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Log Date: Saturday, Mar 02, 2019
Entry By: Cuba Travel Program Staff









 



Jardines Aggressor II Captain’s Log

Gardens of the Queen itinerary

March 2-9, 2019

 

Aggressor Crew

 

Capitan: Yurisbel

Cruise Director: Yohanis

Engineer: Yaimil

Deck Sailor: Yunieski

Steward: Amarilis

Chef 1: Anibal

Chef 2: Diosdado

Dive Masters: Michael; Yoel; Maidel

Skipper: Pedro

 

Weather Conditions

 

Visibility: 100 ft

Water temperature: 81-82 f

 

Dive Sites

Sunday: Anclitas, El Peruano, Anclitas

Monday: Farallon, Pipin, La Cana, Boca de Anclitas

Tuesday: Vicente, Finca de Pepe, Los Mogotes, Cueva del pulpo

Wednesday: Black Coral II, Cabezo de la Cubera, El salto de la Culebra, Mariflores

Thursday: Cabezo de la Raya, Five Seas, Cueva del Pulpo, Luisa Reef

Friday: Boca de Piedra, Los Sabalos

 

Week Activities

Sunday: O.F.Y Presentation

Monday: O.F.Y Presentation

Tuesday: O.F.Y Presentation & Mangrove Tour

Wednesday: Pictures and Videos: watching the croc in the channel

Thursday: O.F.Y Presentation & Visit Jutia’s Beach

Friday: Mangrove Tour & Snorkeling at the Mangrove

 

Histories

 

  1. Saturday: All the guests arrived to Jucaro Port at 11pm. Once there, we showed them their cabins and served dinner, as soon as they finished they decided to go to bed because they felt tired from the day of travelling.

 

  1. Sunday: The Captain start moving the boat at 6am and we arrived to the Gardens at 11am. On the way: General Briefing time; O.F.Y Presentation & time to set up the dive gear with the dive master help. As soon as we arrived, they had lunch and one hour after …General Dive Briefing time. This first experience in the Gardens was really incredible for everybody. They never thought that the check dive could be so pretty: they saw rays; and abundant reef fishes and they also seem to be impressed for the Pillar Coral and the Cleaning Stations.

The second dive was as beautiful as the first one… Nice dive! …Great! They all exclaim. Red hind grouper:  OMG, they love it. Normally is a shy fish – they said-, but this one is all the time by your side, they have never seen something like this.

They also show interest in the barrel’s sponges and how on top of the reef are so many kinds of corals.

And to finish the day, Night dive, this one was free king amazing for them, they saw a crab eating a coral; big lobsters; a green moray looking for a new place and also giant’s basket start.

 

  1. Monday: Everyone is excited, is a new day and they want to see more and they did it: it was a deep dive, the visibility was good and the best was to see the silky sharks close to the surface all the time, lots of them. It was a great dive, they could enjoy the beauty and the variety of species like turtles, groupers, big ones and one of the most incredible things for them was the kindest of the fishes, so friendly like little pets.

As soon as they finish they returned to the boat and as always all the crew was waiting for them with a warming hot towel, their happiness was so big , they can even talk because they never imagine that this place could contain so rich and care the sea.

The second dive was also pretty the same: big tarpons, lots of coral fool school of parrotfish and more.

The third and the fourth dive were as important as all the dive they made before. Big cleaning station; lots of fish… school of Bermuda chub, garden eels on sandy area and some Jewfish with the eggs on the mouth. Also, lots of lobster, barracuda, many kind of hamlets, school of grunt and more.

The last dive finish between twilight and they loved to see the beginning of the night live on the bottom time of the sea.

 

  1. Tuesday: Another beautiful morning in the gardens: the sun is coming up true the mangroves and the water is so clear, what else we can ask for- they said to me-After the dive briefing everybody is ready to go and see what’s coming next. Again, lots of reef sharks and black groupers, curious groupers close to them every moment, school of eye horse jack and the visibility was perfect, it was more than 100f. they could also see Nassau groupers; school of Midnight Parrotfish and more.

They returned to the boat telling histories about the dives and also about how pretty the bottom is and how is even possible to keep it that way, at this moment they also remind when Victor talk to them about the actions we take to protect the area.

This was an incredible day, was Lois`s Birthday and they spend all day singing and laughing and making jokes.

The third dive was in Boca de Piedra, this is a beautiful place, located at the east of the Gardens with a beautiful beach and the view, the bris and everything is perfect. On the way to this new location they did a Mangrove tour to get to the dive site and they liked very much, it was great to feel the bris on your face and the beauty of the mangroves, is a labyrinth, you think it will never end.

This was an amazing dive, every time this is getting better and better: Tarpons, Reef sharks; More eels; Garden eels and they saw a concentration of corals on top of the reef, especial, Elkhorn coral.

Dinner was fantastic, a birthday celebration with a delicious dessert, a Diplomatic Cuban-American dessert and candles, blooms and a noisy happy birthday singing for everyone.

The night dive was free king crazy... they finally get to see Octopus and they seem to be very impressed for the way it moves... lobsters, crabs and Jellyfish. First night dive for one of the people of the group and it was very good.

The hot towel at this time was phenomenal and the hot chocolate too…few minutes after: hot tub time and white wine. Was an interesting day.

 

  1. Wednesday: The weather has changed a bit; the sun does not show is a cloudy morning and they are asking about the weather. After the breakfast, the bell is ding dong and they are already on the dive deck waiting for the dive briefing; this seems to be an interesting dive even with the weather conditions they are expecting something great like the days before.

This was a good dive, at their return we could note they were talking and talking at the same time; lots of Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks; best dive till now, - they said, amazing…very shakily: we swim down and it was an empty space with a big Sponge and all the Sharks swimming around, it was fantastic, we have never seen something like that…; and the Groupers, so friendly, they stop in front of you; is all a show, a great one.

They spend all this time-sharing history about all these days and about the happiness they felt for been part of this place but also they were a little bit curios because of the crocodile: El Nino.

On the way to the second dive, they went to visit the croc, this was an unique experience for everyone, was the first time they had the opportunity to have this kind of depredator so close; they all stay on the tender, looking how this animal shows up when the dive master start calling: Nino, ven..

 

 

Thursday: The sun is shining again; the wind has stopped to blow. Today appears will be the best day in the week regarding to the weather. First dive took place in Five seas dive site. When they were going there, they couldn’t realize de beauty of the place. This is a coral garden, no too deep. All around is full of colors because de amount of coral’s formations. However, despite there were many Caribbean reef sharks swimming around the divers all the time, the really loved a big tarpons school. About 15 of then, that normally lays dawn close to the bottom and under some overhands that exit in this place... Second dive was another coral garden close to the ship. After lunch most of the divers took a nap looking for energy to the next dives. Third dive was Octopus cave. Big corals formations exist here. The most conspicuous of them is a Pillar coral about 2.5 m high. This must be one of the oldest coral colonies in the gardens. As most of the coral rate of growing is about a cm per year, this specific coral colony should be around more than two centuries existence…….

 

Friday: Last day in the week. They know it and they are feeling sad because of this. As usual, the tender is going to de first dive site early morning. The plan was moving the ship to Caballones beach while the dive. First dive was in la Finca de pepe. This place is famous for two things. First one, a big barrel sponge at the middle of the sandy area, and the second one is the presence of a friendly goliath grouper. Unfortunately, this time didn’t show up. By the moment the dive finished, the ship was already waiting for the divers in caballones. Second dive was at Intermedio dive site. It is a shallow reef with clear water. The best possible scenario to say god bye to the gardens. After lunch, the boat started its journey to the harbor.