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Bahamas Aggressor Captain Log
July 20th-July 26th 2019
Temperature- 80-85 F
Suggested wetsuit thickness: 0-3mm
Video Pro: Rob
Photo Pro: Ellen
Sherwood Forest, Shark Paradise, Hogfish, El Capitan, Sugar Wreck, El Dorado, Hogfish, Mini Wall, Metropolis, Silver Fox Ledges, Predator Gulch, Diagon Alley, Mount Olympus
Our Guests: Chi-Chi, Dusty, Cris, Kristi, Bob, Ray, Shelly, Sam, Jordan, Nicole, Sabrina, Ernesto
The crew and guests all got to know each other over drinks and charcuterie before a safety briefing from Captain Christy. After a delicious dinner by our very own in-house chef, Caleb, everyone settled into their cabins after a long day of travel.
We disembarked from the Old Bahama Bay Marina promptly at 6 am. Our first destination: Sherwood Forest, our tried and true checkout dive halfway to Tiger Beach. After working out the kinks and becoming comfortable with their gear in the water, we scoured the reef’s crevices. As our dive guide, Ellen was pointing out a juvenile drum to one of the divers, while divers nearby spotted an eagle ray cruise past! Sherwood Forest is truly a place where anything can swim by. The divers refueled on some homemade chocolate chip cookies while we made the crossing to Tiger Beach. We arrived at Shark Paradise after 11 am, and the guests were making bubbles shortly after for their first shark dive in the turquoise blue Bahamian waters. After a 50-minute dive with the lemon and reef sharks, Wendy, a resident female tiger shark, decided to show up fashionably late. She swam over and around the remaining divers making for an exciting first shark dive. During the second dive, two divers were able to pull themselves away from all the shark action under the boat long enough to witness two Southern Stingrays mating! The smaller male will aggressively try to get under the female ray, but sometimes the bigger female is not interested and will simply shake him off. Our afternoon and night dives at the Sugar Wreck were the perfect way to top of the first day here at Tiger Beach. A huge Cubera Snapper greeted us just under the boat, then we saw a hawksbill turtle, a family of jewelfish, porcupine fish in love, and a couple of white-spotted file fish.
We started the day off at El Dorado, a lovely reef scape, where we saw French angel fish hiding behind purple sponges, and creole wrasse swarming the sea fans. A few reef sharks cruised overhead while all the reef fish hid in the healthy corals below. We moved to Shark Paradise while the divers snacked on Caleb’s delicious cinnamon bread. Just after 10 am we were hopping in for our second dive of the day, where we had lots of lemon sharks cruising around on the surface at Shark Paradise. During our second dive here, we were blessed with a visit from the one and only Emma. The largest and coolest female tiger shark in all of Tiger Beach, who is at least three months pregnant and bigger than ever! She swam in close to the triangle checking out all the divers swimming over top like the shadow of a submarine. How lucky are we that we get to hang out with these incredible apex predators? We also saw a juvenile drum and a moray eel amongst the madness. Hogfish, a shallow reef surrounded by sand, was the location for our afternoon and night dives. We saw lots of male and female hogfish, a few Pederson shrimps hiding in a corkscrew anemone, a channel crab, lobster, and various types of blennies. The night divers enjoyed some hot chocolate and baileys to top off a great day.
After a delicious sausage and French toast breakfast we jumped in at Mount Olympus, however, unfortunately this dive wasn’t for everyone. Mother Nature always has other plans; the current was unusually strong today, making a short dive for most and an exciting dive for others. Some divers really enjoyed the challenging yet rewarding site for its spectacular black coral structures, untouched reefs, and schools of pelagic fish. With a consistent current, we decided to do a Tiger Beach drift dive for our second dive. After quickly drifting over coral reefs teeming with reef fish, we had a visit from CJ Parker, a smaller tiger shark with a heart shaped nose. She curiously swam up close and personal through our group twice! It is always a treat to have a tiger swim by without any chum in the water. Our second drift, beginning at the Metropolis site, was a great success as well. We drifted right over a series of healthy coral reefs right into an enormous school of horse-eye jacks hanging out at Shark Paradise. After enjoying some delicious spinach and artichoke dip on the sundeck we jumped in for our final drift dive of the day.
El Capitan, our first dive of the day, was a bit uncooperative as far as current. Despite the strong current, the visibility was incredible and all the creatures were hanging out just under the boat. Permits, an eagle ray, jacks, Pederson shrimp, and a drum greeted us as we entered the deep blue water. Metropolis, our daily shark dives, was a bit more cooperative as far as the current. We had a sharknado of reef sharks and lemon sharks circling the scent pyramid, amongst the schools of horse-eye jacks and yellow-tail snapper. A couple of friendly Bahamian groupers interacted with the guests in the sand surrounding the reef making for some fabulous pictures. We returned to Mini Wall for our night dive. Whilst enjoying Caleb’s delicious snapper, we encountered a nasty storm, which made for an exciting twenty minutes of sideways rain, and electrifying lightening. However, it did not prevent us from jumping in an hour later for our scheduled night dive to look for crabs and lobsters and of course sharks. We moved to the anchorage shortly afterwards to sleep more soundly with the protection of the sand bank.