Day 3


Early awakening, breakfast, a slow sleepy walk to the Twin Sisters, and we were off to our first dive city. The name of this location was called Big Tunnels, names for its canyon like formation and long tunnel which we were able to swim through. This was probably my favorite dive so for due to the coral canyons we swam through as well as the fact that it was the deepest dive thus far, reaching almost 90 feet. I saw many of the same fish, but I did get to see some large tarpon with their shiny scales. Along one of the coral walls rested massive sea fans about three or four feet tall and wide. Our dive master Bernie told us that if we looked close enough we might be able to see tiny crabs but I didn’t see any. I enjoyed the second dive as well because I was able to conserve air better allowing me to dive for a longer time and enjoy the free time once our guided div had ended. One of the cooler things Ben and I saw on our own was a Grouper getting its mouth cleaned out by some smaller fish. This experience demonstrated an actual symbiotic relationship between two different fish. The group benefited from the smaller fish by stay healthy and in good condition while the smaller fish had access to food. One this dive I learned the name of a fish I had previously seen, a small half purple half yellow fish called a Fairy Basslet. On these two dives, especially he second I tried to really observe and notice the coral and plants. I observed the sea fans as they waved back and forth in the current. This made me aware of my own involuntary movements in the more shallow parts of the dive, around 35 feet. I was also intrigued by the bright yellowish green tube sponges. I really wanted to touch one to feel its texture because it looked very sturdy and firm but I imagine it might be softer and more flexible than I expect. I saw what I think was a blue sea sponge, however it was not as long as the or smooth looking as the yellow ones. I also say some smaller seas fans and some brain coral. Another organism that I appreciated was a green coral that was shaped like a very wide vase. They often had small fish swimming inside them. Overall I really enjoyed these two dives. Between dives we actually got to see a turtle surface for air. Upon returning we ate lunch and proceeded to have a few hour of free time due to the postponing of stingray city. I took some time to relax, but eventually, Clark, Sam, Ben and I went snorkeling for about an hour. The water was a little choppy but we persevered and went out further than we had before. Once again we saw some new fish. We saw a smooth Trunkfish, a sort of boxy fish with a point nose and small fanlike tail. I also saw a trumpet fish in the deeper water slowly swimming alone. My favorite new thing I saw were about three pairs of Caribbean Reef Squid. They were little pale creatures with faint streaks of color, who effortlessly glided through the water. They were very elegant. We rested some more, ate dinner, took some photos, sang to Daria, and then headed upstairs for movie night. We watched Mission Blue, a documentary about Dr. Silvia Earle, a renowned Marine biologist who has made many amazing discoveries and is a dedicated activist in saving the oceans. In the film the effect humans have in the ocean was visually demonstrated and it was disturbing. There is too much of the ocean to explore for us to be destroying it. Today was very full for me but like the others it was wonderful.