Tales of the Blue

We are changing again!

As the internet changes so do we! We have just released not only our new blog but an entire new website with an online store! Check out our new online experience and sign up for the newsletter so that our blogs, specials and news gets to you instantly.

Have you become a fan of the Abyss Dive Center yet? Here are 5 reasons why you should be a fan on Facebook!

1. Get up to date information, photos and videos!

2. Book online through our store on Facebook (super cool new feature only on our fan page)

3. Get personal video updates from Dave. Yup that’s right Dave is shedding his 90’s computer abilities and becoming techie, not geeky, techie!

4. Get deals and steals on the fan page. If there is a deal to be had, you can only find out about it on the fan page!

5. Get live video streams of cool events the Abyss is having…truly hang tight, become a fan and find out what we mean.

See you on the new website and Facebook!

April 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

what´s so cool about Tortugas

You reach the site, excited at the prospect of seeing your first sea turtle. After all the site is named after them!  You have been briefed that Tortugas is a gradually sloping bottom with no wall, and as you descend to see corals and sponges that appear to stretch unendingly in every direction across the bottom beneath you.

You get down to about 60 ft but see that the reef continues deeper, presumably to the blue abyss. You remain at this depth as you have been told that this is where the turtles hang out. This is going to be an easy dive. There is a steady current in the direction you want to go, which allows you to fly effortlessly without even a fin kick.

And so the ride begins. You fly over huge barrel sponges, big enough to climb into if the urge took you. You decide not to, as in a couple you spot large striped lion fish, sheltering from the current.

The reef here is buzzing with activity, everywhere you look is a fish of a different size or shape going about it´s daily activities.

In a small archway in a rock you spot a baby nurse shark. His light grey eye appears to be unseeing. You believe that  this unmoving creature cannot possible be related to the main apex predator of the ocean. But shiver briefly at the prospect of seeing his larger mama!

Briefly you turn into the current, and under a coral head you spot the protruding spines of a couple of reef lobsters. Not wanting to burn too much air you allow the current to drift you away.

Out of the corner of your eye you spot a green steak and turn to see a giant Green Moray gliding between the rocks. He is chasing the fish, or are the fish chasing him?

Then you spot exactly what you came for. As he gracefully lifts his head, his camouflage is broken. You spot an old man of the deep, a turtle. He seems unaware as you hover over him, admiring his beautiful shell. This one turtle becomes many and in each direction as you drift you come a cross turtles of different shapes and sizes munching on the coral. Your dive objective is met!

Then one last treat. As the corals and sponges turn into turtle grass you spot a graceful flying formation of a Spotted Eagle Ray, He remains below you for your safety stop.

As you slowly ascend at the end of your dive, you vow to return another time!

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What´s so cool about…The Bull Shark Dive?

You have a small knot of nervous anticipation in your stomach. You have been briefed that there is an element of danger in this dive that does not exist on all dives. Bull Sharks are one of the sharks attributed to shark attacks around the world. You have been assured that these attacks have never been on divers. But still the latent fear remains. You believe that for you, as for most people, the fear must stem from watching “Jaws” too many times as a child.

The boat ride is short, you cannot believe how close to the beach these creatures are thriving. As you get geared up, everyone on the boat is a bit more subdued than normal, a few making jokes, but there is a general nervous excitement in the group.

As you begin your descent you look down. Straight away you spot the unmistakable shape of a gray bull shark, 90 feet below you on the white sand. A broad snout, large triangular pectoral fins to its right and left and the dorsal fin on top. It sweeps its tail from side to side, moving rapidly. Then, another shark cuts across in front of that one.

As you continue to descend your heart begins to beat a little more rapidly. You see that you are heading down into the middle of group of about 15 bull sharks zig-zagging the sand. You begin to question your mental state.

You settle yourself with the group on the bottom, trying to stay as still as possible to prevent stirring up the sand. You decide low viz is last thing you want to create on this dive.

As you watch the sharks, your nervousness slips away. They are so serene, moving effortlessly in their own environment. You feel privileged to be down here with them. All are so close that you can look into their flat gray eyes.

You spot the triangular shape of one as it swims from a distance, front on, right towards you. You heart starts to thump again as it looms on you, not changing direction.  Thump, Thump, Thump. Then suddenly with a flick of the tail it cruises to your left.

Then they all disappear for a moment, out into the blue, then reappear from every angle, crossing in front of the group. One tilts sideways, showing you its underside and opens its mouth, baring rows of sharp white teeth.  Childhood movies replay for a brief moment in your head, At once the smiling shark is gone though. Your adrenalin has never been higher. 

By the end of your dive, you are charmed by the sharks, you are amazed by the sharks, but you are no longer scared by the sharks. As you slowly ascend at the end of your dive, you vow to return another time!

November 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fish Spot: Greater Soapfish

Common Name: Greater Soapfish

 

Scientific NameRypticus Saponaceus

 

Where to spot them here: Curiously this fish lies motionless on its side, resembling a dead fish, in caves and holes on Sabalos, Barracuda, Moc Che and Chunzumbul.

How to identify them: A solitary species inhabiting shallow water on bottoms with eroded limestone or mixed sand and rocks, as well as around reefs. Brownish grey in colour with “soap sud” markings. All soapfishes are small, the largest attaining lengths of about 30 centimeters (1 foot)

What you may not know about them: The name soapfish refers to their ability, when agitated (such as being caught on a fishing line!), to produce toxic body mucus that forms a slimy, soapsuds like froth upon its secretion into the water. The toxic mucus serves as a deterrent to predators.

September 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fish Spot: Brown Garden Eels

Common Name: Brown Garden Eel

 

Scientific NameHeteroconger Longissimus

Where to Spot them here: The sandy patches to the side of all the shallow reefs. There’s a large colony to the right the north buoy lines of Moc Che.

 

How to identify them: Brown garden eels are narrow and can be up to 50cm in length. They are easily spotted feeding in large groups in open sandy patches with their tails in the sand and their bodies up high waving in the current. When a diver swims towards them they gradually retreat into their burrows until they disappear.

What you may not know about them: The eels construct permanent burrows in the sand, which they never leave. Mating occurs between members of the opposite sex that occupy adjacent burrows by intertwining their bodies while the tail tips remain in their respective burrows.

 

 

August 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment