Sharks & Sea Turtles & Mangroves Day

Evan’s notes on the Hesperus wreck dive

Swim with nurse sharks, check! Swim with loggerhead sea turtles, check! Two things checked off my list today. Today we dove the Hesperus wreck and it was full of life! There was an abundance of life on this dive. By far it has to be the best site yet. As I found myself swimming towards the nurse shark I was like, Evan, what are you doing? Are you swimming towards a shark? I definitely was. What’s even more shocking is that I wasn’t scared. I was actually comfortable. Once again, I was a little out of my element but I was equipped and educated.

Loggerhead sea turtle on the Hesperus wreck

Nurse shark on the wreck

Jacki & Isaiah’s notes on snorkeling through mangroves

Mangroves in Bimini

Have you ever heard of trees that snorkel? Commonly known as mangroves, these trees have roots that pop out of the water like snorkels to get the ever so important oxygen that they require to thrive in salty water. This sheltered habitat is specific for the development of juveniles. We saw checkered puffers, juvenile sergeant majors (so cute!), cushion sea stars (massive! click here to see a picture), and lots of spotted sea hares.

Two checkered puffers

Spotted sea hare

One of the sea hares was even found all by its lonesome in super shallow water on the sand flats. Our time on the flats after snorkeling the mangroves was the perfect time to finally stretch our legs and run around! On the way back to the Coral Reef II (we used smaller boats to get into the mangroves) we precariously hung off the side of the speed boats with our masks on to spot southern stingrays, spotted eagle rays, and barracudas!

Running on the sand flat

- Jacki and Isaiah

EXTRA CREDIT: Learn about mangroves in Belize from Aquarium researchers on the Global Explorers Blog!


  1. Wow! While reading the blogs all week I wondered if you would encounter any sharks. It's great how you felt prepared for it! Happy earth day sea turtles!

  2. The fact that you swam with the nurse shark is such a great testament to the fact that sharks have gotten a bad reputation. If more people educated themselves about sharks and other ocean creatures, perhaps they would take more care of our oceans. Bravo to you guys for undertaking this adventure.

  3. As parents of one of the sea turtles we want to send our sincere thanks to the staff of the Aquarium and the Coral Reef II for showing such confidence and trust in our teens. Congratulaions everyone! We can't wait to see all of you tomorrow:)


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