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Sun Dancer II Captain's Logs

Discussion in 'Aggressor Adventures' started by Dancer Fleet, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Dancer Fleet

    Dancer Fleet ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    270
    6
    Sun Dancer II Captain’s Report September 7 - 14, 2013

    Water Temp: 82-84 F
    Vis: 80-100 feet
    Weather: Sunny with light breeze
    Crew: Captain Eddy, Second Captain Megan, Engineer Simon, Chef Carlos, Assistant Chef Barbara, Stewardess Elia, Divemaster Karim

    Dive Sites Visited:
    Sunday - Front Porch and Grand Bogue
    Monday - Black Beauty and The Elbow
    Tuesday - Half Moon Caye Wall and East Cut
    Wednesday - Chain Wall and Long Caye Wall
    Thursday - Blue Hole and Painted Wall
    Friday - Sandy Slope

    What an amazing week! The fun and laughter was non-stop onboard and underwater as well. Everyone had an incredible time and really amazing dives, both relaxing and adventurous / entertaining = the perfect combination.
    Saturday the divers arrived onboard eager to set up and organized on the dive deck and in their staterooms. After the introductions and welcome / safety briefing the divers enjoyed a delicious meal before the yacht headed out to Turneffe Island.

    The first dives took place at a dive site now known for its incredible array of free-swimming eels! Everyone had great stories of wild sightings and fun photo shoots with the local morays. The rest of the morning also delighted with a few spotted eagle rays and of course the small adorable creatures you love to watch and admire, specifically the yellow-headed jaw fish became a favorite this week. The afternoon was also incredible and the wonderful night dives began with great opportunities to see octopus, sleeping and relaxing rainbow fish, small crabs and urchins. Every day there was amazing corals, fans, fish of every color and design including stingrays and spotted eagle rays. The afternoon dives at the Elbow were interrupted by a pod of dolphins that came right up to the boat and the divers who were already out of the water clamored to put fins and snorkels on and jumped back into the warm blue water to get a memorable experience getting to see the dolphins underwater, including a little baby that one diver who was still underwater got to enjoy an encounter with!

    Half Moon Caye Wall always remains in divers mind as the quintessential Belize dive site, this week was no different. As you swim thru the finger cuts onto the other side of the wall the beautiful blue opens up and you meet the barracuda and groupers, spotted eagle rays and sharks. Once you decide to turn back the white sand looks like paradise and has the perfect sprinkling of garden eels and turtle grass. The sting rays with their fishy friends, the sail fin blennies at the mooring block and all of the amazing light making it the most delightful atmosphere. East Cut being a near by dive site was also a favorite for some during the week as it offered an abundance of creatures and beautiful plant and coral life.

    The next morning at Chain Wall proved to be one of the most action-packed dives with excitement and a little of everything for everyone. Captain Eddy is always ready for a battle with the local barracuda that will hardly give him a break as he tried to save the lionfish for the sharks. After getting past the jousting match with a lion fish to spare the sharks picked up on the scent and made their way over to the divers and gave a spectacular show of swimming around, between and near the excited divers who loved taking pictures.

    Long Caye Wall also was remembered as a favorite dive site with the most beautifully decorated wall with textures and colors you could see with the bare eye but add the dive light or torch and you would get brilliant reds and purples. The elephant ear coral and wire coral made for a dynamic variety of three dimensional wall action. The spotted eagle rays and groupers made there way along the deep and tarpon hovered back and forth. The filefish, flamingo tongues, crabs and shrimps were all small incredible sights to see and appreciate, the macro as impressive as the big scenic beauties on Long Caye Wall. The night dive went beyond in delivering amazing creatures to find and discover under the light of the moon and lights from the Sun Dancer II. The squid, octopus, urchins, shrimps, hunting tarpon, crabs and spotted eels were all out in abundance and on the reef ready to delight the divers.

    The ‘Rocky’ theme song was in the air as the yacht made its way into the Blue Hole and the divers geared up for a dive they were so excited to experience there was almost no words to describe the exuberance and excitement onboard. Once underwater the divers made their way down to 130 feet and around the giant stalactites that can only be measured up once you are next to one and able to see its enormity. In the dark blue and dramatic silhouette lighting you could see an amazing wide-angle panoramic view perfect for the bucket list of sights worth witnessing underwater. After the deep dive, an extended surface interval was passed at the beautiful Half Moon Caye Island where the divers became land adventurers who got to see the birds and crawling creatures. In the afternoon a dive site described as a ‘Cornucopia of Wildlife’ delighted everyone and inspired the next three dives at this beautiful dive site known as Painted Wall.

    The final morning of diving was spent at Sandy Slope and everyone enjoyed the little surprises in the sand and coral rocks. A friendly remora seemed to befriend a few divers and was able to bid farewell to the divers as they made the final assent up from the hang bar back to the ladders where the divemaster was waiting to help with their fins.

    On behalf of all the crew of the Sun Dancer II we would like to thank you for joining us this week, you made it an incredible experience and we will always remember this week as a happy fun time onboard and underwater. We look forward to diving with you again in the future!

    “Favorites this Week”
    Claudia - The sharks are right up there, and the spotted toadfish I think were my favorites, and arrow blennies!
    Theresa - The two big scrawled filefish eating together, and the little sharp-nosed puffer fish, they are so cute
    Sue - Yellow headed jaw fish! and the turtles, oh yeah, and the squid and octopus, and the sharks! Also the remora that was trying to bond with everyone even got stuck on my fin and was happy there until I had to go up
    Dave - The night dive when I had a squid sitting on my hand and I could pet it, that was really cool, he was very enamored with my flashlight, also the turtle on one of the last dives, came up and followed the divemaster and started following everyone
    Chris - Everything to do with the wall dive at Half Moon Caye, diving thru the fingers and having it open up to the deep blue, the sharks, the groupers everything
    Hamish - The beer keg on board, but underwater without a doubt swimming with the Dolphins, people leaping off the boat with just their underwear on so they could catch them, also the sharks! It was my first time ever with sharks, and we are still alive, also the Latin name Partius Favourus for the fish that is half blue and half yellow, named for its close resemblance to a party favor (also more commonly known as a yellow tailed damsel fish)
    Leslie - The DOLPHINS! And the remora that stuck to Hamish, and not me, also a feather worm that was so beautiful
    Jane M - The baby dolphin! The barracuda that stalked us, also the blue tang playing with the jelly ball, AND all the divemasters, and the octopus! AND the neck crabs!
    Meryl - The yellow headed jawfish, because I finally saw them. Also all the fish on the Painted Wall site, also the psychedelic coral was just awesome! ALSO the parrotfish with his little yellow buddy (remora stuck to him). Also my favorite dive buddy Megan!
    Karen - The sail fin blennies
    Martin - Arrow blennies and wire coral shrimp, I liked everything, especially seeing my wife underwater, and thanks to the crew and their effort in taking us to the Blue Hole, the weather helped with this as well
    Jane - Juvenile arrow blennies and squat shrimp
    Pat - The mermaids! And the Blue Hole
    Ariel - Dolphins underwater, the decorator crab, the sea pearls / sailor eyes, the bioluminescence, the gigantic lobster, and the Tim Burton coral
    Colin - Octopus was good, and the “goatee blennie”
    Braedon - The octopus!
    Steve - Getting to see Eddy feeding the sharks!
    Wayne - Eddy jousting with the barracuda and it was a tie game!


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    ---------- Post added September 23rd, 2013 at 12:53 PM ----------

     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  2. Dancer Fleet

    Dancer Fleet ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    270
    6
    Sun Dancer II Captain’s Report September 14-21, 2013

    Water Temp: 82-84 F
    Vis: 80-100 feet
    Weather: Sunny with light breeze
    Crew: Captain Eddy, Second Captain Megan, Engineer Simon, Chef Carlos, Assistant Chef Barbara, Stewardess Elia, Divemaster Karim

    Dive Sites Visited:
    Sunday – Julie’s Jungle and Long Caye Ridge
    Monday - Uno Coco and Sand Box
    Tuesday - Half Moon Caye Wall and Aquarium
    Wednesday - East Cut and Silver Caves
    Thursday - Blue Hole and Long Caye Wall
    Friday - Sandy Slope

    A super fun week with very enjoyable time spent underwater and a lot of laughs on board as well. Divers from all over the US and Canada joined us this week and boarded the Sun Dancer II on Saturday ready to have an amazing time in Belize. Some returning and all our new friends were introduced and the ‘Welcome Briefing’ commenced upstairs before a delicious dinner and dessert was served. Later in the evening the yacht set out and crossed all the way over to Long Caye on Lighthouse Reef.

    The first dive of the week was enjoyed at Julie’s Jungle that has a lot of terrain to dive over and appreciate. Purple-hued creole wrasse swam about making their way in a long line, a high way of fish streaming over the reef making a good show as the divers swam past. Super cute Mohawk-looking squirrelfish also took a look at the divers with their big curious eyes as the group made their way over and around the reef structures. A few lizard fish were discovered and pointed out as they sat very stoic on the sand and rocks, difficult to see but once you get their shape it is easy to make out the cool looking onlooker. The next dive at Long Caye Ridge had an abundance of awesome things to check out, shrimps in the sand and cleaning stations to watch as the locals would pull up for a good overhaul from their little helper friends.

    At Uno Coco the diving was amazing and splendid along the wall with all the soft corals and fans reaching out as the divers gracefully hovered around the edge. A wire coral shrimp was discovered with its marshmallow eyes popping out if you look extremely close, or later zoom in on your macro shots to take an even closer look. The soapfish that is usually laying on the ground was seen actually upright and also made a small move to get a better position to watch the divers as it was pointed out and gazed at. A turtle noticed and appreciated by some divers, along with other photogenic grouper, and of course the ubiquitous barracuda that always seems to be at every dive site, watching and looking on with those scraggly teeth that are amazing to photograph, especially when it gives a toothy grin for the camera. Later in the evening at Sand Box more amazing diving commenced with a cool moray eel dive when they came out and got close to the ‘Go Pros’ with their extendable pole extensions and the lionfish at the ends of the dive master’s spear.

    The next morning at Half Moon Caye Wall was another amazing morning at one of the most memorable dive sites in all of Belize. The white sand with turtle grass and garden eels leads you past the stingrays swimming around and giant dinner plate sized angelfish on your way to the wall. Once at the wall, the divers went thru the deep cuts that are shaped like fingers big enough to swim thru out to the darker blue. After swimming along the other side for a while, the return back to the sandy side is just as enjoyable as you get to cut back and see the amazing view of white sand and pillowy reef just along the edge. The amount of life on this site is constantly enjoyable from the shells filled with conch or crabs, the rocks each with an urchin or shrimp, and even at the mooring block you can find sailfin blennies that are always up for a little show off for a camera willing to wait for an argument to break out between the different tiny rascals. On the second dive at the same site Captain Eddy took a few lionfish to encourage a shark to show off and dance for the divers, and dance it did! The best moment was when everyone was going down the reef and enjoying the wall while the shark came from behind and Eddy started to raise and lower the spear with the lionfish on the end. Most of the divers had already turned around to witness the spectacular show but the two divers nearest to him still had their backs to the shark show and literally ten feet behind them an 8 foot king was vertical and wiggling back and forth, swooping and bending from side to side trying to get the fish at the end of the sling that Eddy so masterfully moved about just out of its reach. When the divers finally did turn around it was amazing to see the rest of the show as the shark stayed around and weaved between the divers the entire dive.

    At Aquarium for the afternoon everyone had a great time on such a happy life-filled reef. Always aptly named, this site is “all fish all the time” and very enjoyable and entertaining around every turn. All the fish of every size and color come out and take a look as the divers gently flow over the reef. On the night dive the entire dive was spent along the edge of the wall and there was everything to see from an octopus, squid, giant loggerhead turtle with a couple remoras on its back, urchins, crabs, shrimps, sleeping fish and fish pretending to sleep as the divers tried not to disturb their restful time.

    East Cut was a wonderful morning dive site and had another shark sighting the following day. Along the sand, similar to Half Moon Caye, you could find a lot of life in the grass if you just took a second to adjust your eyes, sometimes spending more time in one little area can give you the same amount of enjoyment as dashing across the reef with the same critter finding success. For those that got to roam the wall and others who spent more time on the sand this site had something for everyone. The afternoon at Silver Cave also had a bit of everything with the break out star being the crazy wild-eyed, wilder toothed barracuda that would hardly give the dive master a break to try and get some sharks to show up and join the divers for a memorable dive. The French angels came up to everyone and made really cute faces and one even kissed his lens to get one of the best angelfish pictures. There was a free swimming green moray and even a spotted eel that surprised a diver as they were taking a picture of something else and noticed that her hand was a few inches from a little eely friend just sitting and breathing in a rock. The night dive also had a lot to appreciate with a school of squid, octopus, shark, turtle and happy divers all very impressed with the giant crabs at this dive site.

    Blue Hole Thursday! The weather finally gave us the perfect chance to take the divers to the famous dive site known for being literally a circle, sink hole, with huge stalactites hanging down that give you the chance to dive up to and around them, giving everyone the feeling of awe when you realize how old this geological wonder is, and the fun history it has with its ‘discovery.’ During the dive, as the group made the turn to start their assent, a shark was noticed in the far out blue and gave a nice perceptive to how vast the inside is as well. With a 1,000-foot diameter it is much bigger when you imagine once inside rather then looking from above. The thermal cline was enjoyable as well this week as this time it felt in reverse, as it was warmer as you got deeper, and a little cooler towards the surface.

    After the deep dive the adventurers made their way to Half Moon Caye Island and enjoyed a swim and walk around the beautiful paradise-filled with rare birds and friendly hermit crabs and iguanas. For the afternoon dives the Sun Dancer II made her way to Long Caye Wall and the divers enjoyed an amazing dive site that became one of their favorite of the whole week, including an incredibly relaxing night dive that everyone said could have been a few hours longer they were having such an amazing time. The feast awaited them, so after an hour they came back onboard to have a celebration meal.

    The next morning at Turneffe Island some awesome creatures were discovered and everyone had a wonderful time diving. On behalf of all the crew of the Sun Dancer II, we would like to thank you for joining us this week!

    “Favorites this Week”:
    Travis - The squid, when it got all excited when we had our lights on it, it had its tentacles all sticking out - and the loggerhead turtle on the same night dive!
    Becky - Finding the baby spotted drum fish!
    Ruthie - Flamingo tongues, on the last night dive we got to see two or three! Also the spotted eels were cool. Also the Pederson shrimp with little blue hands, and the starfish that was inside the blue cones.
    John - Sharks! Sharks are always good!
    Terry P - The sailfin blenny, because I like the tiny stuff. Also on a dive I got really good video of a wire coral shrimp!
    Rick - A free-swimming nurse shark, that is cool.
    Mona - At the beginning of the trip I got to see a filefish the first dive, then at the end, on the last dive, I got to see three in the same area, and one was a blue color. Also the arrow crab was really cool, like a daddy long legs. And of course the fin service and warm towels was a big plus!
    Eric - My favorite was my wife and when I was on the hang bar and I got charged by a reef shark.
    Amy - I liked seeing the reef shark getting so close, also the spotted eagle ray AND the octopus on the night dive, it was out doing its dance.
    Liz - An itty-bitty squat lobster.
    Dave - The soft coral sponges.
    Phil - The Blue Hole! Because it’s such a unique diving experience.
    Tim - The Blue Hole was just un-Belizable. And the crew was phenomenal, the high energy made everything more fun, and also going cave tubing Friday was awesome.
    Terry - Making the shark do flips that was amazing!
    Carrie - There was just so much! I especially liked seeing the incredibly rare sargassum triggerfish that was hiding inside a rocky patch, I was able to find it with my light and take a picture of it! I also enjoyed all the fun we had underwater and on the yacht!
    Jen - Loved the crew!
    Sean - The Sharks!
    Sue - The electric ray and Eddy feeding the shark!
    Mark - Eddy feeding the shark when it was dancing around.

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