As I mentioned in my post about Prince Albert Wreck, Mary’s Place is one of the dives I most want to do on this trip. So I’m thrilled when Emma meets a bartender at Sundowner’s who also happens to be a dive master at Barefoot Divers, the shop closest to these dives. He offers to extend the weekend special they’re having to Monday, as that’s the only day we’re able to make it to that side of the island.
We agree to be at the dive shop, 40 minutes from where we’re staying in West End, by 8am. Our hotel calls us a cab who agrees to take us to the shop and come back for us when we’re done for $40, round trip. We probably should have negotiated the price better, but we were tired after being out late for the wedding the night before. And it’s probably why he so readily agreed to come back for us later. At least we didn’t have to worry about our transportation.
The dive shop is located on Barefoot Cay, just across the canal from Barefoot Cay Resort. It’s fairly secluded and seems like it would be a great place to stay and get away from it all. I could lie in those hammocks for days. Unfortunately, it’s a bit out of our price range. But the shop is open to everyone and Mary’s Place is just offshore, not even 5 minutes away.
In fact, I do nap on one of the hammocks in between our dives. I wish I had thought to bring more sunscreen to protect from the harsh rays, but otherwise, it’s every bit as relaxing as expected.
After our surface internal (and nap in the above hammock), we hop back in the boat.
There’s another couple from the States just finishing their SCUBA certifications. They look so happy!
The picture below shows the dive. We drop in on top of the reef and descend over the wall on the right. Then we swim along the bottom of the longest crevasse, turn up the middle one, then cut out again to swim back around, through the longest crevasse again. We’ll then swim along the top of the reef to see more marine life. It’s definitely different than other dives I’ve done. I can’t wait to get in the water!
Ahhhh. It’s so nice to be back in the water. Even after 8 dives this week, I never tire of swimming under the sea. I’m pretty sure I was a fish in a past life.
This giant fish is a Tarpon. They can grow between 4 and 8ft long and weigh 60-280lbs. Dang! We’ll see several more on this dive.
Soon we descend into the first crevasse. The walls are fairly narrow. We try our best to not touch anything.
This picture is blurry, but see that caterpillar-looking creature? As we swim past it, our dive master points it out and instructs us to not get too close. Apparently it’s VERY poisonous. Yikes!
We continue through the next crevasse.
As we ascend, the colors and light comes back. It’s just so pretty!
More Tarpon. These guys are relatively small, maybe 3ft each.
Check out this giant brain coral. Did you know they can live to be 900 years old? Some of these corals were probably alive when Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel. What a crazy thought.
It’s a plethora of fish!
There are called Christmas tree anenome due to their spiral tree shape. They’re really tiny, about the size of your thumb, and quite colorful. When you fan water in their direction, they quickly tuck back into their holes. Emma gets a kick out of doing this every time we see them.
As we swim back to the boat, Emma points out a squid swimming by. How cool! I’ve never seen them in the sea before. I had no idea how pink they are.
Then we spot another one. I chase it around for a bit. It’s quite a bit darker than the other guy, and so shimmery looking.
I’m so jazzed to see them! Something I’ve never seen in the wild before. I love experiencing new things like that.
We spend about an hour underwater before it’s time to head up and back to our side of the island. It’s definitely a trek over here, and the $40 cab ride adds to the cost ($100 for the dive and rentals). During the high season, many of the shops in West End offer trips to this side of the island, and perhaps that is a more cost efficient way to do these dives. I never was able to find out. I’m just glad we got a chance to dive these incredibly sites!