Sat 18 Mar 2006
Today Sea Saba took us on a wall dive. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE wall dives. There’s something about being able to float along, looking at all of the amazing colors for what seems like miles up, miles down and miles across. When you look up, you can see the top of the wall and further, the sun coming down. As you float along, the soft coral waves back & forth, the wire coral juts out like underwater pipe-cleaners (look for the tiny shrimp that walk them) and surprises poke out from crevices in the coral, like spiny Caribbean lobster.
Did you ever see the movie, Rear Window, with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly? Well, for all you landlubbers who’ve not experienced diving (like me, 2 short years ago!), it’s kind of like when Jimmy Stewart was looking across the way into the building outside his window. Everyone was doing their thing, setting up and living their lives on display for the other building to watch. That’s kinda-sorta like a wall dive, except we get to be up close and personal, watching the cycle of underwater life play out. And Joel wants me to tell the gamers, that it’s kinda-sorta like The Sims (yeah, whateva!). And of course, at the end of the dive, you can do your safety stop on top of the wall, staring at all the tiny creatures in the coral. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Dive Site Stats
Tent Reef Wall – Dive Site #18
Mooring: eyebolt/23 feet, triad/50 feet
Experience Level: all levels
Recommended Max. Depth: 80 feet
Current: moderate, to northwest (occasionally strong)
Dive Site Description
The moorings, at the beginning of the wall, are at Tent Reef ledge. At the beginning of the dive, you’ll see dislodged boulders lying off the wall, moving into sandy slopes at the base of the wall. Watch for the big Green Turtle, who often hangs out here. The top of the steep wall at the beginning of the dive is at 25 – 30 feet and continues deeper to 80 feet, which is where you will typically turn and come back.
As you watch the life, encrusting the wall, get your cameras ready & set to macro. The sponges, many encrusting species are alive with brilliant color. You will also notice Barrel Sponge, Pillow Stinking Sponge, Pipes-of-Pan and Iridescent Tube Sponge. In June, you may even witness the reproduction of some sponge species (looks like it’s covered with chewing gum or cobwebs).
Hard corals (Sheet Coral & Saucer Coral) and black coral species (like Black Wire Coral – the pipe-cleaner-looking things I mentioned earlier) are common.
We’re always on the lookout for Joel’s favorite, French and Grey Anglefish, which sometimes show up here. We were lucky to spot two of them today, Joel almost forgot to snap the picture, but we got a fairly decent shot. We also saw Four-eye and Banded Butterflyfish, plenty of Coneys, Spanish Hogfish and French Grunt.
Just A-nother Fish In The Wall
Tent Wall is one of my favorite dive sites and today’s dive did not disappoint. The weather was perfect, the sea was calm and a great time was had by all. I’ve never had a dive with Sea Saba where everyone didn’t come up and say, “What a great dive!” There’s nothing like the feeling of diving – not only the beauty of underwater life, but the great conversations with fellow divers & Sea Saba crew. Sometimes I wonder, are we just neoprene-clad voyeurs of underwater life? Well, call us Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly because we’re going back for more.