This is the place for photos and reflections of my visits to Latin America beginning in 2012. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr. HAPPY TRAILS!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

UNDERWATER: Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve

Here are some of my favorite water images from Tranquility Bay. Most of these were taken within 50' of shore or the dock.

Small yellow stingray in a few feet of water (5-6" across)
Lesser electric ray
Queen conchs - I love  their eyes (bottom of the 1st photo, seemingly looking in 2 directions) 

This 1 looks more like a princess conch
I saw this beautiful scrawled file fish in the same location many times. The brown coral on the left and the purple coral are the same species; the colony on the left is feeding.
Spiny lobster - this 1 was in the same position every time I passed, too.
Peacock flounder on an old coral mound; the pointy dark thing at the bottom of the photo is the other antenna of the lobster, above.
Same peacock flounder 2 minutes later on turtle grass
Bar jacks
Brain coral detail
Gray snapper
The coolest thing about blue tangs is that they're solid bright yellow as juveniles; this 1 is hanging out with 2 little sharp nosed puffers and a juvenile wrasse.
This is a sub adult blue tang making the change to blue.
Small conch on a stroll

Permit - we swam with a large school nearly every time we entered the water
Another treasure - juvenile yellow-tailed damsels, like sparks off a campfire against a night sky; they're not nearly as beautiful as adults. The larger 1 was about 2" long and it's tail was starting to turn.
Trumpet fish, vertical near the left, with a grunt looking on

I saw lots of these mounds of old coral, some like craters, filled with treasures; 1 day I saw an octopus. They reminded me of the stacked stone embankments of Maya causeways I'd seen earlier in the trip.
The next 10 photos are from my morning of diving 5 minutes from the Tranquility Bay dock. There were dozens of roughly parallel canyons of sand between coral outcroppings. That's a school of creole wrasse swimming by.
Huge green moray eels

Queen trigger fish at the bottom, black durgons in the background; queen triggers are beautiful but the colors don't show well on a photo at 85 feet. Click >here< for photos on the web.
Lion fish - a poisonous, nasty, invasive species - lurking in a giant barrel sponge. Click >here< for more information.
The yellow stuff is golden crinoid, a delicate feather star
1 of my favorite things in the whole world to see, a juvenile spotted drum - like a dancing ribbon with a stripy body attached.
My very favorite thing to find at depth - myself. :-)
Our last afternoon Mike and I kayaked out to the cut in the reef and were rewarded with sightings of huge barracuda, tarpon, southern stingrays, and a hawksbill turtle.

It's hard to 'say cheese' underwater but I think Mike pulled it off. :-)

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