As we turned the corner a spotted eagle ray greeted us. He gracefully swam by as we watched in awe. Maxing out at 20 meters/18 feet, we slowly checked out sandy patches for flounder and coral heads for cork screw anemones and pederson cleaning shrimp.
After 25 minutes we came to the boat channel. The rocky terrain hid some yellow headed jawfish. These jawfish are fairly common, but most people don’t take the time to watch them. Initially they hide from the impending danger, the diver. As they hover out of their burrows like angels, they open and close their mouths cautiously checking for movement. If the diver remains still, the jawfish will eventually come completely out and hover several centimeters over his burrow feeding on small plankton floating by. We did not see any with eggs in their mouths (how they incubate), and I have only seen this once in 12 years of diving!
Moving on, we turned around and headed back lazily along the top of the reef. With the sun shining, the colors of the brain and star corals really popped. (No I do not work for HGTV). One coral head had over 30 Christmas tree worms of all colors and sizes. Schools of creole wrasse passed by in their endless brigades. We heard the eminent ring of the elusive toadfish. I hear him every time I dive Coral View but have yet to find him. I gave up years ago but still enjoy his calling.
The dive came to an end watching the sun anemones with the tiny squat anemone shrimp bobbling about its short sticky tentacles. With our faces in the water until seeing the stairs directly in front of us (with someones toes dangling down) our final vision was of a barracuda lurking in the shadows under the dock. Perfect.
Exiting the water, we told curious bystanders of our sights and sounds of the underwater world. Most were snorkeling and a few were interested in our scuba equipment with the possibility of trying it themselves one day. Of course we said check it out. Why not today?