March 17, 2012
St. Patrick’s Day saw the Calcutta leaving early for the far eastern end of Pedro Bank. The route took us across an area of deeper water and larger swells, so it took close to three hours of hard bouncing to cover the 41 km (25.5. mi) to Portland Rock, without a doubt one of the least inviting islets in the Caribbean. A nub of steep, sharp rock lashed by waves and covered with guano, it still had a few fisherman’s tents on top and a handful of fishing boats pulled up nearby.
Welcome to Portland Rock
Unfortunately, even after asking these knowledgeable locals for advice, we weren’t able to find any spots with more than minimal coral cover, and the underwater visibility was low. Andy and Phil decided it would make better sense to backtrack another 30 minutes to tiny Blower Rock. The first dive was marked by huge colonies of star coral (Montastraea faveolata and M. annularis) up to 2.6 m (8.5 ft) across. We spotted our first nurse shark as soon as we entered the water, but Rachel soon got a closer look.
Read the rest of Shark Day »