Monday, July 25, 2011

Coral Reefs dying in Jamaica!

Knees still recovering from Roraima Trip, decided to give the crawl up Dunns River Falls a miss. Debated about the Dolphin Cove but thought it sounded a bit contrived and 'touristy', so was heading for Sun-Splash but apparently everyone went to get tickets while we were down at the Mona Campus, sneaking off to the Bob Marley Museum and Devon House, instead of the BHS two-hour church service. So walked down the beach from the Grande Resort in Ocho Rios to book for a dive.
A group of Americans from the Embassy there pulled in - they all seemed to be expert divers complete with their own equipment. I asked about the dive from one who said the shipwreck reef that they went to was all covered with brown algae. Maureen at the Dive Office looked alarmed as I started to look doubtful about going-- she assured me I was going to a different location. I hadn't been diving in ages and Gandhi who took me out ran through the basics started to look dubious, as I kept getting water up my nose during the mask-clearing as was breathing too timidly.
So he figured out I was now a novice and just took me to the reef out of the Bay-- merely 25-35ft. I was truly shocked as indeed it was a sad sight-- I have fond memories of spectacular views of reefs in the Caribbean populated with masses of huge colourful fish.
Granted that this Bay had an oil tanker parked in the wharf and a huge Carnival Cruise Liner in for a day and as someone said it really wasn't the best place for swimming let alone diving; I was really shocked at the appearance of the Reef-- covered in a horrid brown algae and apart from the odd spotted eel, tiddly fish no bigger than my palm, the odd fish with a flute-like mouth the most interesting fish was the odd Lion Fish

who were apparently released by accident from an Aquarium in the US and swam down to decimate the local baby fishes. However the National Geographic site said that they are moving to warm waters from their Asia-Pacific locations - smiles- nothing like blaming the Americans for the woes of the world!

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