Dive Log: Day 1

After an early wake-up and flight from Dallas Love Field, we made it to Fort Lauderdale, Florida; then to George Town, Grand Cayman; and finally to our dive resort known as Cobalt Coast. Soon after, our group hit the ground running with a quick snorkel right off the dock of the hotel less than a minute’s walk from our rooms. There, we saw a shallow coral reef consisting of all different types of wildlife to observe. Members of the team saw sea turtles, flounder, lion fish, barracuda, parrot fish, Elkhorn coral, sponges, and wrasses making for a great start to the trip without even an air tank on our backs. Due to our two week long summer school class we were able to identify the majority of fish we came across which made the experience that much more surreal, we had been preparing for this moment for a while now. As soon as we got into the water right below our feet were two Blue Tangs. We knew they were adults because the juveniles are yellow and these were a bright blue. Surgeonfish such as the Blue Tang eat algae and have oval, thin bodies; they’re also distinguishable from their sharp spines on either side of the tail used to cut potential predators. Continuing on our dive, we encountered a school of French Grunts, whose name comes from the grunting sound they make by grinding their teeth together. They are bright yellow and most commonly found in schools like the one we saw today. Intermixed in the French Grunts were a couple adult Sergeant Majors. They are recognized with their forked tail and bright colors of a blue body with a yellow midsection and black vertical stripes down its body. Although they look nothing alike, they’re in the same family as clownfish, Damselfish. Also periodically spaced out along our snorkel were multiple sea urchins of various sizes, shapes, and color. From a black urchin with long black spines to a white spotted one with short spines we saw various urchins hiding in every crevice and hole. It’s hard to believe this was only our first day on the island but I am looking forward for so much more of what’s to come.