Sorry for the delay between our blog updates. I’ll take the blame for that. With the birth of my daughter life got a bit more involved. But to be honest I was also making lots of website upgrades and dedicating my available remaining time in that direction. With most of that complete, I’m going to try and catch up on our dive blogs and perhaps publish a few topics I’ve been wanting to discuss lately. But first, with apologies to my divers who have been waiting so patiently for their dive blogs, without further delay…

June 17, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Overcast skies. Is the rain finally over?!
Water Temperature:
77 degrees – these are January temps!

Dive One

Site: Yucab Reef
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Sailfin Blenny, Nurse Shark
Visibility: 80 feet
Notes:  Henry decided to join the trip with his camera. It is always interesting trying to find good stuff for the video. We found the current running south when usually it runs to the north. No big deal here we go! Ty and Tracy have a good air consumption and Ollie is taking pictures too. First thing we find is the splendid toad fish, actually many of them. Those are good for the video but what really stands apart are the tiny blennies, hiding and pulling out their dorsal fins once they are out, such a show! Later Ty finds the seeping shark, then the puffer fish, this dive is amazing!

Dive Two

Site: Casitas Shipwreck
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 80 minutes
Key Animals: Flounder, Starfish
Visibility: 80 feet
Notes:  Flat sandy bottom with turtle grass, expecting to find sea horses. We all are searching every inch, arrow crabs, flounders, eels, and a grouper eating a small fish that seemed like a rock beauty inside its mouth. Small lion fish, too, and at the end the shipwreck a couple of pictures of them and time to surface. Debriefing was crazy! We could not stop talking about what we saw, so many things in this dive.

Sorry for the delay between our blog updates. I’ll take the blame for that. With the birth of my daughter life got a bit more involved. But to be honest I was also making lots of website upgrades and dedicating my available remaining time in that direction. With most of that complete, I’m going to try and catch up on our dive blogs and perhaps publish a few topics I’ve been wanting to discuss lately. But first, with apologies to my divers ho have been waiting so patiently for their dive blogs, without further delay…

June 17, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Overcast skies. Is the rain finally over?!
Water Temperature:
77 degrees – these are January temps!

Dive One

Site: Yucab Reef
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Sailfin Blenny, Nurse Shark
Visibility: 80 feet
Notes:  Henry decided to join the trip with his camera. It is always interesting trying to find good stuff for the video. We found the current running south when usually it runs to the north. No big deal here we go! Ty and Tracy have a good air consumption and Ollie is taking pictures too. First thing we find is the splendid toad fish, actually many of them. Those are good for the video but what really stands apart are the tiny blennies, hiding and pulling out their dorsal fins once they are out, such a show! Later Ty finds the seeping shark, then the puffer fish, this dive is amazing!

Dive Two

Site: Casitas Shipwreck
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 80 minutes
Key Animals: Flounder, Starfish
Visibility: 80 feet
Notes:  Flat sandy bottom with turtle grass, expecting to find sea horses. We all are searching every inch, arrow crabs, flounders, eels, and a grouper eating a small fish that seemed like a rock beauty inside its mouth. Small lion fish, too, and at the end the shipwreck a couple of pictures of them and time to surface. Debriefing was crazy! We could not stop talking about what we saw, so many things in this dive.

Sepioteuthis sepioidea, but more commonly know by the name of Caribbean Reef Squid. Love these guys when they are in small squadrons!

June 18, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly Cloudy
Water Temperature:
77 degrees 

Dive One

Site: Villa Blanca Wall
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Deep water gorgonian, Cornet fish
Visibility: 80 feet
Notes:  Tracy has the chance to choose her dives today and she decides to do one of Henry’s favorites, Villa Blanca Wall. As the first dive of the day we get to decide a bit deeper on the wall. At 80 this wall really is stunning with dense coral growth. Patches of the reef resemble a deep water gorgonian forest. The rare and shy cornetfish is spotted – but just for a few seconds before they descend down the wall away from us.

Dive Two

Site: Casitas Shipwreck
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 80 minutes
Key Animals: Juvenile drumfish
Visibility: 80 feet
Notes:  Tracy has good reason to return to Casitas shipwreck. The shallow depth allows for a really nice long bottom time. The pier pilings around the shipwreck are fully covered in sponges of all colors. Juvenile angelfish abound, but today it was the drums. We spot juveniles of the spotted, jack knife, and the high hat!

Which juvenile Drumfish is this?

June 19, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly Cloudy
Water Temperature:
77 degrees 

Dive One

Site: Tormentos
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Yellowhead jawfish, Splendid Toadfish
Visibility: 80 feet
Notes:  The plan today is to dive a shallow reef. Iit is last day for Tracy and Ty. They have been diving with us for more than a week and Henry is on board to enhance the experience with his camera. I checked the current and it is going south instead of the typical north drift. It is a bit strange to see the reef ‘backwards’ but it helps to discover the hidden face of sponges and coral heads, we found many jaw fish. One of those was having the babies in its mouth taking a sun bath. Several toadfish among others. I personally love the colors of the opposite face of sponges, it is special.

Dive Two

Site: Paradise Reef
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Grouper, Sailfin Blenny, Southern Ray
Visibility: 40 feet
Notes:  The current here was going south too, so we start in the north tip of paradise reef. I saw a black grouper under the coral. Henry tried to take a picture but the grouper swim under the coral – too tight to fit Henry through. Ty followed the grouper, it was quite big and pretty. Meanwhile Tracy and i found a toad fish, and halfway thru the dive under the sand a southern sting ray is resting. Henry points to a tiny fish, what is that? Oh we see now – sailfin blenny – so cool! Paradise reef gave us a nice dive as always.

Spirobranchus giganteus, but more commonly know by the name of Christmas Tree Worm. This one a lovely shade of red, but we can find them in orange, brown, yellow, purple, pink, and more. So cool!

June 20, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly Cloudy
Water Temperature:
77 degrees 

Dive One

Site: Cedral Pass
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 51 minutes
Key Animals: Yellowhead jawfish, Splendid Toadfish
Visibility: 70 feet
Notes:  Finally Iona decided to join the boat trip. It will be her first boat dive. We choose to dive in Cedral Pass. It was definitely a good decision as we found a turtle and a few permit. Mark and Gillian were with the group too. We take several pictures underwater, pretty fun!

Dive Two

Site: Yucab Reef
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 64 minutes
Key Animals: Grouper, Sailfin Blenny, Southern Ray
Visibility: 70 feet
Notes:  The visibility was not as clear, but once close to the bottom we find many fish. Under the coral Gillian points to a lobster, you should see Iona’s eyes – she was surprised! Mark was also surprised about the file fish. They change color and swim in a very unique way. Later we see a brain coral with damselfish. They allowed us to look very close. Those are cute! This dive was really long almost 64 min, nice!

Microspathodon chrysurus, but more commonly know by the name of Yellowtail Damsel (as adults) or even Jewel Damsel (as juveniles). This one is the intermediate phase exhibiting coloration of both traits.

June 21, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly Cloudy
Water Temperature:
77 degrees 

Dive One

Site: Santa Rosa Wall
Max Depth: 70 feet
Dive Time: 51 minutes
Key Animals: Hawksbill Turtle, Splendid Toadfish
Visibility: 70 feet
Notes:  In the aim of finding a splendid toad fish and see the seascape wall dive we decided to go to Santa Rosa Wall. Manny from Florida has a camera and as we go through the second cavern we found the toad fish. Ian was a bit ahead and he came back to have a look. It is a pretty fish! A few minutes later Henry finds the second one! Before that caverns Manny and I saw a baby turtle feeding from a sponge. To finish the dive we head to the shallow reef.

Dive Two

Site: Punta Tunich
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 62 minutes
Key Animals: Grouper, Sailfin Blenny, Southern Ray
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Current in this dive site is fast. That helps to have a better visibility, but Manny left his camera on board this time. We drifted fast and Henry points at the first turtle, Ian had a smile as he see it. We head to the cove that holds many fish – it is a must to stop. Countless fish and nice view. Henry is inside to take a look and try to find the green moray. It was not there but we continued, at the end of the dive we spot a sleeping shark – good way to finish!

Diodon holocanthus, but more commonly know by the name of Longspine Puffer. Always a diver favorite!

June 22, 2018 Twilight Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly Cloudy
Water Temperature:
77 degrees 

Dive One

Site: Villa Blanca Wall
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 54 minutes
Key Animals: Ocean Triggerfish, Flounder
Visibility: 100 feet
Notes:  Drift in this spot is gentle today. Marc and family are happy to join us today cause they have the experience in the morning dive but not in the afternoon. A wall dive promises to be a blast and as we descend a huge school of ocean trigger fish is swimming by. Many of them were with us for most of the dive, along many colorful sponges. Also Marc from Canada found a nice size flounder. We end up the dive in the flat sandy area and a couple of more flounders were in the path.

Dive Two

Site: Abrigo
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Grouper, Sailfin Blenny, Southern Ray
Visibility: Torches
Notes:  First night dive for Marc. Iona also was excited about this first time at dark. Slow descent since Gillian experienced a little trouble compensating in the first dive, but everything went smooth. Here we go…. squids! No a bad welcome to the dive party. The octopus made his color change show for Marc’s camera. We were surprised cause the octopus disappeared in a snap. I love turning the flashlight off, plankton glowing is unique. When we finished the dive we all said wow!

Can you tell what family this fish is just from using only the face and mouth structure?

June 23, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly Cloudy
Water Temperature:
80 degrees 

Dive One

Site: Barracuda Reef
Max Depth: 100 feet
Dive Time: 43 minutes
Key Animals: Several Hawksbill turtles, Loggerhead turtle, Green turltle
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  As usual we had really strong current at Barracuda reef. Geoff said he was ready for it so here we go! Captain Domingo dropped us in the perfect spot. 100ft to begin with, the reef is very colorful and the visibility was crystal clear. At the end of the second hump we see this loggerhead turtle resting under the coral. It had bunched of barnicles on the shell. A bit later the green sea turtle is swimming towards the deep blue. i always like this dive, especially when you see all three turtle species! It is a short dive because of depth and ripping current, but nice.

Dive Two

Site: Abrigo Wall
Max Depth: 70 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Grouper, Sailfin Blenny, Southern Ray
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  After waiting for almost two hours at the surface, Geoffrey and I check our computers. We are ready to do a second deep dive. Abrigo Wall is the diver choice. We enter the water and descended to the 70 ft range with a slow current at first, 20 minutes into the dive and the current start to speed up, at the point of having flying drift! We covered three reefs within an hour! Abrigo, Cantarell, and San Juan! All this with its ups and down hills, many school of fish and colorful sponges. Geoff was brave enough to stay 60min underwater, we surfaced and we were just wowed!

I have often wondered how they came up with the name, “butterfly fish.”

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