Sunday, April 11, 2010
Just back from a week diving in the clear waters off Little Cayman Island. We always stay at Little Cayman Beach Resort; this trip was our 11th visit!
Little Cayman is one of the two Sister Islands of the Caymans, the other is Cayman Brac. Grand Cayman is the largest island and Little is the smallest, only 10 mi long. But is has the BEST diving. The Northside has the famous Bloody Bay Wall which begins at about 20 feet and descends to about 6000 feet.
Just east of Bloody Bay is Jackson Bight, which boasts a mini-wall, a sandy boulevard where one can find Southern Stingrays, garden eels and if you're lucky Eagle Rays (pictures above); and the outer wall.
The reefs are lush with beautiful corals, hard and soft and lots of fishes. From the smallest Pipe Horses to the occasional Whale Shark.
Life on the reef was good until the Lionfish moved in...
Sure it looks beautiful, all those colors and feathers but this critter can decimate a reef very quickly. They have no predators, reproduce quickly and very young and eat everything in sight. Plus the young reef fish don't know what these animals are, and as a result they get eaten.
The Dive Masters at Reef Divers are collecting these fish as fast as they can but they are fighting a losing battle. They have now started training the Nassau Groupers to eat them.
While the groupers don't hunt and take them on their own yet, it's only a matter of time for these intelligent, curious fish to "catch" on. The groupers could be the saviors of the reef!
For more info about the Lionfish invasion please check out: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Invasion-of-the-Lionfish.html
For more photos from our dive trip please visit: http://www.photosbynanci.com/LCBRApr2010.html