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Scuba Diving in Cuba, Caribbean
Dive Site: Maria la Gorda Beach
Location: Maria la Gorda, Cuba
Description: Snorkelling site
Depth: 0 - 15 metres (0 - 50 feet)
Visibility: 15 metres (50 feet)
One of the great things about Maria la Gorda is the fantastic snorkelling that you can do in between dives. Almost unbelievably, there are fish right up to the waters edge. They start off tiny in size with sergeant majors only a few centimetres long, but as you head away from the sand the nurseries give way to adult fish with goatfish, wrasse, triggerfish and parrotfish rooting about looking for food. Further out still the sand is broken up by patchy reef that quickly turns into a fully fledged coral garden. There are a number of pontoons jutting out from the beach into the water which are also covered in coral and home to many Christmas tree worms, small crabs and hermit crabs. The cracks formed in the older, more dilapidated of the pontoons make great hiding places for grunts and other fish. Out on the reef the first time I snorkelled I came across a shoal of hundreds of silvery fish with a stocky barracuda in the Center. The shoal parted and let the barracuda through then followed just behind it as though they thought that somehow the barracuda wouldn't be able to spot them there. The barracuda got more and more irate until it turned around and darted back into the shoal, sending it scattering in all directions; then he was gone. Another time I came across a flatfish, a small octopus and another barracuda.
When we came back from a dive, several mantas were spotted off the main jetty & all beach goers got to marvel at the experience. A truly unique diving spot.
Rob Tarius | 17/11/2008
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