Friday, March 5, 2010

Snorkeling at East End (Feb 21, 2010)

After the Wreck of Cali was sufficiently explored, we headed out to the East End for some fried fish and more snorkeling. Saying 'snorkeling at the East End' is pretty vague cuz it's a huge area with lots of different beaches. Not sure exactly where the snorkel spot was. Yeah so, here comes the fish: Here's a French angelfish. I've blogged about this here fish in a previous post. The reason that this picture is cool is because the fish is in the transitional stage between juvenile and adult (fish puberty?).Here's a green moray eel. They can grow to be 6+ feet! This specimen was in the upper end of the size spectrum. I think I was getting on his nerves!This cool-looking fish is called a 'Spotted trunkfish.' It feeds on turnicates, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and seagrasses. This picture is nice because the fish is focused!This is the back side of a lionfish. They are really cool and there spines are poison (they hurt but won't kill you). They show you there backside while in the defensive position. It's interesting to see one of this here in the Cayman islands because, they're not indigenous to this area. According to an article about lionfish on Wikipedia, a hurricane in Florida release these fish from an aquarium and now there proliferation is disrupting the ecosystem of the Caribbean coral reefs.

Snatched up a lobster for dinner on the way home before the end of lobster season.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Snorkeling at the Wreck of Cali in George Town (Feb 21, 2010)

Got full day of snorkeling in today! Went to two different sites! The first site was in right in George Town, Grand Cayman. You wouldn't guess that there'd be a great snorkeling site so close to downtown but, there is!Pretty cool spot to enter the water from. There's a wreck underwater out there somewhere.I noticed this fuzzy chiton before entering the water. I guess some people eat these!?! You have to pry them off the rock using a knife.
Once in the water, I came upon this group of baby surgeon fish.The Wreck of Cali is a cool snorkel spot because there's a bunch of these tarpon swimming around. They're pretty big so that's exciting. Tarpons are a type of primitive silvery fish.
Here's part of the Wreck of Cali. Pretty cool that you can see a ship wreck while snorkeling.
Here we have a male blue parrotfish (the female has a yellow stripe on its less square head). There was a bunch of these guys here. They get to be a good size too.

Snorkeling at Barker's Bay (Feb 17, 2010)

Went to Barkers Bay this time, which is on the North part of Grand Cayman past Westbay. Once there, we had to do a long swim to make it out to the reef where the waves were crashing. You can see that's it's really far out there:
On the way out to the reef, we encounter.....:a healthy looking stingray who was one the move. Once we got out to the reef, there were a bunch of fish but, the crashing waves were pushing us around and it made it hard to click some clear pictures.Here's a chipper little Squirrel fish.This is a delicious looking Nassau grouper. You can kind of see how the water was swirling around. I wonder what the best way to catch one of these is without a spear-gun?
I thought I'd include this picture of some fire coral. I brushed up against some this day and now I know why they call it 'fire' coral. It really stings as little bits get lodged in you skin. Anyway, watch out for this stuff.
Just before heading back to shore, I spotted this little eel hiding in the coral. It's a goldentail moray eel.
Here's a cool school of surgeon fish. Classic.This Caribbean spiny lobster wants to be left alone.

Field Guides to Caribbean Coral Reef Fishes


I wasn't happy with not knowing the proper names of some of the fish I was seeing. So, I went out and bought a couple of books to help me out. I bought:

This book is full of drawings of fish.

I also picked up this little diddy:
This book is really sweet. It uses photographs to help you identify fish.

Now, identifying fish and reef creatures has never been easier! So, I went back and edited my old posts so that the correct names are displayed. I feel that increased accuracy of fish identification will increase the quality of this here blog.