16. Bahamas 2013 | Bimini Road to Three Sisters

2013 Bahamas Expedition | Round Three 
About a year and a half ago, this trip's blogger became an intern diver in the Giant Ocean Tank at the New England Aquarium. Luigi loved being at the Aquarium so much that he became a volunteer diver after his internship was over. He also joins Aquarium divers to help collect fish, under special permits, so that visitors in Boston can appreciate the splendor of a healthy Caribbean reef.  He is also a diehard Boston Bruins fan.

Hello again!  Today was another great day filled with very interesting dives here in the Bahamas! Our dive team conducted four dives today at two different dive sites. The first two dives were at a site known as Bimini Road. Bimini Road got its name because of the giant slabs of stone at the bottom of this particular plot of ocean. The stones resemble a long underwater road.

Following Bimini Road...

following Bimini Road...

On our first dive at Bimini Road, we collected a lot of fish including a really cool rock beauty.  When I was learning my fish ID, I always remembered the name rock beauty by remembering that it is the “beautiful Bruins fish”, and I'm sure you can see why.

A beautiful Bruins fish!

We also saw two really cool, smaller yellow stingrays on this first dive. [Check out a video of a yellow ray here!]

Yellow ray

Peekaboo, I see you, yellow ray!

As well as a few awesome bluestriped lizardfish!

Bluestriped lizardfish

On our second dive at Bimini Road, one of the fish that was collected was a juvenile orange spotted filefish. This is a really cool fish with a protective trigger on the top of its head! On this same dive, we were also lucky enough to see very large schools of grunts and even a great barracuda!

After our two dives at Bimini Road, we decided to move on to another dive site called Three Sisters. It was at this site that our dive team conducted what is called a grunt roundup. A grunt roundup is a large group effort to collect as many grunts as possible in one dive using special nets and barriers. We collect so many grunts on these dives that we even designed a special underwater device that we call a Grunt Hotel. We use the Grunt Hotel to hold all of the collected grunts and keep them very happy until the dive is over. A few kinds of grunts we are collecting for the reopening of our Giant Ocean Tank on July 1st include French, smallmouth, Caesar, bluestriped and white grunts. These are all beautiful fish who will form a wonderful school when introduced to Boston's largest fish exhibit in July!

Unfortunately throughout the day weather conditions deteriorated and the final dive of the day at Three Sisters was made optional. I and a few other divers decided to tough out the bad weather and jump in again, and we were all very glad we did!  On a relatively short dive, we saw a beautiful hawksbill sea turtle and two very large midnight parrotfish. These beautiful fish were way too big to ship back to Boston, so we did not collect any of them. We did however, catch another orange spotted filefish!

Hawksbill Sea turtle

Hawksbill Sea turtle

Midnight parrotfish

That's it for today everybody! Be sure to check back again soon to continue following our adventure here in the Bimini Islands.

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