by Arran Goldman
Because I am a certified Advanced Scuba Diver, I got to go on a morning dive as a safety diver to certify Avery this morning. We stayed at the same location that everyone else had been certified: ChaChaCha Beach. This dive spot is pretty nice, and on every dive, I have seen something new and amazing. So far on this trip, that was my favorite dive due to the incredible life we saw. It lasted about 68 minutes which is a very valid length is consistent with my previous dives with my brother. I found a spotted scorpionfish underwater during the dive. He was incredible and blended in perfectly with the rocks. We also saw another rock beauty, one of my absolute favorites, as well. Every time I think about this fish I smile.
At the end of the dive, Avery and Chris took off their fins and staged a fake fight underwater in slow motion. It was really funny, and I finally felt like I was diving at home. That dive was awesome. We did a second dive later that day, too. This was the dive which changed the way I thought about diving, and proved to be a pivotal dive in my trip so far. When Chris was hovering above the water in a sitting position, I realized how incredible just the action of diving is. We are underwater with hoses and tanks, observing an almost completely different world. It’s really amazing to think about how everyone else is living their lives on land, while the fish and the corals are living separately in a different world underwater. The things and fish that amaze us are just normal, daily life for everything else living sub aqueously. Anyway, after we de-kitted and put our dive equipment away, the small group of us met up with the rest of our service trip at a place called Eden Beach, where everyone else snorkeled and played in the water. Barbie, Olivia, and I hung back to snorkel and flip in the water. We saw a sharp-tail eel, honeycomb cowfish, and countless trumpetfish. We also stumbled across some coral tree farms where there were pieces of staghorn coral hanging on PVC pipes to promote growth. I’ve always heard about the coral farm, but I had never actually seen them before. It’s incredible to think that humans can do good and save a reef, but we can also be mind-blowingly destructive as well.
Later today around 8 p.m. we went to a sea turtle presentation to raise awareness about the dangers to local sea turtles. The presentation was very factual, and I learned a lot about the life of a sea turtle. I also learned how to better tell the species apart. I really hope that we can see a turtle. Even though I have seen countless turtles on dives in Cayman, it would still be amazing!