Pinel Exploration on Land and in the Water

Yesterday we spent a day at Pinel Islet with new team members D Money and Jessmaster J. While they snorkeled with Madam J, I headed across the island to investigate the mini-forest where my dwarf geckos live, as well as exploring a couple new snorkeling areas. As noted yesterday, I found the tiniest lizard I’ve ever seen. I also found and interesting cricket. The woods were drier than in previous visits and perhaps there was less to eat: when turning over rocks or logs to investigate, the usually shy anole Anolis gingivinus often immediately ran down from from a nearby perch to see if I had uncovered anything edible.

Walking around further, I found some large crevices in the rocky hillside, but they seemed uninhabited. I also did reconnaissance of potential snorkeling spots and took a few landscape photos of the island. After lunch, I headed back out with snorkel gear and explored three new areas.

The first was the tide pool area on the North Beach. There are quite a few large tide pools here, but they are very shallow, only a few inches deep, so they mostly hold algae and a few small fishes. Next, I headed out off the northeast beach and found that a small barrier reef creates a relatively sheltered lagoon near the shore that slopes down to about 12 feet deep. Swimming out through a cut, the reef drops down to about 30 feet on the outside and there are many beautiful coral formations. Finally, I did a drift snorkel over a large patch of shallow water between the two beaches. The current is very strong and the entire area, perhaps 100 meters or more in diameter, is less than two feet deep. Much like trees on a windy coastline, the soft corals were stunted and permanently swept to one side. I even saw an elkhorn coral growing in water so shallow the branches were growing downward. A very exciting site!

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