Sea Feather Wall, South Shore, Cayman Brac

June 11, 1988

In my dive log under "Purpose of dive", I put "exhiliration". This was an incredible dive. Without a doubt the most spectacular dive Mark or I had ever done. Cruising along the wall with deep blue below, large fans and sponges and colorful fish, I found myself thinking "If all the work and expense I've invested in scuba diving was for this one dive, it would be worth it". Everything was so perfect - alive and well-formed. None of the half-dead and beat-up coral heads you find most places. Everywhere you looked, it was like the spectacular underwater shots you see in magazines. And we were swimming through it!

Sponges on the wall at 110 feet

Because of the extreme depth, this was a led group dive. Dalbert took us down the anchor line at 70-80 feet, then down through a canyon and a tunnel which brought us out to the edge of the wall. Mark looked at his depth gauge and I looked at mine and both of our eyes got big! 110 feet! Neither of us had been to that depth before. We didn't really feel anything different, even though this is potentially nitrogen narcosis depth. I was actually quite calm, in contrast to the frenetic shore dive yesterday. Mark joked that it might take nitrogen narcosis to calm me down.

110 ft!

Mark checks his depth gauge as he hangs suspended off the near- vertical wall. And he is suspended over .... nothing! At least for almost a mile down.

At this depth, everything is bathed in a beautiful blue glow. These large sponges are sitting right on the edge of the precipitous wall.

Mark cruises along the wall with part of our group in front of him.

Part of the time was spent over coral areas, but most of it was spent hanging right at the edge of the wall, looking down into the deep blue.

The unspoiled forest of soft and hard corals was exhilirating.

Mark suspended out over the wall, with about a mile of clear blue water below him.

Looking upward to the edge of the wall and the beginning of the lush coral area was sort of like looking out at the universe with a large telescope, seeing galaxy after galaxy receding into the distance. We could see fish closeby and all the way out to the point where they were just specks.

Most of the growth along the wall was soft coral and sponge, making this beautiful star coral head more remarkable. There were not great schools of fish, just enough blue chromis, yelllowtail and other tropicals to highlight the fabulous wall landscape. As usual, I burned air twice as fast as Mark and at 23 minutes I was down to 800 psi. I had to leave Mark and Jim at 90 ft and go up to shallow depth to reflect on what I had seen while they finished exploring at depth.
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