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Cozumel Day 1 – Lion Fish Safari February 14, 2011

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Ecology.
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The boat from Blue XT Sea Diving was a little late picking me up but I didn’t mind as we were heading for Maracaibo shallows on the southern tip of the island near the lighthouse, one of my favourite spots. The big difference between this and last time I was hear was that 2 years ago there was mention of Lionfish being spotted on the reef but I didn’t see any personally. This time they were everywhere. Our guide speared more than a dozen and eventually had to give up because there were too  many.

We came across a spot where several of them were hanging out, with a Nurse Shark sleeping under a ledge nearby. The shark flinched when the Lion Fish was hit with the spear, but didn’t swim away, nor did seem to smell blood in the water – or perhaps it just wasn’t hungry. We also say porpoises on the surface before the dive, and then under water, although they didn’t come too close.

At the end of the surface interval, Captain Mago saw a large Eagle Ray. At first they thought it was a Manta but we got close and could see that it wasn’t. Unfortunately it was so bright I could hardly see the screen and that made the pictures hard to frame. This is probably the best one that doesn’t have part of the Ray outside the frame.

The highlight of dive 2 in Palancar Caves was running across a large Stingray. I really like the way the sand is rolling off its wing in this picture.

And that was just day 1. Lots more to go!

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Comments»

1. Scuba Stew - February 15, 2011

Great pics! Do you grill up some lion fish fillets back on the boat? So far looks like an awesome time!!

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Chris Sullivan - February 17, 2011

They give the Lion Fish to the conservation authorities who check out their stomach contents and run other tests.

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