Roatan Expedition Day 3: Diving Black Rock, Sea Quest, and Moonlight

Rags, Juan and David took us on an excellent morning two-tank. Marc AuMarc tested his underwater housing by bringing it down empty, and I tried out a two-light configuration for the first time, with my Epoch 210 video light and a Sea & See YS27DX flash.

En route to Black Rock, we watched from the boat as flying fish skimmed along just above the sunlit wavetops, like narrow birds. Once underwater, we saw a large green moray coiled up under a ledge, with a juvenile spotted drum dancing around him! We had never observed these two creatures fraternizing before, so it was pretty amazing to see the moray weaving back and forth gently in the current, while the little drum flirted and flaunted about in circles and spirals, with his frilly fins floating behind him. Monsieur AuMarc also witnessed a baby moray snatch and eat a little fish, which he described as a flat round oval, black with a white top.


Rags tells us that the Black Rock site has some extremely shallow areas so incredibly rich with life that she recommends the team investigate. We make plans to carry out an E.S.S. mission there.


At Sea Quest we spotted some brittle stars twined around a sponge, an arrow crab perched on a coral shelf, and a spectacular sponge formation with a banded coral shrimp lurking inside one of the tubes. During the safety stop, a remora cruised under the boat, eyeing each of us appraisingly in turn as it looked for someone big to attach to. On the return to Half Moon Bay, a dolphin playfully leapt up beside the boat and kept speed with us. The boat captain stopped the engines and several excited divers jumped in with snorkel gear, but once there was no wake to surf, the dolphin swam away.



Pete took us on a fabulous afternoon dive to Moonlight, where we swam alongside a hawksbill turtle for a super-long time! He was just gliding along, looking for likely things to munch. An oceanic triggerfish flapped above the reef with its odd, off-kilter rhythm as we descended with the turtle. We also saw two juvenile spotted drums, one very tiny and extremely frisky with extra-long frills.


Back on shore, the team relaxed with some Salva Vidas on the Coconut deck, and handed out official expedition shirts to the Coconut Tree instructors & DMs. Below, Steve, P.J., Rags, Pete and Matt model the limited-edition beauties. They proved so popular we’ll have to bring more next time!


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