Saturday, May 11, 2013

Paine de Sucre

WARNING! This post is again long and contains many many underwater photos. I can't help myself, every time I go snorkeling, which is at least once every day, I shoot 150 - 200 photos. My longest snorkeling trip was 2,5 hours and I shot 330 photos. It is really a hard work to select "only" 30 of them for the post.

Last Thursday George and myself went snorkeling across the Grande anse bay on Terre-de-bas island. Almost the first thing we saw was this Hawksbill Turtle. I'm happy every time I see one, they are much more rare than Green Turtles and are listed as critically endangered.

We saw many pretty things, among them this White Encrusting Zoanthid.

There ware Sea Fans and Sea Plumes everywhere, obviously the water there is really clean.

These two Flamingo Tongs were eating away on a Gorgonian coral.

Fish weren't so plenty, but I saw two big Tarpons.

Next day I was snorkeling around our anchorage at Paine de Sucre. There were several pretty red Boring Urchins.

The Sharknose Goby was sitting at the edge of Giant Barrel Sponge.

This is a Giant Basket Star. It is "folded" into a ball during the day and extends its arms at night and then looks like a giant flower.

The Brown Chromises were feeding on plankton.

This is a Star Encrusting Sponge.

Every time I go snorkeling I see something new, that I haven't seen before. This day it was a Rose Lace Coral. They hide in shady places and under the ledges on the reef, are only up to 12 cm big, and are difficult to spot. Pretty.

I'm still trying to figure out what this is - first I thought it is a Tunicate, but there's nothing really similar in my book. So it might be a sponge. Although there is no sponge that looks like this in my book either.

I saw several Banded Coral Shrimps.

Again one of the "firsts" - this is my first King Helmet. It is a big shell, can grow up to 15 cm.

In the evening we were invited to Wild Cat for drinks and snacks. It was again a very nice evening, we even didn't let the rain spoil it.

On Saturday morning Wild Cat sail by and Jan and George waved us goodbye. They are sailing South to spend the hurricane season in Grenada. Hope to see them again sometime!

We worked at the boat during the day and in the afternoon I was in the water again. I know my snorkeling days in Caribbean are numbered, so I'm making the most of it.

The Yellow Tube Sponges looked gorgeous in afternoon light.

This little guy is a Saddled Blenny, little 4 to 6 cm big fish. The Blennies always look at you with those big eyes when you are approaching. Sweet.

This one is Barred Hamlet, this time in its usual colors.

Doesn't Green Grape algae really looks like grapes?

This is a Yellowhead Wrasse, in company of the Redband Parrotfish.

This one is a Rough Fileclam. It looks like a jewelry box to me.

The duo of sea urchins - above is a West Indian Sea Egg and below a Long-spined Urchin.

And here are the details - the beautiful neon blue pattern between the spines of a Long-spined Urchin ...

... and a lot of small things that look like eyes of West Indian Sea Egg.

This is a Winged Comb Jelly, a relative of a Spot-winged Jelly, that I saw a couple of days before. This one was also difficult to make a photo of.

Don't know why these guys are called Spotted drums. Ok, spotted ... perhaps... They are hiding in shady places so one has to dive and look under the ledges and into small caves to find them. On this day they obviously wanted to have a photo shoot. First there was this adult one ...

... then this "teenager" ...

... then I saw these two "small children" ...

... and then even a baby. Just look how tiny this one is in comparison to urchin spines. One might say they are prettier the younger they are. Well, maybe they get wise with age ...

I have to add one of my favorite quotes: "They say wisdom comes with age. It's not true. Sometimes age comes alone."

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