Turks and Caicos, West Indies

Turks and Caicos: Snorkeling Finds

The second full day here on the island of Providenciales was our designated “do nothing” day. However, Dad and I made sure we used our snorkel equipment before returning it, and boy, was it worth it!

Dad and I drove back to Coral Gardens/Bight Reef at Princess National Park and to our enjoyment, we had the reef to ourselves almost the whole 30 minutes we were exploring the underwater beauty. I’m not sure if we got lucky, or if the fish were out due to the lack of humans, but to put into words the amount of marine life we saw and how cool this snorkeling run actually was is nearly impossible. I guess all I can say is I have swum in the Great Barrier Reef and was not this impressed. And unfortunately, I didn’t bring my GoPro. So I can’t show you, but I will do my best to describe a few of the stand-outs.

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Snorkeling at Bight Reef the day prior.

On our way out to the reef, I ran into what we think was a Great Barracuda. It was long, silver and moving slowly and gracefully through the water.

During our exploration we found not one, not two, but three turtles! We think two of them were Green Sea Turtles and one was a Hawksbill. It is always so exciting to find turtles because they are rarer to see than fish, and therefore so much more interesting to admire. Something I noticed is that they have more timidity than fish, who really don’t mind when you dive down near them.

Something I never thought I would see in person was a school of fish not just swimming, but circling into a tornado-like form together. For some fish, this is a normal, every day thing. For others, this is a safety habit when predators are near. The fish were about the size of my hand and silver. While we can’t confidently name which type of fish they were, we think they were a type of Jack fish.  I really wish I had a photo of that.

I could go on about the incredible rainbow, long or striped fish we saw (Parrotfish, Trumpetfish and Nassau Groupers) and the different corals we came across (like Brain Coral), but I think you get the picture.

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Brain coral from the previous day.

The rest of the day consisted of lounging on the beach and swimming in the warm water. We had a shorted beach day so we would shop around the downtown area before a tasty sushi dinner (I know how hypocritical it sounds to swim with the fish, and then eat them, but I don’t eat coral reef fish!) Not a bad day at all.

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