June 11, 2012
After just one dive at San Cristobal Island, the team decided the water was too rough, so the Golden Shadow moved on. We woke Monday to overcast skies at Floreana, the southernmost of the five inhabited islands. Monday brought three dives at the Corona del Diablo, the “Devil’s Crown,” a ring of jagged rocks on the island’s south side formed by a partially submerged basalt volcanic cone. Strong currents sweep around and through the formation, which is only a few meters deep inside and full of life.
The coral seemed to be recovering here, including large stands of Pavona and Porites, one of which was four meters by two meters. Outside of the crown we found some Pocillopora, a few Cycloseris colonies, which are very rare, and extensive beds of both Psammocora and Diaseris, each stretching for over a hundred meters. This was the first time we had found Diaseris alive, in abundance. Sea turtles, rays, a school of barracuda and multiple parrotfish over two feet long all made appearances.