In a genuine island setting at the centre of Grand Cayman but off the beaten track and away from the tourist crowds

 

 

 

SNORKELLING

 

Impressive array of coral and fish found off the beach at Turtle Nest Inn

Video courtesy of Tom & Salty Joyner

Coral and related species Fish and related species

Giant brain coral

Grooved brain coral

Smooth brain coral

Trumpetfish

Yellowtail snapper

Parrotfish

Butterprint brain coral

Golfball coral

Blushing star coral

Pufferfish

Boxfish

Small angelfish

Elkhorn coral

Staghorn coral

Orange tube coral

Tarpon

Triggerfish

Butterflyfish

Green cactus coral

Sea rods

Leaf coral

Blue tang

Rock beauty

Jack fish

Sheet coral

Flower coral

Club finger coral

Rainbow runner

Ocean Surgeonfish

Great barracuda

Fire coral

Mustard hill coral

Sea whips

Pinfish

Grunt fish

Damselfish

Venus sea fan

Common sea fan

Tube sponges

Sea perch

Razorfish

Squirrelfish

  Lettuce coral

Corky sea fingers

Starlet coral

Bluehead Wrasse

Conch

Arrow crabs

  Porous sea rods

  Finger coral

  Boulder brain coral

Coral crab

Coral shrimp

Southern sting rays

 

Major Site Features
Overall, the Turtle Nest Inn snorkel area provides an excellent site for snorkeling.  The variety and abundance of coral and fish species combined with the rejuvenation of coral formations and fish nurseries makes this site sensitive. 

 

The Turtle Nest Inn snorkel area presents a spectacular glimpse of juvenile fish species and coral formations -- directly off shore!  On the southeastern side of the site, outlining the fringing reef, lies an encrustation of Elkhorn coral, Staghorn coral and giant Brain corals. Extending from the sandy shore, large beds of turtle grass stretches into thick patches. Scattered between the turtle grass and the fringing reef, lies a selection of soft and hard coral formations.

 

Various aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates thrive in the coral heads. To the southwestern area of the site lies a diverse genus of Brain coral, including a rare giant Brain coral.  The principal fish identification relates a healthy cradle of juvenile species.  The nearby channel provides access for larger species to enter into the shallow reef creating an extensive biological diversity.  The Turtle grass area provides a healthy bed for fish nurseries.

 

View of the hotel from the sea

Environmental Considerations
Much of the coral is regenerating itself. Some of the coral has died off, but new coral crowns the dead. Therefore, or under any circumstance, none of the coral should be touched.

Hazards
The main concern of the site is the strength of the current at the nearby channel. The current comprises a south to southwest movement. For safety rationale, snorkelers should not swim in or around the channel. Along the coral formations, near the fringing reef, powerful surges flow across the shallow site. A combination of strong surges and shallow depths, a snorkeler could possibly be harmed on nearby coral extensions. Encrusted along many of the coral formations, lies large patches of fire or stinging coral. The lagoon area may also receive a minimal amount of boat traffic.

References
Reef Fish Identification by Paul Humann
Underwater Archaeology by Professor Charles Beeker

 

 

 

Additional Information

 

 

 

Copyright Turtle Nest Inn & Condos 2014

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