Want to know a secret? There is a whole other amazing world of creatures right under our noses while we busy ourselves looking at the sea turtles, sharks, goliath groupers, eels, and large tropical fish that live on our reefs in Palm Beach. Today’s dives on Bath & Tennis and Ron’s reef turned into a search for these miniature marvels. With a very light north current, 30-40ft. of visibility, and 80 degree water temperature, conditions were perfect for it, too!
At first glance, the reef appears like nothing more than an adornment of corals. The abundance of corals on our reef makes it a challenge to focus my attention on one spot. But with a little bit of patience and a great dive buddy (Andrea!!), who enjoys the excitement of finding these miniature treasures on the reef, it didn’t take long before I was in “the zone!” All sorts of miniature wonders began to show up.
By the time we had finished our two dives on Bath & Tennis reef and Ron’s reef we had not only seen countless big animals such as sea turtles, eels, and tons of tropical fish, but we spotted many tiny and special creatures, too. The list included a sea goddess nudibranch (great find, Andrea!), a colony of whip coral shrimp, a shrimp neither of us had ever seen before, secretary blennies, crionoids, and countless other breathtaking little creatures. We even took part in a wonderful symbiotic “manicure!”
The hours flew by quickly underwater as our scavenger hunt for the tiny and spectacular took place. Personally, nothing rejuvenates my enjoyment of diving, even after 20+ years, than to poke my head near the reef and enjoy this amazing environment in ways that most people don’t take the time to enjoy. If you’re going to try this please watch your buoyancy when searching for the small stuff. Your fins and any dangling dive gear can wreck havoc on the reef.
Next time you’re out diving… Slow down.. Have a closer look! I promise you will see all the large creatures you normally see on your dives, but what you’ll add to your list are countless miniature creatures that will fascinate you. There is nothing quite like diving the Palm Beach reefs. Look for the (really) small stuff and you’ll understand the other seventy percent why!