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Dive Review of Cayman Aggressor IV in
Cayman Islands

Cayman Aggressor IV, Mar, 2006,

by Maki Thomas Livesay, WA, USA . Report 2426.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 Randy’s 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 (aren’t 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 didn’t see much except a few shrimp and bioluminescence. It was pretty bright because the moon was almost full.

On Tuesday, we dove Marilyn’s 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 Nancy’s 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 dive…ouch!

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 Cayman…muuuch 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 Bonnie’s 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 Devil’s Grotto, only 33ft. Everyone had a jellyfish sting and sunburn to take home, and I’d 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 $65. The ship’s boutique only opened once. Make sure to take eardrops. Take lots of cash...US$ are accepted. The post office is only open weekdays. The airport has a few duty free shops and a PO box for last minute postcards…try the meat patties at the bar. Make sure to take D-rings (to hang things to dry).

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

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Belize, Bermuda, Maui, Oahu, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 79-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100-200 Ft/ 30-61 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No decompression / Nitrox limits
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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