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Bahamas Aggressor Captain Log
August 3rd 2019
Temperature- 80-85 F
Suggested wetsuit thickness: 0-3mm
Video Pro: Rob
Photo Pro: Caleb
Dive Sites: Crab Wall, Black Tip Wall, Whale Shark Wall, Austin Smith, Barracuda Shoals, Washing Machine, Basket Star Reef, Blue Hole, Periwinkle,
Our Guests: Elizabeth, Chip, Laura, Ron, Denise, Helmut, Simone, Jan, Eva, Joanna, Pierre
Guests arrived from France, Germany, Canada, and the USA for a week of diving around the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. Soon after everyone boarded, we set off on our three-hour journey to the Exumas islands. They enjoyed some rum punch and snacks while we got to know one another. Rob gave everyone a safety briefing, then we enjoyed Dorian’s famous island style chicken for dinner. We arrived around 10 pm, not long after everyone had settled in for the night to prepare for a full day of diving.
Caleb gave us a thorough back deck briefing before we splashed for our first dive at 8 am. Crab Wall was in mint condition for a checkout dive. A school of Atlantic Spade fish and a friendly Barracuda greeted us just under the boat. During our two dives here we also spotted a french angel fish, southern stingray, shark, Pederson shrimp, and a jawfish hiding in the sand. We moved along the outside of the Exumas islands to Pillar Wall for our 3rd dive of the day. Oceanic triggerfish floated above us as we made our way to the wall where five pillars emerge from unfathomable depths. Along the scaling wall we saw a white-spotted file fish, 4-eyed butterfly fish, a few colorful sergeant majors, and our second Caribbean reef shark spotting. Our afternoon and night dive were at the Austin Smith shipwreck. We had two shark dives here, during which the divers watched from the perimeters of the wreck as 15-20 reef sharks swarmed the divers. Starvin Marvin, our resident grouper and scent triangle guardian, was not in the best health; an injury that we noticed last week is looking a bit infected. Pray for Marvin! Binx, the resident Nassau grouper, was looking better than ever; stealing the show from the sharks and letting all the divers pet him as he swam past showing off his shiny scales. The wreck made for a very sharky night dive. The adrenalin rushed divers enjoyed their first Bahamas Aggressor hot chocolate with Baileys before calling it a night.
Jewfish Wall, a deep wall dive, was our first site of the day. A school of Atlantic Spadefish shimmered in the early morning light and we spotted a tawny nurse shark hiding under the coral in one of the many ravines. During our two dives here we spotted arrow crabs, a juvenile blue tang, a free-swimming green moray eel, and what appeared to be a newborn parrotfish. We headed to Up Jumped the Devil, another deep wall site with a random lounger sitting on the reef at 100 feet deep. It is said that the Devil himself rises from the depths to catch some rays on this very chair;) The divers were amazed by the enormous topographical features of this site with deep swim throughs and pillars. After refueling on some savory chicken wings, we hoped in at Lobster, No Lobster so named by the very own Jean Cousteau. Divemaster and video pro, Rob, found and filmed a juvenile trunkfish. The guests spotted a variety of flamingo tongues on the purple sea fans. Blue Tangs and parrotfish snacked on the coral, as stingrays swam across the sand. The night dive here was a bit of an adventure because the current picked up earlier than predicted, but we still saw a yellow stingray, and a couple of sharks swimming over the reef before calling it a night.
What’s better than coffee in the morning? The washing machine dive! At 8am we prepped divers for the most unique dive of their dive career. Our famous drift dive tossed the divers head over heels through the gulley and spit them out the other side. We spent the rest of the dive drifting over the healthy Basket Star reef at a brisk pace. Divers spread their arms as they flew along underwater like kids on a ride at an amusement park. Despite the madness, two divers managed to spot a nudibranch and a shark! We moved to Close-Mon, a site that’s very close to the rocks mon! This shallow reef surrounding the rocky edge of one of the many small islands was teeming with life; we saw a mantis shrimp, countless stingrays, oceanic triggerfish, and a hawksbill turtle. Barracuda Shoals, our afternoon and night dive, was also a reef fish haven. We saw a nurse shark hiding beneath the coral heads, and a hawksbill turtle even popped up to say hello as we were headed back to the boat. On the night dive, we spotted a spotted moray eel hunting beneath a staghorn coral, and a yellow ray glided across the sand.
You can’t go wrong with eggs benedict for breakfast followed by a deep dive at Whale Shark Wall to burn off all that delicious hollandaise sauce. A huge barracuda greeted us under the boat, while a few horse-eye jacks came in close to get a look. During the two dives here, we also saw a midnight parrotfish, a juvenile Caribbean Reef Shark. We warmed up with a bowl of our French Chef Dorian’s famous Potage Saint-Germain Soup. Everyone enjoyed the drift over Basket Star reef so much that we decided to do a static dive there during slack tide. We saw a red-tipped sea goddess, a green turtle, and many reef fish hiding in the healthy coral structures. We went back to Barracuda Shoals for our night dive, hoping to see the loggerhead again. We didn’t see any turtles but we did see a porcupine pufferfish, and a tawny nurse shark.
We started the day out right with some blueberry waffles and Dog Rocks. At 8 am we were jumping in for our first dive of the day at this staff favorite site. A spotted eagle ray cruised past the divers a couple of times along the edge of the cascading reef wall. Two divers spotted and photographed an adult and juvenile file fish jumping between finger corals. The eagle ray joined us on the second dive as well, and a few others found another slender file fish. Very happy divers this morning! We set off on our long journey to Nassau whilst enjoying Chef Dorian’s Caribbean Conch stew and Cuban steaks for lunch. After a long nap on the sundeck everyone suited up for the last two dives of the day at the Lost Blue Hole. Another staff favorite, this site did not disappoint. There was a nurse shark, 5-6 Caribbean juvenile reef sharks, and an adult drum. To top it off, during the night dive, everyone had their own loggerhead turtle dance around them as they woke from the deep shelves of the blue hole to take a breath at the surface. A great way to end a perfect day of diving in the Bahamas.
We jumped in bright and early at 7 am and again after breakfast at Periwinkle. In this open ocean fish nursery, the guests watched as Divemaster Caleb, fed all the sergeant fish cheerios. They swarmed the divers as they swam around the stunning shallow reef spotting red-spotted sea goddesses and slender file fish. A relaxing and colorful way to wrap up another spectacular week of diving here in the Bahamas. The mimosas and beers were flowing as we made our way back to the Elizabeth on the Bay Marina in Nassau. At 5 o clock sharp we met the guests on the sundeck to reminisce the week gone by with cocktails and awards. 5 Iron divers this week, and one person hit a 200 milestone. Thanks for a fantastic week with the Bahamas Aggressor Crew!