Jeff's Reef

North Shore, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

June 11, 1988

Most of our dives were boat dives, but we did three shore dives (including one night dive) from the north shore of Cayman Brac. It was a bit awkward getting in the water, but there was a lot of marine life and lots of nice coral and sponges.

Often the friendliest fish were the yellowtail snappers. This is an excellent specimen. Behind is a very nice brain coral. We saw several perfect brain corals on this dive - no sign of any kind of damage or disease. It was awe inspiring to see such perfection when we were used to seeing a lot of anchor damage and dead coral.

Parrotfish and banded butterfly fish, above. The parrotfish at left was just cruising the reef, with this tiny yellow-striped fish staying right on his tail. At right are a two more variations on the parrotfish we saw.

Tiny citizens of the reef, these blue chromis and foureye butterfly fish just casually swam around the area.

On this reef, Mark took off exploring and I just followed along behind him to shoot pictures of anything he "treed". Staying behind and above him, relaxing and taking slow deep breaths about equalized our air consumption.

The "indian corn" type varigated pattern of this immature stoplight parrotfish highlights this panorama of reef coral and vegetation. Nice sea fans and soft coral, and an example of the type of coral that grows in columns in the background.

Mark in the background of a nice example of the columnar coral which was in the background of the picture above. We had never seen this kind of coral before.

One of the neat things about scuba diving is just observing the habits of the different kinds of creatures. We saw several grunts like this one hanging out in the shadows or crevices of the coral heads.

The butterflyfish seem aptly named. They are beautiful and delicate, and they seem to just flit about all over the place, not staying in any one place for long. These two foureye butterflyfish at left are just passing by this curious coral head. Below they carry on into some of the varied vegetation of the reef. The colors below are more accurate since I had more flash on them. At left you are seeing a good bit of the bluing effect of the water.

This was shot originally to capture this single-file grouping of blue chromis passing by the coral head. But in retrospect it is as remarkable for the examples of healthy coral, sea fans and soft coral.

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