After having a healthy amount of breakfast, we all set out to our first location, Big Tunnels. This was one of the deeper dives, reaching 105 feet! The second location was called Bonnie’s Arch, which had many different and weird kinds of fish, like the Royal Gramma Basslet, which will be discussed in later. The dives so far have gotten better and better, which always makes me excited for the next day.
Bug Tunnels was an exhilarating dive due to the depth. Although the max depth of this dive is about 105 feet, I only was able to reach 86. The first fish that I saw was a Tarpon. The size of the fish surprised me, because it seemed like a much smaller fish when looking at the pictures. The way I was able to identify this fish was the silver hue and how the body was shaped. The body seems to become smaller and narrower towards the end of the tail. The second fish that I spotted was the Nassau Grouper. This was also one of the easier fish to know due to the bug size and the unique markings that the fish contains. It seems like all of them have a brown colored base with white squiggly strips going through the body. It isn’t one if the prettier fish, but it is definitely interesting to observe from up close. When seeing this fish, it seemed like it was opening its mouth for some fish to clean it. This was extremely interesting since I have never seen anything like it before. The Grouper would open its mouth, which then would lead to smaller fish entering and feeding off of the bacteria located inside of the mouth. This was very weird to see at first, but once I learned what was going on, it made much more sense.
The second location, Bonnie’s Arch, was also extremely fun. The reason for this name is due to a large arch located on the Western Coast of the Cayman Island. The arch is iconic, having a condo complex named after it. Although it was not as deep as the previous dive, it definitely was as much fun. The first fish that I spotted was the French Angelfish, which was definitely one of the more pretty fish that live in the waters of the Cayman Islands. This was also one of the more fish to spot, being an extremely unique fish. The glowing yellow spots that are located on the blueish-greenish body are very pleasing to look at. It seemed like it wanted to explore us and see what we were doing, which is a behavioral characteristic that the class learned before coming to the island. The curious characteristic was very easy to recognize which made me positive that it was indeed an Angelfish. The second thing that I saw was a gigantic crab that was dead laying on the sea floor. My partner, Blake, pointed it out with a very shocked face. Once I saw the crab, I was extremely scared, since I was a few feet away from it. At first, I thought it was alive, but luckily the crab had died out which gave me a big wave of relief. This was definitely the biggest crab that I have ever seen, being about the size of a football.
Overall, this has been one of my favorite days. I hope to enjoy the rest of the dives as much as I did today.