Thursday, August 6, 2009

Triple-dive Thursday

Three dives in one day! Starting at Mary's Place, we swam through overhanging rocks and deep valleys. An ocean triggerfish was sighted feeding.

On to Maya Key for lunch, with tasty conch soup. A new facility for showing the Mayan civilization to tourists was available for a tour. Other recent changes on Maya Key include a variety of animals on display. South American sea lions are being trained, macaws call out in loud squawks, and a jaguar sits quietly on a rock.

Back on the boat, we geared up for dive #2 at Smith's Bank, where an amazing number of healthy corals thrive. Most abundant were staghorn, lettuce, and finger corals. Acres of these corals are a great habitat for huge numbers of small fish and reef creatures. Two lettuce sea slugs were spotted, one a blue-green color. Truly spectacular, awe-inspiring sights for all!

Lastly, the night dive. As the sun set we headed to the reef where we saw spiny lobsters, king crabs (Mithrax crabs), basket starfish and 3 octopi moving along the reef. We also saw several fish sleeping including parrotfish, cowfish and surgeonfish decked out in there night coloration.

(Photos by Kathy Dole)

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