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Log Date: Saturday, May 04, 2019
Entry By: Cuba Travel Program Staff









 

Jardines Aggressor II

May 4-11, 2019 Charter

Jardines de la Reina

 

CREW 

CAPTAIN: Eric Ceruto Corzo

CRUISE DIRECTOR: Yemney Amador

ENGINEER: Victor Emerson

DECK SAILOR: Nowel Chinea

CHEF 1: Lioñar

CHEF 2: Ramon

STEWARDESS: Yoisi

DIVE MASTERS: Tender 1_Michael and Jose

                                 Tender 2_Bayron

SKIFF DRIVER: Elvis (tender 1) and Gualberto (tender 2)

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Visibility: 110 FT

Water Temp: 80 - 81 F

 

DIVE SITES INCLUDING NIGHT DIVE 

SUNDAY: TENDER 1 :  Boca de Anclitas, El Peruano;

                   TENDER 2: Pius Reef, La Cana

MONDAY: TENDER 1 : Caballones, Finca de Pepe, La Cana, Anclitas(night dive) 

                   TENDER 2:  Farallon, Intermedio, El Peruano, Anclitas(night dive)

TUESDAY: TENDER 1: Farallon, La Puntica, Los Mogotes, Five Sea(night dive)

                    TENDER 2: Pipin, Finca de Pepe, Five Sea, Five Sea(night dive) 

 WEDNESDAY: TENDER 1: Five Sea, Cueva del Pulpo, Cabezo Cubera, La Trampa

                     TENDER 2:  Los Indios II, Cabezo de la Raya, Boca de Piedra, Los Mogotes

THURSDAY: TENDER 1: Los Indios, Boca de Piedra, Mariflores, La Cubera(night dive)

                       TENDER 2: Coral Negro II, Cabezo de la Cubera, Luisas Reef, La Cubera(night  

                         dive).

FRIDAY: TENDER 1: Cabezo de la Raya, Luisas Reef

                 TENDER 2: Coral Negro I, Cueva del Pulpo

 

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

SUNDAY: O.F.Y. Presentation while underway to Caballones Beach, right after General  

MONDAY: Slides shows among dives.

TUESDAY: Snorkel in the Coral Sanctuary after first dive

                    After lunchtime O.F.Y. Presentation with Victor

WEDNESDAY: On the way to the second dive, we tried to snorkel with the croc, but it doesnt

                           On the way to the third dive visit to Boca de Piedra Beach for seeing Jutias and 

THURSDAY: Snorkel with the croc and Snorkel in Mangroves.

FRIDAY: After second and last dives, Mangrove tour from Boca de Piedra to Caballones Beach.

 

STORIES OF THE WEEK

SATURDAY:

Guest arrival was late at night, 13 clients came from Camaguey and La Habana but anyways they arrived just with few minutes of difference, around 10:00 pm. Dinner was ready at that time, and they enjoyed it. Repeated clients this week, and we welcomed them twice, some of them first time in Cuba, first time in an Aggressor Boat, but for sure their first time in Jardines Aggressor II. All of them loved the boat at first sight.

They went to bed really late, because they stayed a while in the restaurant talking and knowing each other. 

For security reasons the Captain waited till sunrise for moving the boat, way to Caballones Beach. Visibility is better with the sun up and clients can sleep without the sound of the engines and is safer sailing with high ties and shiny sun.

 

SUNDAY:

Wakeup call was at 6:00 am, 

Good Morning, Good Morning, time to wake up, this wakeup call will become in their new routine this week, but they end laughing about it.

Also, the breakfast started at that time and engines came on as well. Day was good, the sea as a plate, really calm, and navigation was perfect. They chose their tenders and partners, prepared their gear, organized their personal stuff, and crew always helped. Some photographers among them very enthusiastic about Crocs, Goliath Groupers, Silky Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks, and school of tarpons, they didnt stop talking about it.

We arrived at Jardines de la Reina at 11:00 am, Lunch was at 12:00 pm and finally our check dive took place at 2:00 pm, everyone was excited about this, tender 1 went to Boca de Anclitas and tender 2 went diving to Pius Reef, these were the first ones, but both tenders were even more satisfied with the second ones in El Peruano and La Cana, tender 1 had lucky and saw a hawksbill turtle, among other species in el Peruano, turtle was swimming no so far of divers, always with precaution but close; and tender 2 enjoyed the company of Nassau Groupers, parrot fish, crabs and beautiful pilar corals, fish of schools, and sharks everywhere, reef and Caribbean sharks among us, sometimes came so close to us, directly to us that our adrenaline shoot off . Nice first day of diving.

 

MONDAY: Water temperature was great for diving, 82-83 F, no cold at all, first dives were excellent in Caballones and El Farallón.

Caballones is a beautiful site dive for being underwater, with a patch reef and 23 to 35 m deep makes it unique. Silky and reef sharks all over us, at list 11 or 13 sharks swimming around us, but our rock star was a Goliath Grouper, not shy at all, who was swimming with us the entire dive in Caballones, the size of this beauty was not less than 1,90 m large, bigger than all our divers and me included. This huge creature was there watching us and gave us the welcome to his world. Was a nice show to see how one of our divers just raise a hand simulating that she was trying to feed it, and this huge fish with noble countenance just went to his palm and stayed there for some seconds, right there was made an incredible memory for each people who saw it.

In Farallón there were many black and Nassau groupers as well, sponges and in the beautiful grooves that sometimes turn into tunnels, we find schools of tarpon and horse eye jack, variety of corals and sponges too, our dear folks the sharks were there in numerous quantities for remaining us that underwater world is there.

We had our first night dive this week in Anclitas, both tenders were there at the same time although not all of the guests were there, it was amazing, were almost no current, and lobsters drums, porcupine fishes, barracudas, and a nurse shark that appeared really smoothly in the bottom were there as well. At our return hot towel, hot chocolate with Cuban Ron and a dancing crew were waiting for us and is good to mention how beautiful looks the Jardines Aggressor II at nights, with all the lights on and plenty of tarpon swimming behind the boats stern, and the enthusiasm of the crew is so contagious than even from the distance your mood is capable of changing.

 

TUESDAY: Typical morning in Jardines de la Reina, first dive at 8:00 am and divers ready for dive briefing at 7:45 am, they were really excited. First dives in Farallón and Pipín. Pipín dive site was infected of silky and Caribbean sharks, they were everywhere, no less than 20 sharks swimming around us, and also at the surface close to the tender, it was nice, when this folks appeared there is anything else to see, always reminding us they are the kings into the water, and put us in ridiculous position while they swimming with such an elegance and we with so many gear and equipment.

On the other hand we discovered  squids, are not at all animals shy for breeding, we saw two of them in full possession of their faculties while practicing sex, was funny to see like they just meet each other, and after two or three minutes they just got separated and continued swimming in different directions, no relationship, no commitment, just reproduction, it is a fact of life. Once onboard the boat, everyone was laughing about it.

Five Sea night dive was also good, their favorite so far, besides all the variety of species we found there, such as black groupers, cubera snappers schools, lot of horse eye jacks, and of course sharks, there are also a wooden wreck of a vessel that belonged to the port of Jucaro lying on the sea bed and it house plenty variety of flora and fauna. Make us imagine how will be living under water for us in this beautiful landscape.

 

WEDNESDAY: Wind keeps blowing from South and still being windy since last night, but sunrise was spectacular and all our divers were ready on time, a very important thing when you have a such busy day. Jutias and Iguanas visit was welcome, they loved this big friendly rodents and reptiles on the Beach. We went to see Crocs but they werent there, this wild and beautiful animal are free, they are friendly because let us to get close but they are free to come and go by their own will, thats why sometimes we cant find them.

Dives like Cabezo de la Raya and Cueva del Pulpo are some of the site dives that make Jardines de la Reina so pristine, plenty of reef and silky sharks, nurse sharks, stag horn corals, massive corals and gorgonians; huge wall reef with rope sponges, schools of tarpons, grunts, sailfish bennies, nudibranchs, anemones, shrimps, lobsters, etc. Clients loved this dive, I suppose their dive logs might be much longer than mine. 

On the other hand, the Special Grill Day relaxed everybody, and it was something they really enjoyed, cuban music and a dancing crew made the night more enjoyable. And those little touches that make the week unforgettable.

 

THURSDAY:  Todays expectations were all on Crocs, we tried after first dive to see El Niño, but we couldnt, was on the way to the second dive, before diving that we found that Sr. Croc. Some of our clients came just for seeing it, snorkel with crocs is something incredible, they are so beauty animals that invite us by themselves to join them. But although Crocs snorkel was an activity full of adrenaline, only few enthusiastic went into the water with NIÑO, but was wordy, some of them told us it is really impressive to see a wild animal than can be so easily dangerous so quiet in the water posing for photos and letting people get closer and closer without any signal of aggressive attitude to his observants. Respect is something that predominated into the water, but also amazement. Fallow the dive master instructions is imperative always, safety comes first.

The experience was too well, one of our divers skipped the third dive just for seeing croc again, he swam with El Niño for last time this week, Randy, our intrepid diver, was in love of this majestic creature and its kindness. As reward for the croc, a chicken leg, and for Randy, a fabulous memory and experience and also incredible photographs.

Night dive was excellent, they saw an octopus and were showing off about it in front of those that werent to the night dive, was fun to see that friendly fight, Lol.

Hot chocolate with cuban ron Havana Club añejo 7años, hot towels ready for them and a dancing lady, they said they had been in several liveaboard boats but they couldnt find either hot chocolate and towels or dancing crew.

 

FRIDAY:  Last dives were in Luisas Reef and Cueva del Pulpo, and among all the beauties down there, such us reef slopes with schools of fish, our daily reef and silky sharks, lobsters,  tiny shrimps, diamond blennies, black and Goliath groupers, spanish grunts, really green parrot fish, among others, the main attraction this time was a hawksbill turtle who was swimming really close to us and went to the surface just besides us, many photos were taken and a lot of happy faces were seen. They were happy about it. and also because of the week they have spent here with us in the Jardines Aggressor II, but at the same time sad because of the week was ending. 

Protecting this National Park and keep it pristine just as it is now, is more imperative for us every day.