Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

< Previous: To the Caribbean | Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue | Next: To Puerto Rico >

Diving Salt Cay Salt Cay, TC, Thursday, 01 January 2015 5:44pm

I've been terrible about journaling, as usual on a dive trip. I'm not sure why it works out that way.

We spent five days diving every available dive (two morning dives and then either an afternoon dive or a night dive). Our divemaster, Richard, was really nice, and a good spotter when we were in smaller groups (some of the morning dives just after we arrived had as many as 12 divers, but by the end the numbers dropped off and we got a couple dives where Adrienne and I were the only divers). This was some of the best Caribbean diving I've seen. Reefs in good shape. Good variety of animal life, including some larger things. Not the overwhelming plentitude of fish life I saw in Indonesia, but more than I was expecting in a place that isn't a marine sanctuary.

Highlights included:

  • Nurse Sharks up close
  • Gray Reef Sharks down below
  • A large free-swimming Green Moray Eel
  • Beautiful Honeycomb Cowfish
  • A three foot Remora lying on the sea floor
  • Inquisitive Greater Barracuda (including a snaggletoothed one we saw on several dives)
  • Hawksbill Turtles, including one huge one
  • Flamingo Tongues
  • A Spotted Flatworm
  • Schools of Chubs, Tangs, and Grunts
  • Large Crabs, both hiding under ledges and walking on the floor at night
  • More Spiny Lobsters than we could count
  • A Slipper Lobster
  • Basket Stars
  • Burrowing Stingrays
  • Peacock Flounder
  • Big Black Coral
  • My 150th dive, and Adrienne's first below 100ft
  • A swim through tunnel
  • A Sea Cucumber
  • Adrienne spotting a well-camouflaged Scorpionfish
  • A pair of Manta Rays (very rare in this part of the world, my first time seeing them not in the Pacific)
  • Racking up more than a full day of No Fly Time (25:17)
On land, we managed to eat at every restaurant on the island (all three), and meet a variety of characters. I'm not sure whether it's something about the small size of the island (population 315, according to Wikipedia), the remoteness, or something else, but there were a lot of outsize personalities, both among the "Belongers" and the vacationers.

We stayed in a private cottage, the furthest south on the island. That meant a one mile bike ride on rusty bikes to and from the dock for dives (the whole island is about 2 miles long), but also that we had a quiet area to ourselves.

We celebrated New Year's Eve with a champagne toast and rum cake, and roused ourselves on New Year's Day to snorkel the beaches on the north side of the island. There were quite a few easily-accessible coral heads, where we saw more Nurse Sharks, a large and a small Greater Barracuda, and a lot of reef fish.


g-na (Anonymously) Wednesday, 07 January 2015 6:51pm

Yay, it sounds like you saw some good stuff! And congrats on #100, and 100 ft for A!

g-na (Anonymously) Wednesday, 07 January 2015 6:51pm

Oops, #150.