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First dive in ages

25 June 2017

With the build up to and then absolute joy from the arrival of our beautiful little girl, diving has had to take a back seat.  However, one of the annual joys of diving in Cayman (as opposed to the regular joys of just jumping in the water) is the arrival of Silversides at Eden Rock, inch long fish that gather in the network of caves for protection from predators during the day.  So, with the encouragement of a friend whose wife has gone back to the UK for four weeks, and the fact that my wife and baby were having a “girls’ afternoon”, I dusted of the dive gear and headed off to track them down.More on that in a future post, but it was such a joy to be back diving again. So many bad things seem to be happening in the world, faux Muslims and idiotic right wing zealots each terrorising innocents and the disenfranchised vote being led astray by populists.  Now, I feel like I have a lot to be grateful for at the moment anyway, but diving down into the calm clear waters and watching the Silversides gathering in protective balls against predators in a natural competition for survival, in the stunning beauty of underwater caves reminded me that there is so much else in the world, that I wish these people would focus on the good on the planet, taking pleasure and preserving the world for future generations. I know the argument that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, and that some of these people are responding to hideous grief which perpetuates the violence, but I wish they would all just open their eyes to the wider world, and make the most of their time on this planet.

But even in Cayman, there is competition that threatens to disrupt this natural wonder.  Apparently unloading tourists from cruise ships takes too long and does not maximise the time that they can spend wandering the downtown restaurants and duty free shops, so there is a plan to build a berthing facility that will risk covering this world famous dive site in silt.  Alternative plans would involve a berthing facility away from the heart of town, increasing traffic and road time for the tourists, but not risk disrupting a national (global?) treasure.  Is it so important to cater for people who only see the Island for half a day? Give them a taste, and encourage them to come back, preserve the dive sites for those willing to spend time here on the ground, staying overnight, and for the future generations who would want to see what I saw today.

I’ll upload a video soon – I love the GoPro, but the processing takes time.  For now, it has encouraged me to get back into diving and you’ll have to make do with some of my favourite shots:

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