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Dive Review of Aggressor IV in
Cayman Islands/Grand, Little and Cayman Brac

May, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Wayne LeCompte, FL, USA
Report Number 2497
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Turks & Caicos, Cozumel, MX; Palau; PNG; Belize, CA; California Channel
Islands; FL Keys
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
45   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
The initial briefing by the Captain informed us to limit our diving to a
max of 130 feet.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large camera table with ample storage for camera boxes.  Large camera rinse
tank, but the rinse water was not changed for the entire 7 day trip.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
2 stars    
The Aggressor IV appears to be a well maintained and operated vessel, but
stuff happens at sea.  We had a few marine heads that clogged and/or
overflowed.  The electrical generator was off line for a short period of
time and the crew was unable to bring the standby generator into service. 
Condensed water built up in the salon AC system and created a minor leak,
the crew was able to stem the leak, but the unscheduled maintenance kept
them preoccupied most of the afternoon as they clean filters and drain

The food was good but somewhat short on variety.  Meals were served on
time, however the Captain required the dinner service to be moved to an
early time slot (6pm) whenever there was night dive.  The change in
schedule usually meant that the last dive of the day was a little short to
allow us to return and prepare for the earlier dinner.

The diving was by and large better than average.  Most dives had a mild, if
any, current.  Only one morning with rain, otherwise it was sunny with
typical sea breezes.  Many turtles were spotted and most allowed us to swim
very close while they posed for photos.  Not many sharks, but enough
sightings to keep us looking.  Our best shark observation was on the
predawn dive as we hovered on the top of the reef on the edge of the wall 
we renamed that location Shark Route 66 as the Black Tips were on parade.
 We also observed Spotted, Green and Purple Mouthed Moray Eels.  In
addition we saw numerous Nassau, Tiger and Black Groupers.  Lots of
Southern Sting Rays (in addition to Sting Ray City) and a couple of Spotted
Eagle Rays were seen.  And those with eagle eyes were able to find Scorpion

Lots of small critters such as Red Lipped Blennies, Sail Fin Blennies,
juvenile Drum Fish, Garden Eels, Yellow Headed Jaw Fish  the first time we
have seen the male with eggs in its mouth, Manta Shrimp, Flamingo Tongues,
and much, much more.  We even saw several Channel Flounders.  In addition,
there were fish cleaning stations everywhere and they were open for
business!  At one cleaning station we saw several large Groupers and a
Great Barracuda lined up waiting for service!  Talk about your pecking

Plenty of wonderful swim throughs on most reefs, and the walls are steep,
deep and spectacular.  Unfortunately, there were not many offers by the
crew to provide guided tours; I think there were two reasons for that 1)
they were short handed and 2) they were busy with the boat because they
were short handed.  Kat and Tom were last minute add ons to the crew, and
they are largely responsible for making up for the rest of the problems
with the boat and overall service.  Their attitudes and performance were
above and beyond.

For those of us who are meticulous about keeping their dive gear clean and
in good service, it was a bit disappointing to be on the Aggressor IV.  The
web site states that the boat has a fresh water storage capacity of 3,200
gals.  That sounds sufficient until we learned from the Capt that he can
only make fresh water at a max of only 40 gals/hr!  That means it would
take 80 hours to fill an empty tank, if nobody was using any  that is not
going to happen with 17 divers and 1 non diver on board.  The Captain
warned us on a couple of occasions that if we did not conserve water he was
going to have to eliminate some water usages.  Even before the warnings,
the Captain recommended that we hang our wetsuits without a fresh water
rinse; the only exception was if you urinated in your suit, then he
provided a barrel partially filled with fresh water, without disinfectant,
to be used for the whole day.  There was also no way allowed to rinse any
of our tank mounted scuba equipment (regulators, BCDs, etc).  HOWEVER, the
captain did give the sundeck a freshwater wash down every morning, and
windows and the dive deck also received a fresh water wash down several
times during the week.  That is not to say that we did not appreciate
having a clean boat, but there did not seem to be a proper balance between
the boat and the guests

The other odd procedure on the boat that the Captain insisted upon was that
you had to change into dry clothes before you could enter the salon or
return to your room from the dive deck.  It did not mater how dry we
toweled ourselves.  When we asked where we were to change he offered the
deck head (small and a very messy floor as it overflowed several times on
the trip), the laundry closet (only a contortionist could pull that off),
and the cramped camera dark room  all were accessible on the dive deck. 
OK, now divide those amoung 18 divers!

Also make sure that you read the web site on available dive gear to rent. 
They do not offer very much, so be sure to bring everything that you need
and a few critical spares; for example they do not even have regulators to
rent and I blew out a high pressure o-ring on my integrated computer.

Overall, it was an enjoyable trip but below the level of service that we
are accustomed to on other live aboard boats.  We think that the service
also suffered, in part, because they appeared to be short handed; the crew
consisted of the Captain + four, which was taxing for the crew to keep up
with 18 guests.  Overall a C grade when it easily could have been an
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Other dive reports on Aggressor Fleet

All Cayman Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Cayman Islands
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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