Under the Sea

May 31, 2016  •  29 Comments

Reef-scape 1Reef-scape 1

As an avid saltwater aquarist, I spent countless hours snorkeling the saltwater coasts of South Florida and the Bahamas as a boy, and immensely enjoyed studying the behaviors and personalities of the many inhabitants. There was no place that brought me greater inner peace than the quiet but  lively seascapes rocking to the rhythms of the waves and currents.  Oh, the stories I could tell... octopus eggs, sharks, eels, tiny lobsters...

Gray AngelsGray Angels

Gray Angel Mates

I learned to scuba dive at 14, even though I continued to prefer snorkeling.  However, the deeper reefs of the Caribbean were/are still spectacular - and sometimes call like the Sirens to me - and there is no way to experience them without carrying "one's breath upon his/her back".  (Or hold one's breath for a very long time, like this Hawksbill sea turtle grazing on the reef.)

Browsing HawksbillBrowsing Hawksbill

Several years ago, my brother, Jay, invited me to join him for an excursion on a "live-aboard" dive boat in Belize. It was an amazing trip, so when he asked again for an April 2016 trip, I jumped at the chance.  And the diving was no less thrilling and the reefs there (to my amazement) appeared every bit as healthy and full of life... the corals, sponges, fish - from tiny jewels to huge denizens - and myriad other creatures doing all the things I'd watched them do in my youth.

Reef SharkReef Shark

While figuring out how to convey the feeling of floating amidst the other-worldly reef habitats sixty feet below the sea's surface leaves me stumped, I did capture a variety of "snapshots" that offer a salty taste of my experience.  Here's a sampling for your delight.

Coral CompositionCoral Composition

To see the flourishing staghorn coral... ahhh... like it used to be in Florida.

Tarpon FacesTarpon Faces

Faces of Tarpon. Like passing submarines, these sleek "pelagics" cruised by, ignoring me.

Vase Sponge ScapeVase Sponge Scape

Reefscape

Painted TunicatesPainted Tunicates

Painted Tunicates. Tiny delicate animals hidden amidst the corals.

Black Durgon DiamondsBlack Durgon Diamonds

Black Durgon. A triggerfish all gussied up with eye shadow, rouge, and a fishnet bodystocking!

Reef-Scape 3Reef-Scape 3

Six Gun Cannon. (At least I call them cannon sponges.) And black coral, on a deep wall.

 

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Jay

MorayMoray

Me... oh, I mean Moray. Hmmm... maybe I'm too close.

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That's me.  The bifocal mask is new - wow, what a difference for operating a camera!

Coral LightCoral Light

Lettuce Coral.

LionfishLionfish

Invasive Lionfish. There seemed fewer than 3 years ago. The groupers and morays are learning how to eat them without getting stung.

Black GrouperBlack Grouper

Black Grouper. This big dude could eat a lot of lionfish.

PolypsPolyps

Gorgonian Polyps. Each tiny "anemone" is a single animal living cooperatively in a beautifully sculpted condo.

Black CoralBlack Coral

Black Coral. These are the creatures from which the jewelry is crafted. Fine craftsmen they are as well.

Queen AngelQueen Angel

Queen Angelfish. Holding very still - not for me, but - for the small Spanish hogfish (near her chin) that was cleaning her.

Deep DiveDeep Dive

Deep Dive. Dropping into Blue Hole.

Tube Worm BouquetTube Worm Bouquet

Tube Worm Bouquet

Loggerhead ElderLoggerhead Elder

Loggerhead Elder. And his remora pal.

Brain MazeBrain Maze

Brain Maze. 

JacksJacks

Jacks in Art School. Or maybe an artsy school of jacks... and a few chubs.

Reef-scape 2Reef-scape 2

Reefscape

Mutton SnapperMutton Snapper

Mutton Snapper

Reef SharkReef Shark

Reef Shark. Carrying a radio tag on her dorsal fin.

Sea Fan StudySea Fan Study

Sea Fan Study

Reef-Scape 4Reef-Scape 4

Reefscape

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Hope you enjoyed the dive. 

I love reading your comments here at the blog.  And please share the link freely with friends and on social media. Thanks for visiting.

 


Comments

29.betty addison(non-registered)
these are great pictures. I know because I have seen these up close when I was diving few years ago.
28.sue wiley(non-registered)
David, thanks for sharing those below the surf pictures. they are great. love the black and white ones.
27.m belancsik(non-registered)
amazing stuff. as a retired diver Im very envious.
26.Daniel Gwynn-Shapiro(non-registered)
Glad to hear/see that native wildlife are fighting back against Lionfish! Their spread has unreal. I hear they are pretty tasty, but haven't had a chance to eat any yet.
25.B Hudson(non-registered)
Absolutely fantastic photos! Since I never plan to snorkel or deep sea dive,thanks for showing all of us how beautiful it is down there.
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