Nurse Sharks and Lionfish

Just in case my previous posts make it seem as though we’re neglecting Mini-me on this trip…

Here we are having some morning fun on the beach before breakfast this morning. Mini-me is absolutely loving her vacation nanny here at the resort, and Mom & Dad are loving being able to get away for a bit to do what we love.

Today we went on two dives, both for our certification in Underwater Photography.

Even for a professional photographer, taking photos underwater is a whole new beast. We’re currently just shooting with a point-and-shoot camera, which makes it even more difficult to get those shots of fast moving fish. One day we’ll move up to a DSLR in housing for our dives, but for now we’re making do with what we have.

The first dive was at a site called Silver Spray. We weren’t expecting much, just some coral reefs and small fish…

Then we came upon this:

That’s a 4 foot long nurse shark. Harmless (unless you swim up and annoy it), but so cool to see on the dive. But that’s not all…

We spotted four more nurse sharks sleeping underneath the coral reef. A couple of the sharks were about 12 feet long. Talk about a sighting!

Our second dive was to a site called Old Pier, also known as Lion’s Den because of all of the lionfish that tend to be in the area.

Lionfish have been spotted in the Caribbean for a good few years now, and they are an invasive species. Meaning, they don’t belong there and will take over since they don’t have any natural predators in the area. So, divers have been catching and killing lionfish in recent years in order to keep them under control (and to hopefully one day eliminate the species from the Caribbean).

I remember our first divemaster in Cozumel simply catching and killing lionfish, about three years ago. But now we know that lionfish are quite tasty – they are in the grouper family after all – so divers are now catching them for dinner.

Here’s one of our dive masters, Fruitti, spear hunting lionfish on our dive.

We found six lionfish on the dive. Someone’s going to have a great dinner tonight!

Tired of my dive pictures yet? Don’t worry, tomorrow’s our last dive day before we head back to the States!

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