Friday, April 1, 2011

Crash Boat Beach y Peñas Blancas area, Aguadilla, underwater photos from the early eighties

A coralline comunity near the beach in Peñas Blancas called by surfers "wishing well".  There was an impressive quantity of marine organisms growing in some underwater limestone outcrops full of caves.  Mark Verdiun, his siblings and me used to visit this place all the time.  It was fun to explore the area to see what we would find, there was always something new to see.  Large stony corals were rare here.

Two spotted drums (thanks Pucho for the ID), very young ones, swimming near the base of one of the pillars in the Crash Boat beach.  Notice the trash on the seafloor.

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One of the pillars of the Crash Boat piers.  You can see the pillars have lots of fishing wire entangled around the sea life clinging to them.

The longspined black urchin Diadema antillarum used to be present in the coralline areas in huge numbers as you can see in some spots the sea floor was carpeted with them.  In 1983 there was a tremedous die off in which around 97% of all of this urchins perished.  Some say that the decline of some Caribbean reefs was tied to the loss of this important member of the reef community.

A box fish, Crash Boat

Coralline community, Peñas Blancas, see the blue chromis in the left center of the photo

My friend Jose Nieto snorkeling between the pillars of the Crash Boat piers

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