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Day 3

Elephant Ear SpongeThe day dawns clear and calm. The ocean resembles a lake as it lazily laps at the side of our boat. We are moored at Cumbers Caves for the morning dives and then plan to move down the moorings to the Great Wall for afternoon and night diving.

Jawfish with a mouth full of eggsOne of the most interesting places to explore at Cumbers is a stretch of rubble and sand along the mini wall. This seemingly lifeless area is home to sailfin blennies and the coveted yellow head jawfish. Lying motionless on the rubble, divers soon see the shy little fish emerge from their burrows. If lucky, you may even find a male with a mouth full of eggs spitting and rolling them in the water column to aerate them.

Tube spongeThe afternoon and evening site is the Great Wall. A sheer vertical wall decorated in a potpourri of sponges and lacey sea fans. A perfect site for what we call "DV Fly-Bys". This is where we ride a scooter between our legs while holding our Digital Video camera (DV) in front of us. Thus, moving through the scene while filming. This is a great method for capturing large expanses of underwater real estate. The really big animals (manta rays, whale sharks and dolphins) must find it intriguing that mere mortals can keep up, as it is they who usually do the "loops" around us.

Eagle Ray feeding in the sandThe reefs at Little Cayman remind us of the Pacific the way they start shallow and then abruptly plunge into the deep. These are great dives for photography or exploration as you can make a deep dive and then ascend to the shallow reef to do your off-gasing. We often make 60+ minute dives at Little Cayman since our "off-gasing" time in the shallows is interesting and we tend to piddle around looking at the life. This type of diving is much preferred to the alternative of hanging on a deco bar fathoms above the reef. The Great Wall is no exception as the shallow area is teaming with life during a night dive. Franklin ends up making a 136-minute night dive here. The footage he got of an Eagle Ray feeding in the sand at night completes another great day.

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