"" Writer's Wanderings: Grand Cayman--Diving Day 3

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Grand Cayman--Diving Day 3

The weather has been absolutely beautiful except for the afternoon storm the other day. The seas have been calm which always makes it more pleasant for climbing the ladder out of the water and onto the dive boat. Water temperature has been around 80 degrees even at depths of 80-90 feet. The visibility varies some with alga in the water and of course surge and current but is generally 80-100 feet. Who could ask for more?

Our morning dives found a few interesting things including this flamingo tongue snail. These guys kind of wrap themselves around a piece of coral. They are very pretty though. What you see is actually tissue covering the shell which he pulls into the shell if attacked. So you might say he's inside out.

We also found a humongous crab but he crawled into an area that made it difficult to photograph. Sadly, though we were in some large sandy areas that should have been good places to find rays and nurse sharks but we didn't see any.

Upon climbing back into the boat however, we got the news that the lion fish they thought was in this area had been discovered and captured. There has been an invasion of lion fish in the Caribbean which could be devastating to the fish population. They are ravenous feeders and have few predators. The lion fish are indigenous to the Pacific but they suspect that back when hurricane Andrew hit a couple of aquariums, the lion fish were released into the ocean and their eggs spread by current throughout the Caribbean. Dive operations and fishermen have been encouraged to capture them for study and eradication. So our fearless dive masters aboard the Ocean Hawk this morning found one and netted it. Such a shame that a fish so beautiful and intriguing could be so dangerous. According to an article I found, they think that grouper may eat the lion fish. Unfortunately grouper are getting fished out and while lion fish may taste like halibut, no one is putting them on the menu yet.

Other Grand Cayman Posts:
Hell Has a Zip Code
Caribbean Road Signs

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