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A week aboard the Bahamas Aggressor

Discussion in 'Bahamas' started by charlesml3, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. charlesml3

    charlesml3 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    1,041
    159
    63
    Gang,

    Just got back from a week aboard the Bahamas Aggressor. Mostly diving Exuma and the marine park.

    The Aggressor: Well it's always pretty much great aboard the Aggressor boats. That said, this is the oldest boat in the fleet and it shows. As I understand it, this boat will be retired soon and replaced. There were no technical problems that I observed. We had a couple of days where the Nitrox dropped to 27% for some reason. I didn't really care but apparently it bothered the captain enough to waive the $100 Nitrox fee for all of us. That was pretty nice. Anyway, the crew was incredibly competent and the food was as good as always. Aggressor does not skimp there at all.

    Travel to/from: The Bahamas are EASY. Lots of flights to choose from and they're inexpensive. This was one of the reasons I picked the Bahamas for this trip. With the week I had to go, it was just too difficult to get to Roatan, Belize, or T&C.

    The Diving: The diving was a mixed bag. There were some dives I'd say were quite good. Mostly the ones in the Marine Park. The last day we dove Periwinkle which was the best dive we did all week. This reef is surprisingly healthy and had a LOT of fish and plantlife. Overall, I made 23 dives and probably 4 or 5 of them were pretty good. There were 4 or 5 more that were just terrible and the rest were somewhere in the middle. The vast majority of the reefs were in poor condition. The coral was dead or dying. Very, very little fishlife on most of them. On some dives we'd be lucky to see one French Angel or one lobster. The reefs showed clear signs of overfishing. It was disheartening.

    Overall I had a good time but this is not a trip I would repeat. The diving simply isn't there anymore. Maybe it was 10 years ago. I don't know. The Marine Park was most certainly better diving but it's so small. There are only a few dive sites there before we had to move on and back to reefs that looked like they were covered in snow.

    After the trip a few of us got together and all said pretty much the same thing. The diving was a C-Minus overall.
     
    kristen8416, neehooya, Kensei and 3 others like this.
  2. CanadaDan

    CanadaDan Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Winnipeg, MB Canada
    99
    50
    18
    That's a shame to hear. I was there 18 months ago on the Cat Ppalu for much the same type of trip. The Marine Park was indeed the best diving of the trip but the rest wasn't bad at all. Went through my pics of the different reefs we dove. Barracuda Shoals was one of the most colourful but all had colour, coral and critters.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Jd7eBq7i483itwRbddlEB1KA-E1LgUfx

    [​IMG]
     
  3. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    56,245
    23,922
    113
    Thanks for the report.
     
  4. d^2b

    d^2b Angel Fish

    26
    13
    3
    Yeah, I'm also surprised by the description of the diving. I've been many times to the Southern Bahamas, and some of my favourite diving memories are from Conception and San Salvador. I'm not disputing your experience of course. I don't know if it was a different route or hurricane damage, or what. I was last there in August of 2018. Alas I still haven't really sorted the photos from that trip, but here they are

    Seadragon 2018 - Google Drive

    As you can probably guess from the boat shots, that was on the Seadragon, which is definitely a different type of operation than the Aggressor.
     
    pasadenatim likes this.
  5. CanadaDan

    CanadaDan Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Winnipeg, MB Canada
    99
    50
    18
  6. charlesml3

    charlesml3 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    1,041
    159
    63
    Yea, I'm going through my photos now and they certainly make the trip look better than it was. There were some reefs in fairly decent shape. The overall lack of color and fishlife was very disappointing though. We were lucky to see a cowfish or a trunkfish on any given dive. We didn't see a single scorpion fish all week.
     
  7. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    7,993
    5,223
    113
    Thanks for posting your report. I don't know why we don't see more Bahamas Aggressor reports; it's more expensive than Blackbeards but cheaper than the AquaCat, and when Aggressor Fleet has one of those near fleet-wide 30%+ off sales, it gets very tempting to book.

    I assume they're still splitting their itineraries between the route you guys did, and the Tiger Beach trips - as another poster reported on way back -
    Bahamas Aggressor Tiger Beach Trip Report 8/4/18 - Bahamas Aggressor Tiger Beach Trip Report 8/4/18 Note: It was thought the recently replaced Cayman Aggressor IV will soon become the new Bahamas Aggressor, but that hadn’t happened yet. The Cayman Aggressor V has been out awhile; I wonder whether that plan is still in place?
     
  8. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    810
    628
    93
    Thanks for the candid/honest and therefore useful report.
     
  9. charlesml3

    charlesml3 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    1,041
    159
    63
    Yes, that plan is still in place. The current Bahamas Aggressor boat will be retired/sold. The current Cayman Aggressor IV is in Cuba being refit.

    Anyway, Aggressor didn't do anything wrong on this trip and I can't say the trip sucked. I can only say I wouldn't do it again. There's better diving in the Caribbean for the same money. As I understand it, the Tiger Beach itinerary is very good. I may look into that at some point.
     
    chillyinCanada and drrich2 like this.
  10. bvbellomo

    bvbellomo Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: United States
    123
    13
    18
    I got back from Blackbeard's in October, and am surprised by this. We dived (dove?) a lot in Exuma, but I am not sure if we went out of the marine park. This was my first real trip, and while some of my enthusiasm could be lack of experience, and I certainly can't comment on if it was better 10 years ago, all the dive sites seemed healthy with lots of fish - both in variety and individuals.

    French, Blue and Queen Angelfish seemed plentiful.

    We saw only a few lobster during the day, but plenty at night.

    Cowfish and trunkfish were not rare, but not as plentiful as the angelfish. The larger filefish were more impressive to me.

    I don't think we saw a scorpionfish either.

    I don't know what people mean when they talk about dying coral, unless I haven't seen it. Some corals did have dead spots, but surviving tissue seemed healthy and growing, and these seemed isolated. There was certainly nothing like the huge fields of white skeletons covered with green algae I see on the Internet when searching for dead/dying reefs.
     
    drrich2 likes this.

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