Exploratory Dives

This morning I went out on the boat with Chris, Sally, Aure and ERB to explore potential new dive sites. Our first stop was in the channel between St. Martin and Anguilla. The seas were choppy, so we hopped in quickly. While the exact location of the site is top secret, I can tell you that we descended to the bottom at 74 feet and did a 35 minute drift dive. The landscape was what I refer to as a reef prairie: a long, flat underwater plain sprouting with corals and sponges. At one point, we crossed paths with a large school of sardines. The photos below are from this site, which we christened Fisherman’s Reef.

Next, we dove off the point to the north of Anse Marcel. Exposed to the current, the visibility was worse here, but there was plenty of life. We started at 55 feet and worked our way around the point to finish in the shallows. At the end of our dive, we were surprised to find an octopus sitting out in the open on the ocean floor. It studied us for a while before turning white and shooting off into a coral refuge.

Our last dive was at the rock in front of Anse Marcel. Similar to Creole Rock, the waters were quite shallow. We maxed out at 27 feet. This site was probably the best of the three, with many coral overhangs. Beneath one, I found an adult spotted drum and a small nurse shark. On the higher points, there were large coral heads. As we came around the southwest part of the rock, the reef gave way to areas of sand and sea grass with intermittent corals. Probably a great place to see rays. The cutest thing I saw on this dive was a young queen angelfish, less than two inches long, but still gloriously colored in blues and yellows.

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