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Dive Review of Cayman Aggressor IV in
Cayman Islands

Cayman Aggressor IV, Jan, 2009,

by Jan & Michael Lewis, VA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports). Report 5111.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Belize, Hawaii, Turks & Caicos, Bonaire, Aruba, Bermuda
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 100-110 ft, 60 minutes, no deco, don't harass marine life, no gloves (Cayman rule)
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments January 17-24, 2009
Michael and I, and our 16 year old niece, Shannon, spent a wonderful week on-board the Cayman Aggressor IV. Bottom line up-front, it was a fantastic trip. The crew was one of the best we've experienced on liveaboards. The boat was almost completely full and the other passengers were lovely. We were a bit concerned at first because our niece was doing her Open Water Certification, and we worried that the more experienced and "mature" guests might not appreciate a new diver, but everyone was completely supportive and excited for her. Shannon became the star of the boat, and I now understand how celebrities feel about paparazzi, because everyone took photos or videos of her as she completed her training, and quickly became a phenomenal diver. Her dive instructor, Henri, formerly of the South African Navy, was one of the best, most experienced divemasters we've ever met, and more importantly he was an outstanding instructor, in addition to being the second Captain. The rest of the international crew was Captain Jon, Corey, Ashley, Muri and Savio, the wonderful chef. The other guests were all American except for a couple from the UK, and the visiting Captain of the Turks and Caicos Aggressor. We've been visiting Grand Cayman for many years, and many sites are becoming much less healthy due to overfishing and coral bleaching. Bonnie's Arch was a wonderful exception and a great afternoon and night dive site. There was lots of life with healthy corals and sponges, including plate coral and sea fans, plus mature and juvenile reef fish at this site. There were Queen and French Angelfish, Parrotfish, Lobster, a large nurse shark, decorator and larger crabs, and a brown spotted eel to name a few sightings. A few other nice sites on Grand Cayman were Eagle Ray Rock, yes we saw Eagle Rays, and Pedro's Cave where we saw a huge Green Moray Eel and a brown spotted eel. We then made the 8 hour crossing to Little Cayman. As with our previous visit to this liveaboard there was no hesitation from the crew about doing so. The crossings were pretty rough but the boat was made to withstand it. January is always pretty windy in Cayman. If you get sea sick, be prepared. Bonine is our drug of choice. Capt. Jon warned us that the weather might not be great on Little Cayman and he was right. We weren't able to do many dives on Blood Bay Wall, but he kept trying to get us there, and succeeded a couple of times. We still had wonderful dives. On Little Cayman we dove Randy's Gazebo, a beautiful wall featuring green sea turtles, big crabs and lobster, large yellow rays and colorful coral and sponges, as well as, huge barrel coral and a nice arch at the gazebo. Black Hole was also a great dive with a monster lobster, nurse shark, starfish and various crabs and shrimp on the night dive. Unfortunately we saw a juvenile Lionfish at Black Hole, and thankfully that was the only one we saw for the entire trip. After a rough crossing back to Grand Cayman, we awoke to another beautiful wall, Lighthouse Wall, which is just off-shore from our favorite restaurant on the island. There were lots of fish including a tiny, baby drum, plus parrotfish and creole wrasse and healthy corals and sponges. Our last dive sites were the Oro Verde wreck where we saw several eels and a nice anemone, and Devil's Grotto which is horribly silted over, and mostly disappointing, but had some new formations of staghorn and pillar coral. We were very happy that none of the guests wanted to go to Stingray City so we didn't waste a dive for what amounts to an underwater zoo.
The crew was very safety conscious, and did all of the normal briefings to include the emergency evacuation drill. There was always a divemaster in the water, and they were always available to lead dives. They did wonderful dive briefings, and knew the sites very well. They worked extremely hard to ensure all of us had a great dive experience, and were particularly accommodating to a few folks with bad knees and backs who couldn't gear up completely and get down the stairs to the dive deck. The cabins were all clean and in good shape, as was the entire boat. Savio kept us and the crew well-fed with delicious meals, and between meal snacks, and made wonderful vegetarian entrees for the 2 vegetarians on-board. He also ensured that my extremely serious peanut allergy was accommodated, and that I had no worries about my meals. He made a wonderful Indian meal that unfortunately most of us were unable to enjoy during our first crossing. There were hearty breakfast choices, including fresh fruit, soup and salad plus an entree at lunch, and wonderful dinners. He is definitely one of best chefs we've ever experienced on our liveaboard trips. Wine and beer were provided, but no diving once you've had a drink. Henri compiled the week's video which is a wonderful reminder of all the great things we saw, and all the terrific people we got to know during our week on the Cayman Aggressor IV. We had a wonderful, relaxing dive trip and can't wait to return!
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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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