Diving on the Cayman Aggressor IV

This is the most amazing dive experience I have ever had on the Cayman Aggressor IV. I could write up the whole adventure but the captain of the boat, Captain Alan Roberts, has already done that here. So I will just add my photos and videos here along with commentary.

Arrival

A nice trip over some Caribbean islands

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And here’s my welcoming committee

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My home for the next week

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Leaving the port and enjoying sunset

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Dive Day #1

I didn’t take my camera on the first dive which was the Doc Poulson. It was a little tugboat that was sunk in honor of a dive celebrity of the Caymans.

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The second dive was at Stingray City where we all fed and played with the stingrays.

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Kathy and Mike celebrated their anniversary on the boat.

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The last dive for the day was at Babylon. It was very beautiful although most of my photos didn’t come out.

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The amazing fans shoot out in all directions at Babylon

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Spearing a lion fish.

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After that dive we made the eight hour crossing from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman. We had some visitors during the crossing that were awesome.

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Dive Day #2

The first two dives were at Randy’s Gazebo in Bloody Bay.

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Hiding moray eel

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The rest of the day we spent at the Meadows.

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Here is a sponge at depth covered in brittlestars.

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Here’s the same sponge but with a better flash exposure.

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This is a weird invertebrate named a tiger’s tail.

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We also went on a night dive at this dive site but my photos just didn’t make the cut.

Dive Day #3

The first two dives on this day were at Leah Leah’s Lookout.

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This little gal is called a lettuce nudibranch.

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Amazing camouflage by this very dangerous fish.

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I loved these groupers that hung on to sponges or rocks with their pectoral fins.

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The second dive site for the day was the 3 Fathoms Wall. I skipped the fourth dive as my ears were giving me some trouble.

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Then we took a short crossing over to Cayman Brac in order to do our second night dive on the Captain Keith Tibbetts (aka the Russian Destroyer 356)

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Dive Day #4

The morning dive was also on the Russian Destroyer.

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This is Oscar the Goliath Grouper. He’s probably about five feet long and 80 or so pounds.

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We crossed back to Little Cayman and dove on The Great Wall in Bloody Bay. The wall was amazing as it was shear and dropped from about 20 feet below surface to what seemed like infinity (or at least further than light would penetrate). I accidentally slept through the second dive and I’m not blaming anyone in particular but SOMEONE should have woken me up :-)

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This turtle is hugging a sponge. Also, this is a special type of turtle as the Caymans have a facility where they create a hybrid turtle that mixes a hawksbill with a green turtle.

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The last two dives, including a dusk dive, were at the Bus Stop. And the sharks returned.

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The elusive Sailfin Blenny did not want to show me his fin.

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Those who were done diving for the day decided to watch us surface.

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Or maybe they were watching this.

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Dive Day #5

The first two dives of the day were at Nancy’s Cup of Tea including a very early morning (5:30am) dive. It was amazing to see the reef come to life as the sun’s light began to hit the reef.

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My little turtle buddy. He popped out from out of nowhere and came and swam a few circles around me within arm reach and then slowly swam off.

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My dive buddy completely missed it but he found a friendly grouper.

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Our next dive site was Sara’s Set.

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Our final dive location for the day was Donna’s Delight which was the location of our 100 minute challenge. I failed the challenge and I also got myself stung by something growing on a buoy ball. But that’s what I get for being stupid.

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The fish with the spots was brilliant and very active. The spots almost looked like LEDs. I tried many times to get a photo and I don’t think I saw a fish like this anywhere else.

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Here are some of the other 100 minute challenge takers. They all passed but I was close. I think this is Sara.

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This is Magic Mike.

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This is definitely Rob.

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This is Kathy.

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We then made the crossing back to Grand Cayman from Little Cayman. A few of us watched Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World during the crossing which really helped pass the time. No dolphins this time. Here are some of the photos while people passed the time away.

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Here are the women on the boat.

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And the guys (minus Rodel who was driving the boat).

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This is the last dinner on the boat. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of the main course which was just as awesome as the salad and the dessert.

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Dive Day #6

On our last dive day we got two dives, including another very early morning (5:30am) dive, on the Kittiwake wreck. The wreck is very new and so had very little encrustation.

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Parrotfish always look happy to me.

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Here’s four different types of crabs.

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You can almost make out the boat’s name.

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The sun’s rays finally poking into the deep.

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A couple of pictures of me.

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I’m not sure why the anchor is out as the boat isn’t going anywhere.

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Our very last dive was at the Devil’s Grotto which was really cool and had tons of wildlife. There were a ton of tarpon here.

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And another fish trying to blend in.

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My dive buddy David and the tarpon just outside of the grotto.

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We had a nice cocktail ceremony on the sun deck after the Aggressor was back in dock. Afterward we ventured out and ate at a decent Italian restaurant a few blocks away from the boat dock.

Departure

There really was not much going on during the last day in the Caymans. I got up early and said our final goodbyes to the crew. We piled into vans and headed to the airport. My flight wasn’t for something like six hours so I was going to settle into being bored for a day. Most of our group went to the airport restaurant where I had a pretty decent cuban sandwich and free wifi. As we broke up most of the group, because they were on the same flight, went through security. I went to check my bag and found out that I could get on an earlier flight home. I took it and the travel went easily and I got home with no issues about two hours earlier than I had estimated.

This was an awesome trip and I would do it again.

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Grab bag update and other random stuff

Ok, I haven’t written for a bit and there have been many events and what not in my life. Each of these are too small to warrant their own post (in my opinion) but I figured I would write anyway.

General Update

Over the past six months or so I have decided to get my life more organized and work on tasks to improve myself and my home. I have attempted to adopt the 43 folders method to organize my tasks and I’m using Evernote to store everything. Basically, Evernote has become my second brain and keeps everything I need to work on. This has been a slow process and I’m not exactly the best at keeping up with it as I get distracted too easily (more about that later). This has gotten me to the point of doing some stuff around my house like getting my roof replaced and other home improvement tasks. I have also been working on reducing my email and fixing my passwords. I have also been trying to scan all new documents that I might need so that I can toss the paper versions. I strive to keep using this process and getting better at it.

Diving

I’m getting back into scuba diving. I just went on a trip to Boyton Beach, FL with the Orlando Reef Divers for a weekend of diving. The weather was unpredictable and I didn’t end up going diving on Sunday but I got two dives in and had a great time. I got back into the water and I tried out some new gear. This is all in preparation for heading down to Grand Cayman for a week-long of diving which I hope to blog about as well. Here are some pictures from the Boyton Beach trip.

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Running

So I have made a couple of short posts of my previous 5K runs this year. Well here is the one I ran yesterday (5/10/2014) which was the Operation Giveback. Here are my results. But for those too lazy to hit that link I finished the 5K with a time of 39:22.293 with a pace of 12:42 minutes per mile. Yes I walked and ran it. Again I think I had more energy I could have put towards the run but I have a mental block that I need to break through. Anyway, here is the obligatory shirt, bib, and bling photo.

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Work

All is good on that front but I was working on a certification package for the last few months. And by “working” I mean that I was procrastinating and working on it ever now and then. But I used that as an excuse for not getting other personal stuff done including updating this blog. Anyway, I submitted a workaround on the certificate package that’ll give me some more time to work on my full certification package. In other words, I figured out a way to procrastinate more.

Health, Exercise, and Diet

So I have been really good at getting in my 10,000 steps a day in with only a handful of exceptions. With that said I’m going to switch to averaging 70,000 steps a week so that I will do more steps on any particular day but it will allow me to have rest days or just some lee way when I miss my numbers on a particular day. I’ll make this switch at the beginning of June. Also, at the beginning of June I’ll start tracking my food intake. I’ve gained too much weight over the past few years and I need to start dropping pounds. My exercise regime has not accomplished this so I’m going to have to start watching what I eat and tracking it all.

What’s next?

Well, I need to finally write up my trip to England from last year. I’ve been procrastinating a bunch on that front but I will knock those out. I have a couple of projects that I want to complete around the house including a couple of ones that should pay off years down the line.

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