Belize Aggressor III Captain’s Log
July 8-15, 2017
Sea State: light chop
Avg. Wind Speed: 8-12 knots
Avg. Air Temp: 86F
Avg. Water Temp: 82F
Avg. Visibility: 100ft +
2nd Capt. - Jerome
Stewardess – Vanessa
Engineer/DM - Fermin
Instructor – Daniel
Deck Asst. – Jason
This week we welcomed 18 passengers from Scuba Ventures dive shop out of Louisiana. Welcome Aboard Kurt, David, Amanda, Dennie, Gilda, Jason, Bobby, Pat, Eileen, Karen, Kirk, Paula, Mark, Terry, Alisa, Randy, Chris, and Karen!
Saturday July 8, 2017
3:00PM – Guests Board
5:30PM – Safety briefing & Introductions
6:30PM – Dinner is served!
Sunday July 9, 2017
Dive Sites: Sandy Slope & Julie’s Jungle
We had calm seas, beautiful weather, and great viz to start the week of diving. Our first dives were at Sandy Slope on Turneffe Atoll, where we hopped in to do our check out dives, then off to see what Belize has to offer. By the end of the morning, we had some very excited divers talking about all the cool stuff they saw, including stingrays, turtles, eels, groupers, scorpionfish, and lobsters. At the top of the list was the manatee that they saw right below the boat! This was the first time encountering a manatee underwater for most of the divers and even for the divemaster…they were already creating unforgettable memories on the first morning of the trip.
Monday July 10, 2017
Dive Sites: Lighthouse Wall & Eagle Ray Pass
Day 2 of diving started off with more exciting dives. We were escorted by a small Nassau grouper…then another joined us. They stayed with us as we cruised the wall. We encountered several more groupers and saw some very large barracudas. About 10 minutes into the dive, an Eagle ray swam toward us then gently veered away…we stopped and it turned and continued on its course toward us, then swam right past us. Next a huge Caribbean Reef shark (between 6 & 10 ft, depending on who you ask), sneaked up on me as I was checking up on the divers…as I turned back he was 3ft away just checking us out. Next another pair of Eagle rays swam by, then 2 more went over the wall and into the shallows…one swooped down and started to feed in the sand. Another Caribbean reef shark came up to us and then lazily headed to the wall. At the top of the wall, there was another reef shark. We saw a total of 3 Caribbean reef sharks and 5 Eagle rays. As we headed back to the mooring over the sand, we watched some Southern stingrays, and then a loggerhead came along. We swam over in its direction and it turned to us for a few minutes then carried on along its path. This was all on the first dive of the day!
Later we went to Eagle Ray Pass where we were surrounded by sergeant majors and Bermuda chubs. There were a pair of green morays out swimming on the reef, and a hawksbill cruised by in the distance. We finished the day with more Eagle Ray, shark, and turtle sightings.
Tuesday July 11, 2017
Dive Sites: Blue Hole & Half Moon Caye Wall
On Tuesday, we visited the world famous Blue Hole for the first dive of the day. This is a controlled dive to a max depth of 130ft, where we dropped to see stalactites formed tens of thousands of years ago when the Blue Hole was actually a cave. On the ascent, we were joined by a nurse shark.
After the Blue Hole dive, we did an island excursion on Half Moon Caye Natural monument…it is worth mentioning that both the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye are World Heritage Sites.
For the afternoon and night dives, we motored to the South side of Half Moon Caye and hopped in at Half Moon Caye wall. The exciting dives continued with lots of Caribbean reef sharks, Eagle rays, groupers, barracuda, tarpon, horse-eye jacks, blue parrotfish, and Southern stingrays. We also found some cool critters, such as flapping dingbats, box crab, pipefish, head shield slugs, skeleton shrimp, and a tiny flounder (about the size of a US quarter) that was transparent. Pretty cool stuff. The highlight of the day had to be the two dolphins that came down to check out the divers. Everyone was excited that they got to dive with wild dolphins.
Wednesday July 12, 2017
Dive Sites: Chain Wall & Silver Caves
Today started with another dive filled with Caribbean Reef sharks and Eagle rays. We also saw more friendly groupers and a turtle…we even saw a turtle on the surface from the boat. Three Eagle rays swam by in formation, then hung out for a few minutes before taking off along the wall. We saw tons of reef fish hustling and bustling along the top of the wall. Several permit and some tarpon wandered by, and a goldentail eel was out swimming along the reef…a very rare sight to see them out like that. We saw some neck crabs, skeleton shrimp, secretary blennies, and a lettuce sea slug that was white with red stripes. I have never seen one with that color scheme.
Thursday July 13, 2017
Dive Sites: Cathedral & Long Caye Wall
So far, we have been seeing sharks and Eagle rays on almost every dive…today was no exception. Not only are we seeing them, but we are having some pretty cool, up close and personal encounters. Sharks are hanging our just a few feet away, and Eagle rays are circling by the divers. We found a baby hawksbill turtle and saw a larger hawksbill later in the day. A huge school of bar jacks…probably over a thousand of them swarmed around a couple of the divers in the shallows. We were also swarmed by some silversides that were hanging out in a cut in the reef. There were schools of tarpon, horse-eye jacks, permit, barracuda, blue tangs, Creole wrasse, and squid on the dives. We found green morays, spotted morays, and a golden tail. On the reef, we looked for nudibranch and found over half dozen lettuce sea slugs and a couple tiny yellow slugs. The macro enthusiasts were excited about skeleton shrimp, neck crabs, and gaudy clown crab sightings. It was a great day with some exciting and beautiful dives!
Friday July 14, 2017
Dive Sites: Nurse Shark Ridge & The Elbow
Friday morning, we did our pre-breakfast dive at Nurse Shark Ridge then headed to Turneffe Atoll to dive The Elbow. As it had been all week, we continued with the Eagle Ray sightings…about 10 today. We also saw green morays and a hawksbill turtle.
Overall, there have been some awesome dives and on the beautiful reefs of Lighthouse Reef and Turneffe Atolls this week. We had beautiful weather and great viz throughout the week, and we saw everything…countless sharks, stingrays, turtles, Eagle rays, eels, groupers, barracudas, and even dolphins, and a manatee! There were rare sightings of numerous macro subjects, and just great diving amongst colourful fish on beautiful reefs. AMAZING DIVING!
Congrats to our Iron Divers…David, Jason, Dennie, and Bobby!
Congrats to Terry on becoming our newest Nitrox diver!
Congrats to our Milestone divers: Gilda (100 dives), David (100 dives), Alisa (200 dives), Randy (200 dives), and Bobby (6000 dives)!
Hope to see you all again soon!
EAT, SLEEP, & DIVE!!!