Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Snorkeling at Seven Mile Beach (Sept. 12th, 2010)

SHARK! SHARK! SHARK! Saw a shark!This is a Nurse shark. It was hiding under some coral. I swam in real close to snap this picture but then it got scared and swam away.
This is the nurse shark swimming away. I was surprised at how fast it took off.
Shark wasn't the only thing seen on this snorkeling adventure. Here's a lovely school of blue tangs.
Here's a baby spotted trunk-fish.
Sharks are cool!

Snorkeling at Barkers (July 20th, 2010)

Spotted a little rock off the tip of Barker's and decided to swim to it. It took about an hour each way. The water was pretty shallow and below head-level for the majority of the way.
Unfortunately, there wasn't much see life to observe.

This little stingray showed up but that was about all there was to see while swimming.
I brought my fishing rod with me because I thought I'd do a few casts from the rock.
There were some fish swimming around the rock but they didn't want to bite my lure. Also, the rock was really sharp and that made it tough walk on. During this adventure, there was lots of stuff to step on. It would have been good to have shoes.

There were jelly-fish and I got stung. It wasn't a big deal though.

Snorkeling at Barkers (July 20th, 2010)

It was really hot out this day and the ocean felt like bathwater. Almost too warm. There were some fish around.These are yellow grunts. They are really common. I was surprised to see that they were being sold at the downtown fish market because they're pretty small.Here's a sea anemone. I'm surprised that there are so few of these here in the Cayman Islands.This big barracuda showed up and wouldn't leave me this cut my snorkeling short.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scuba Diving at Sunset House (July 11th, 2010)


Went to Sunset House today. They have an Indian restaurant there called SeaHarvest. It was delicious. Also, Sunset house is a good place to go scuba diving. The appeal of Sunset House is that they sank a metal statue of a Mermaid. Unfortunately, we were unable to find it! Oh well. Now there's a reason to go back. It's a pretty deep dive site. Most of the time was spent at about 60 ft.Here's a gray angel fish. The picture turned up fine because this fish does not have many colours. The thing about photographing at a depth of 60 ft is that blue seems to be the only colour that makes it down that far. I guess expensive underwater photography uses lights and special flashes.

This was one of the first noteworthy things I saw on the dive. It's a school of surgeon fish. Looks like there's a grouper hanging out there too.
Spotted this little barracuda hanging out in the reef.
This fish it one of my favorites. It's a trumpet fish. The trumpet fish is a solitary ambusher of small fishes and crustaceans.
I believe this fish to be a queen parrot fish. Notice how there's no red in the picture. The yellow also seems absent. In the future I could use a red filter, a better flash, or more exposure compensation. I tried some post-editing using photoshop but, my photoshopping skills are lacking (so is free time), therefore, you see the pictures just as my camera takes them.
Here is a great specimen of a honeycomb cowfish. You can tell it's a cowfish and not a trunkfish because it has two spikes on its head. Looks like a tasty one.
This is a bicolor basslet. I guess the flash on my camera was working as the yellow was captured nicely. That's it for this dive. Enjoy the following video of a bunch of different fish swimming around some coral.

One last note about underwater photography: to photograph this dive I was using my Stylus Tough 8100. The camera is only supposed to be used up to 33ft but I brought it down to 60ft. At 60 ft the camera stopped working. The lens cover wouldn't open when I turned the power on. So, I swam up to about 50ft and then it started working again. It didn't break which is pretty sweet! I'd be worried to bring it any deeper though. The LCD view finder looked distorted and I was worried that I had ruined the camera.

Stingray City! (July 1st, 2010)


A group of us took a boat ride to Stingray City. It was awesome. I snuck a few beers along for the ride! When we got there, there was a big mess of boats full of tourists. It was fine though as there were plenty of stingrays to go around!The plan was to check out the stingrays first and then do two more snorkels on our way back to shore (for a total of three snorkels).
Stingray city is a pretty cool place because it's at a sand bar way in the middle of the ocean. I'm not sure why so many stingrays congregate there. My guess is that the tourist company dropped food there over time and trained the wild stingray to 'show-up' in the same place all the time.

It was pretty fun when the stingrays would swim right up and rub against you.
Before we left for the next snorkel site, this trunk fish showed up
Once at the second snorkel site of the Stingray city excursion, we encountered a school of black trigger fish.
Here's a curious school master. (Sorry pal, no food for you)

In this video I'm swimming after a Gray Angel fish.
At the third snorkel spot there were a bunch of sergeant majors.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Scuba Diving at Eden Rock (May 23rd, 2010)

Hey y'all!

Finally got some scuba diving done! I chose to go to the easy dive site Eden Rock because I hadn't been diving in a while and neither had my diving-buddy. It's also one of the shallower dives so pressure from the depth would be bearable on my camera.

We were really glade to choose Eden Rock because the staff were very friendly and helpful.

Once we got in the water, we came across a turtle:This turtle was pretty sweet and didn't mind when I got close to snap this picture. He had some funky-looking moss growing on his back so he might have been sick.
This is a video of the turtle swimming away. He got bored of posing for pictures!I like this shot from deep underwater (~40 ft). You certainly do see a lot more fish scuba diving compared to just snorkeling.
This picture is not too great but, it's a really nice fish. This is a blue angelfish.
This trigger fish was pretty cool looking. And it was pretty small. I think it was a juvenile Queen Triggerfish.

Above is the cave we swam through. Swimming through caves is what Eden Rock is known for! Awesome! (the fish at the end of this video is a hogfish)

What a great dive!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Snorkeling in Westbay (April 2nd, 2010)

Went for a quick one in Westbay and saw some amazing stuff! (Near the dock just past Al Fresco's)Here's a Caribbean Reef Octopus munching on whatever was living in the shell. Octopus are pretty strong. I tried to take this shell, but it was too strong!Here's a 'Spiny Brittle Star.' They move pretty fast and look creepy as they move. Kind of like a bunch of worms. They're mostly found hiding under rocks.This is China moray eel. Pretty sweet. It's pattern is really unique. Pretty happy about this shot. Here comes one more with it's mouth open:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Snorkeling at Seven Mile Beach (March 21st, 2010 - Midnight)

Did a quick one this night. It was cold and kind of boring out there. Saw a few things though. Check em out:Here's a 'Red-ringed Clinging Crab.' Notice that it's not red. These crabs come in a variety of appearances such as; yellow-brown, red, and green.Here's a couple of crabs hanging-out on some fire coral. I'm not sure about the identification here....I think that they're the same type as the above crab. The reason I'm not sure is because their carapaces are different in appearance. Perhaps they are younglings.This is a sea cucumber. It appears to be a baby conical sea cucumber which is a rare find!Here is the common, but rarely seen Dusky Squirrelfish. Enjoy this crisp photo!

Snokeling at Cayman Kai (March 16, 2010)

Cayman Kai is on the North part of the island near Rum Point. It's a public beach. It's pretty shallow there. Most of the action was seen near shore or out a by the reef (which is a good swim from shore).Here's a Flamingo Tongue gastropod. The spots you see aren't actually on the shell. Part of the creature that lives inside the shell (the mantle, which is spotted) is wrapped around the surface of the shell which results in spots.This purple and yellow fish is a juvenile Spanish HogfishThis is a spotted trunkfish. It was swimming pretty good so I'm luck to have snapped this one.This is some type of filefish. I'm not certain of the exact type. Maybe some kind of juvenile because it was pretty small.Here's two Spotfin butterflyfish (See the little black spot?). They were swimming around together. I think they like each other.This Caribbean Spiny Lobster was HUGE! I bet this sucker was about 100 years old! Awesome.Here's a cool shot that includes a giant Caribbean Spiny Lobster, a juvenile French angel, and a blue-headed wrasse. I like this one so much I made it my desktop background on my laptop.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Snorkeling at Seven Mile Beach (March 15th, 2010)

Real Quick one this day. In and out of the Water. Saw these fish:These are yellowfin goatfish!

Snorkeling at Seven Mile Beach (March 8th, 2010 - Midnight)

Went for a midnight snorkel at the spot closest to where I'm living. It was really cold. Saw some pretty cool stuff though. Some animals only come out at night, like this shrimp:This is a 'Red Night Shrimp'. There easy to spot because their eyes light up when they catch the beam from your flashlight. They get scared easily and will scoot off if you spoke them.There was lots of lobsters out a night too. These looked a little too small to eat....unless you caught a bunch of them. Anyway, these too were hanging-out under this ledge. They are 'Spotted Spiny Lobster' (Contrast with the Caribbean Spiny Lobster which are more commonly used for human consumption).Here's a balloonfish at night. Seems like he's chilln. It's cool how the camera sometime takes more-clear pictures at night. I guess the shutter only stays open for as long as the flash goes...? I should probably read up a bit a photography skills instead of 'trial & error.'Here is a pretty interesting ray. It's a 'Yellow Stingray.' I was excited to see this one because they are most often buried in the sand. I thinking that they feed at night, that's why I was able to observe one.Check out the red night shrimp hang-round this spotted spiny lobster. So many eyes! Reminds me of a looney toons cartoon where the characters are wondering about in the dark and only there eyes are animated. Yeah, more night-time adventures to come!