Our second boat dive of the day was a short hop along the coast from Cantil. The shop ran it as a one-way dive, which is like a drift dive except there was no current: the boat dropped us off at one mooring, and picked us up a little ways away. As before, the area was pretty barren, with the occasional sponge or piece of coral among mostly algae-covered rocks, and fish and critters hanging out by the margins. Also as before, sharpnosed puffers were everywhere, e.g. photobombing this poor sleepy greater soapfish.
You get some sense of it from this butter hamlet. Cool fish, and a couple patches of hard coral, but it’s the exception rather than the rule. Similarly, on the right, a sponge with a bunch of those puffers swimming around it, seated on a rock in the middle of a sandy patch.
Despite the bleakness of the coral, which we’ll try to crop out from here on, there were enough fish to keep us entertained. Check out the glittery eyes on these baloonfish!
From the department of small fish under rocks, here’s a small drum (we also saw a much smaller one!), and a peppermint basslet.
We liked this unusually-exposed tangle of arrow crabs. Right, a much less exposed (coral clinging?) crab, and a tiger tail sea cucumber, which we saw probably half a dozen of.
Grouped because they’re round and hard, here are an artichoke coral and a candy cane coral.
But the highlight, as with the previous dive, was the corallimorphs. Sometimes solitary, sometimes in big sprawling colonies, these were just really cool to see. We’d just found one of these when our dive guide excitedly pointed out a small turtle that was swimming into the murky distance. Our opinion: these are much cooler.
So, two dives in, we had a pretty strong verdict that we didn’t need to keep diving Tayrona park. Maybe someone will convince us we’re wrong, but for now, we’ve packed the dive gear away for a while.