Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Utila Aggressor: April 7-14, 2007

I spent a wonderful week on the Utila Agressor in the Bay Islands. Although the weather forescast was not very promising, we were blessed with beautiful weather the whole week with temperatures around 30 degrees C.

The water had an average of 29 degrees C with visibility ranging from 15 to 40 meters.

Almost all objectives were achieved in this trip. Not only did we get some great diving, we also got to swim with Whale Sharks, Mantas, and a some of us with a Blue Marlin! Well, only one objective was not accomplished - the "Rembrandt" of the whale shark, like Clyde said... Well, next time!!!

What made this trip even more special was our group. I was lucky to be with a great... I mean... really great group!!!

Sunday, April 8

We started off our week of diving at Cayos Cochinos where we dove on three different sites. Throughout the day we saw a baby Southern Stingray, Honeycomb and Scrawled Cowfish, a Smooth and Spotted Trunkfish, Great Barracuda, a Diamond Blenny, a Large Eyed Toadfish, four Caribbean Octopus, huge Spotted Sea Hares, a mini Sea Hare, a Slimy Doris, a Tufted Nudibranch, Reef Squid, and a Lettuce Sea Slug.

Monday, April 9
For our second day of diving we moved around quite a bit. We got to dive Coco's Seamount which is 6 miles off of Cayos Cochinos, then Mary's Place and Valley of the Kings on the South side of Roatan, and then Taviana’s Wall on the West end of Roatan. At Coco's we saw Horse Eye Jacks, Yellow Tail Snappers, Great Barracudas, Ocean Triggerfish, huge Barrel Sponges, a Southern Stingray, and a free swimming Green Moray. On the South Shores of Roatan we saw different types of Black Coral, a Spotted Moray, a Cubera Snapper, Blue Tangs, and soft Gorgonians. For our last afternoon and night dive we saw a Caribbean Octopus, Brittle Stars, Caribbean Lobsters, and a Long Horn Nudibranch.

Tuesday, April 10
For our last day of diving on Roatan we headed to the West side of the island. We dove the Aguila Wreck/Reef for the morning dives. During the first dive Capt Eddy and DM Nestor went down with the guests to put on a little show. Our friends the Black Groupers, the Cubera Snapper, and the curious Green Moray all came out to play. For the rest of the day we dove at Half Moon Bay Wall where we had some amazing dives. We saw a couple of Hawksbill Turtles, a Spotted Eagle Ray, a Caribbean Reef Squid, a Spotted Lobster, schooling Blue Tangs, French Angels, a Scrawled Filefish, a Spotted Drum, Yellow Head Jaw Fish with eggs in their mouths, a Caribbean Octopus, a Nodose Rubble Crab, Tufted Nudibranchs, and a Fringe-Back Nudibranch.

Wednesdat, April 11
Early in the morning we made our way over to Utila for our two morning dives at one of Utila’s seamounts, Black Hills, off the East side of the island. During the dives we saw a free swimming Green Moray, Hawksbill Turtles, Horse Eye Jacks, Black Durgons, Pillar Coral, huge Sea Fans, and Scrawled Cowfish. After the morning dives we headed out into the blue to search for Mr. Big. We could see quite a few fish boils so we agreed to sacrifice a dive so we would have more time to search. We ended up finding two different Whale Sharks and got to do a few jumps! Everyone got to see Mr. Big at least once and smiles were from ear to ear. For the last two dives we headed to the West side of the island to Jack Neil Point. During the dives we saw a Hawksbill Turtle, a Yellow Stingray, a Large Eyed Toadfish, an Intermediate Spotted Drum, Caribbean Octopus, and a Quilfin Blenny.

Thursday, 12 April
For our last full day of diving we dove the Marine Reserve on the North side of the island at Old House for the morning. Everyone loved the site and all the macro options that were available. There were Lettuce Sea Slugs a plenty, Red Lip Blennies, mating Flamingo Tongues, two Red Banded Lobsters, School Masters, Mahogany Snappers, big Brain Coral, and a beautiful sheer wall. After our "Burgers in Paradise" lunch we headed back out to look for more whale sharks. For us the shark was more important than diving so we ended up spending all afternoon looking. The first hour was looking to promising but then we hit the jack pot! We ended up swimming with four different Whale Sharks as well as Manta Rays and a Blue Marlin! The sun started to set so we made our way over to the east side of the island at Radar Reef for our night dive. We saw a baby Hawksbill Turtle, a Copper Lobster, a Sculptured Slipper Lobster, Lettuce Sea Slugs, a Nodose Rubble Crab attempting to eat a Flamingo Tongue, a Sand Dollar, and beautiful Bio-luminescence.

Friday, 13 April
For our last morning of diving we Dove Ted’s Point on the East side of the Island. Just when the guests thought that the week couldn’t get any better, they were proved wrong when DM Nestor found a small white Long Snout Seahorse, and a Southern Stargazer! We also saw Brown Garden Eels, an Eyed Flounder, Sergeant Majors, Bermuda Chubs, and a Spotted Drum.

Monday, 23 July 2007

TDI Advanced Nitrox / Decompression Procedures Completed !!!

IMG_0795, originally uploaded by Nuno Sanches e Silva.

I finished on the 8th July the Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures course. The final exam was done in Hemmoor, Germany, where we spent the weekend diving.

Dive site: Kreidesse Entrance 5
Depth: 45 meters
Duration of the dive: 43 minutes
Mixes used: 25% and 50% (deco)

Weather was nearly storm conditions with exception of the exam day when we finally got some beautiful weather.

Thanks to everyone and specially to Nico for giving us the course!!