December 30, 2007 - December 31, 2007 - January 2, 2008 - January 3, 2008 - January 4, 2008
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January 1, 2008: Cayman Islands

A D2D New Years 2008: Cayman Islands dive
"Rum Point Dropoff (GC)" - "Stringray City (GC)" - "Tarpon Alley (GC)" - "Bonnie's Arch (GC)"
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Back on Grand Cayman for the start of the New Year.
Diving off of the Caymans:
  • Directions from Tampa: See your travel agent. All three islands offer great diving opportunities.
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Sunny

  • Personal Notes: Rum Point Dropoff was where we went to get some depth in before spending 12-13 feet at Stingray City.

    At Stingray City they'd give you bits of squid to keep in your hands. The stingray would come up and try to suck it out of your hand; if you didn't let it go, they'd come back and try again. It's a bit of a shock the first time they do it; they don't have much in the way of teeth, so it's not a problem getting bit (however, they do have a rough surface like "sandy gums" that can be a bit abrasive if they get too energetic in their attempts to get squid from you). I got a few nice shots of stingrays on the dive, and a Scorpion Fish as well.

    Visibility dropped when we moved on to Tarpon Alley, where I was apparently one of the lucky few to actually spot (and photograph) tarpon. Where I found them, though, made it difficult to get a full side-on shot.

    Did my fourth and final dive of the day on Bonnie's Arch. A nice site, but my camera locked up (I hadn't figured out how to prevent it at this point).

Pictures!

The variety of sites means a variety of shot qualities ... when the camera was actually working.
Rum Point Dropoff (GC)
Stoplight Parrotfish.

1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
A Queen Angelfish that I just barely managed to get a shot of.

1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
The business end of a Stingray.

1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
Stingray.

1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
I didn't want to get too close (I ended up spooking him in the long run anyway), and I forgot to adjust some of my camera settings; I might have been able to lower my F-stop.

1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
A Schoolmaster.

1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
Spiny Lobster.

1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F22-ISO400 lens: 18-55mm
1/80-F4.5-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Bar Jack.

1/80-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Spiny Lobster. I think he thinks he's hiding ...

1/80-F9.0-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Stringray City (GC)
Stingray City of course had a lot of Stingrays, and they were rather tame.

1/80-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Beth gets ready to feed one ...

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Tom films one passing overhead ...

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Tim has one beg for food ... looks like it's going to try to eat the camera!

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Smile for the camera! Stingray mouth!

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Competing for food.

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Larry feeds the Stingray ...

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Yellowtail Snapper were abundant and would try to get the food, too ...

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Poor Stubby!

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Sand Tilefish.

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Peacock Flounder.

1/100-F13-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
1/100-F13-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
A Scorpionfish cozied up to a rock.

1/125-F22-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
1/125-F13-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
Some kind of snapper hiding in the corals ...

1/125-F13-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
1/125-F5.6-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm

A Mutton Snapper out and about - I should have dropped the F stop a bit or pumped up the shutter speed ...
1/125-F8.0-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
Braxton gets buzzed ...

1/125-F8.0-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
1/125-F8.0-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm
1/125-F22-ISO100 lens: 18-55mm

Even in shallow water you can lose enough red to make this sponge look black.
Tarpon Alley (GC)
It's like I surprised him - this is probably a Tiger Grouper.

1/50-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F5.0-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
I found a sand chute that had quite a few Tarpon in it.

1/50-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F5.0-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F4.5-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F3.5-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F5.0-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F3.5-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F4.5-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F4.5-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F3.5-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
1/50-F3.5-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Chris and I traded shots as I headed back to the boat ...

1/50-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Bonnie's Arch (GC)
Bar Jack.

1/50-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
French Angelfish.

1/50-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Green Moray. Note the strange shape of his mouth; the boat crew thinks he got in a fight once and took some damage.

1/50-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm
Camera locked up after this shot ...

1/50-F5.6-ISO200 lens: 18-55mm


Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
384 Rum Point Dropoff (GC) 109 feet 57 min. 82 F
385 Stringray City (GC) 13 feet 43 min. 82 F
386 Tarpon Alley (GC) 102 feet 41 min. 82 F
387 Bonnie's Arch (GC) 71 feet 31 min. 82 F
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