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Dive Review of Cayman Aggressor IV in
Cayman Islands

March, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Maki Thomas Livesay, WA, USA
Report Number 2426
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Belize, Bermuda, Maui, Oahu, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No decompression / Nitrox limits  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
The CAIV is a 110-foot custom dive yacht carrying 18 passengers.  The boat
was captained by Sam, with first mate Matt (who also served as the
videographer), Boris (from Hamburg, Germany, the still photographer),
Denise (from Manchester, England), the onboard instructor, Jolene JoJo
(housekeeping) and Yanis the chef.  The crew generally work 17-hour days on
an eight-week on/two-week off schedule.

Once onboard, we immediately unpacked our dive gear, chose a locker and set
up our gear for the week.  The rooms are small but very clean, with the
toilet and shower with towels in the same space (separated by a curtain). 
The room had good storage space and a little porthole.  I took the smaller
upper bunk since it was closer to the air conditioning vent (which proved
very helpful during rough seas later).  

I woke up Sunday morning feeling a bit queasy (quickly cured with Dramamine
and Relief Band).  The crew rings the dive bell and briefs each dive
site.  The first was the Doc Polson checkout dive.  The wreck was an old
communication wire-laying boat, and was an easy dive down to about 50ft. 
Afterwards, as we did every morning, we had warm goodies on deck.  The
second morning dive was at Stingray City, where the swarm of friendly
Southern stingrays literally attacked us for ballyhoo fish that was passed
out while we sat in a circle.  It was a comical dive in 12 feet of water,
and everyone came back with a stingray hickie (bite) or two.  After a
shower on the platform, a warm towel was waiting.

We did Babylon for the afternoon dive (70ft).  It had canyons holding
brilliant red cup sponges, gorgonians and black coral opening up to a sheer
vertical wall.  Immediately after dinner and banana splits, we rocked and
rolled for 7 hours over to Little Cayman.  Luckily, I avoided the dreaded
rocky boat disease and spent most of the night in my bunk.

We awoke Monday morning to gorgeous weather for the morning dive at Randys
Gazebo.  It was an awesome wall dive down to 100ft with swim thrus,
lgrouper, barracuda and a moray eel.  Dozens of fish swimming straight down
the wall (arent they supposed to be perpendicular?!?!), and pretty
sponges, feathers and fans.  We did our afternoon dive at Meadows (90 ft)
and since I arrived solo, paired up with Matt (so I was on the video a
lot).  I did my first-ever night dive but we didnt see much except a few
shrimp and bioluminescence.  It was pretty bright because the moon was
almost full.  

On Tuesday, we dove Marilyns Cut (105ft).  It was a great dive with a
black tip reef shark sighting out into the abyss a minute under.  There
were lobsters, a sleeping nurse shark, and lots of blennies and parrotfish.
Then, we dove Nancys Cup of Tea (91 ft) and saw a blue shell crab, a baby
spotted eel, and a diamond blenny!  On my second dive I got stung by a
jellyfish around my regulator only 10 minutes into the diveouch!  

After dinner, we saw video of the Russian Brigadier Frigate Patrol Vessel
356, renamed MV Captain Keith Tibbetts (after a departed local dive
operator), then made the short crossing to Cayman Brac.  On Wednesday
morning, we were excited to dive the 330-foot long wreck.  We saw brown
garden eels nearby and looked around inside the took pictures on the guns
(84 ft).

We went back to Little Cayman for the rest of the day at Three Fathoms, a
very steep wall with narrow canyons and coral, and saw a scorpionfish, some
lobster, turtle and blue crab (70-96ft).  We had grilled steaks on the
sundeck and were treated to a beautiful sunset and green flash.  On the
night dive (64 ft), we went over the wall out to the pitch black of the
abyss.  My light flashed on a big barracuda, so we retreated to the
shallows and chased lobsters and giant crabs.  Only 1 ft seas tonight on
the way back to Grand Caymanmuuuch better.

Thursday morning, we dove Round Rock (92ft), with swim thrus, a male
super parrotfish, and a pretty blue-nosed trumpetfish.  The second dive
was really surgy and I got jellyfish stings on my hand.  The afternoon dive
was at Bonnies Arch (69ft), a pretty site named after a freediver who was
lost during practice, and had a small crocodile nearby(!).  We watched a
hungry hawksbill turtle, too.  Afterwards, a few beers and relaxing in the
hot tub under clear skies full of stars.

On Friday, we did the first dive at Big Tunnels (65ft).  We saw a baby
turtle on descent and found a big spiny lobster.  The last dive was near
the cruise ships at Devils Grotto, only 33ft.  Everyone had a jellyfish
sting and sunburn to take home, and Id done 21 dives (of the 25 offered)
over 6 days!  After relaxing on the sundeck and packing, the crew threw a
cocktail party where awards and lots of laughs were shared.  

Random Notes:
Email access onboard is only through a local ISP, so no internet or Yahoo!
access.  Signs said divers were required to unpack batteries from dive
lights for flights out of Grand Cayman.  The DVD was well worth the $65. 
The ships boutique only opened once.  Make sure to take eardrops.  Take
lots of cash...US$ are accepted.  The post office is only open weekdays. 
The airport has a few duty free shops and a PO box for last minute
postcardstry the meat patties at the bar.  Make sure to take  D-rings (to
hang things to dry).

An absolutely amazing vacationgreat crew, fun guests, beautiful and
interesting diving, and we even got to the famous Bloody Bay Wall!
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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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