Due to heavy rain and lighting, our dive had to be delayed a little but which led to us going onto a bus and another dock. We began our travels to our first location, Big Dipper. This location was very close to a very popular area on the island called 7 Mile Beach. The second location Chai Reef, which was a little close to Big Dipper. We were headed onto a very fun day.
Coral fingers made up most of the Big Dipper. This name comes from the depth that it holds, going all the way to 110+ feet. I was able to reach about 108 feet which really surprised me. The first thing that that I noticed with my partners was a pufferfish. Although it was not blown up like I hoped it to be, it was still very intimidating. It went around a nook to hide from us which was odd in my opinion. My first impression of the fish was that it was very confident when facing against larger objects, but that was not the case. Another creature that I saw were very small eels. They were called Garden Eels, which was very cool. Eels were definitely not the first thing that came to mind when seeing these creatures. Once my partner told me, I was shocked. I’ve always thought of eels to be intimidating and viscous, but this was the opposite. They eat their food by collecting nutrients from the current that is pushing them. They are very good for the ecosystem. The interesting thing about them, is how they hide and what they do. When swimming very close to them, they hide in the sand leaving a hole. This is was one of my favorite dives due to the depth that I was able to reach.
The second dive was in a location by the name of Chain Reef. This location gets the name from a huge anchor that has fallen onto the coral. Over time, coral has taken over the chain which makes it look very fascinating. This was one of the shorter dives, only reaching about 45 feet in depth. This dive was definitely home to a lot of fish, seeing tons of schools swimming around. One fish that stood out to be was the Royal Gramma Bassett. This was one of the more fascinating but weird fish. This fish lived upside down which was very weird to me. They would be under a Reef and live with their belly facing towards the sky. Their bright blue and orange body caught my attention which is what made me look at them. The second fish that I saw was a trumpetfish. I only saw it for a moment but I was positive of what it was. The skinny, long unique body instantly made me think of the species. The only behavior that it was doing was floating around and in the coral, which is typical for a fish like that. We also saw a sunken beach lounge chair which was very cool. We all got to take picture on it and have some fun with it. This dive was very relaxing due to having nothing but sand underneath us which was a relief. My friends and I sat on the sand and had some fun.
After lunch, the location that we all went to was the Cayman Turtle Centre. Once we got in, the size of the turtles was the first thing that I noticed. These turtles were massive, about the size of a bathtub. The next stop was seeing some baby turtles, and being able to pick them up. I struggled a lot at first, but eventually was able to get the job done. Picking up the turtles was a very fun experience, and hope to do it again soon. We then went to a bridge that was over a massive tank. The tank included a variety of animals, such as nurse sharks, barracudas, green turtles, and tarpons. The last location that we went to was an area that had tons of birds. This was definitely not my favorite place. I kept on seeing birds fly on me which was frightening.
The last thing that was done today was night snorkeling. Seeing all types of fish was very fascinating. The thing that scared me the most was the amount of sea urchins that there were. They were also big which was definitely not good. The one thing that I saw was a huge lobster. It was hiding in a little piece of coral at first, and then went outside which revealed its whole body. The lobster’s size a little bigger than the marine biology water bottle that I have.
Today was full of adventure and I can’t wait to see more fascinating things.