July 6, 2012: Today we got to snorkel the reefs in Montserrat's Rendezvous Bay! It was amazing! I've never gone snorkeling before, so it was quite a treat! Rendezvous Bay is the ONLY white sand beach in Montserrat! It isn't even fully white sand (like we are used to at least). All of the other beaches are dark sand because of the volcanic ash that has settled around the island and washed up on the shore! I plan on taking home some baggies full of sand. Our snorkeling guide, Troy, is originally from the U.S.. He moved here 8 years ago, but is now planning on moving back. He was a great guide...very cool and laid back, like most of the islanders! He told me to make sure to take some sand samples home! He said if you put a magnet in the sand, the magnet will come out "furry" because of all the metal from the volcano! The coral was awesome, but has been damaged. Troy said the damage was from Hurricane Hugo (1989) and from the volcanic eruptions that started in 1995 and continued on intermittently until 2010, which was the last activity. We still saw a variety of coral and fish! I was hoping to see some stingray and turtles, but we weren't that lucky! We did not have an underwater camera, so I don't have pictures of the actual coral/fish we saw, but I've posted some pics from the internet of some of the ones that we saw! Some of the species of coral that we got to see were: Brain Coral, Elkhorn Coral, and Fan Coral, as well as others. Some of the fish we saw were: Caribbean Blue Tang Fish (Dory from Finding Nemo), silver fish (also on Finding Nemo...the ones that make pictures as large groups), squid (they were as curious as we were...the two of them followed us as we followed them. The squid were my favorite! They were very translucent and would change color slightly to "blend in" with their environment (adaptation). It was so cool! They would change from almost a brownish color to a really cool purplish color! They were cautious, but still would allow us to get close enough to study them (unlike the other fish that would "swim away" (Finding Nemo quote)!
|Caribbean Blue Tang Fish|
|school of silver fish|