see? Sharks, Sharks, Shark, and more Sharks! Oh, and some blennies, stingrays, and giant groupers as well. The surface conditions thus far have been superbly flat, and the skies beautifully clear. The staff favorite, Sugar wreck, was on the schedule for our afternoon and night dive. A hawksbill turtle played around on the surface as the divers spotted a slipper lobster, 8 plus southern stingrays, a tawny nurse shark, and mating smooth pufferfish. Not to mention the nursery to every kind of fish known to the Caribbean. To top it off, a fresh cup of hot chocolate with baileys was waiting at the finish line for the happy divers.
Mount Olympus, a forty-foot underwater coral pinnacle, was our first and deepest dive of the day. Like descending from above a milky cloud into the clear waters of Atlantis, this site really turned it on once you got past the first 20 feet of bad visibility. Here we saw reef sharks, scrawled file fish, barracudas, schools of horse-eye jacks, and creole wrasse littering the top of the pinnacle. We headed back to Shark Paradise for some shallower action. Hiding in the sand we found many Jawfish, Queen Angel fish, and we finally had a Tiger named Kelly Kapowski swim by for a curious look at our divers. She swam right over the top of four lucky divers before disappearing into the sandy murk. Still stoked from the first Tiger shark sighting, we chowed down on Rob’s delicious New York Strip with caramelized onions, before heading to Mini Wall for our third dive. The divers enjoyed ducking into the coral ledges to take cover from the relentless current while watching reef and lemon sharks effortlessly cruise by. We also spotted a few banded coral shrimps, some southern stingrays, and a huge snapper. Afterwards, we all sat up stairs to watch a stunning sunset paint the tiger beach sky with every shade of pink. Guests enjoyed our local Bahamian beers, before a delicious Italian dinner on the amazingly calm sea.
Today, we had picture perfect conditions for the staff’s favorite dive site: El Capitan. There was hardly any current, very uncommon for this site, allowing us to cruise over the top of the large coral pinnacles while the huge schools of creole wrasse danced around us. A couple of large amberjacks rested under the vessel, while schools of barracudas circled around the stunning black coral structures. After two deep dives at El Capitan, we had worked up quite an appetite, so we feasted on Robs lunch buffet and butternut squash soup, before jumping in at Metropolis for a couple of shark dives. Two sneaky tiger sharks finally made an appearance after 55 minutes in the water keeping some divers down on the bottom for almost 80 minutes watching these spectacular creatures circle around them. We headed back to Sugar wreck one last time for our night dive to search for the Loggerhead turtles that usually sleep here. We found Marvin, the resident loggerhead, headed for the surface for one last breath before a three hour nap. The crew greeted the night divers with hot chocolate and baileys; they deserved it for swimming against a decent current tonight!
As we made our way back to dock, we stopped for one last dive at Silver Fox, named for a former captain of the Bahamas Aggressor. We had a wonderful last dive with great visibility, a lettuce leaf sea slug, a few arrow crabs, and midnight parrotfish. We enjoyed a beautiful slow roasted rib feast for lunch before enjoying the amenities of the marina one last time back at port. We had an incredible week with these divers, we will be sad to see them go but can’t wait to see what the next week holds!