I was already on the ladder when a few divers still in the water, including photographer Tanya Burnett, spotted a curious-looking ray. I missed it (isn't that always the way?), but Tanya, our divemaster Freddie and a couple of other divers surfaced a few minutes later, all scratching their heads over its identity. Freddie said it was a lemon ray and Tanya said she thought it was some sort of torpedo ray. Once we were back at the shop, we grabbed the 2nd edition of Paul Humann, Anna DeLoach and Ned DeLoach REEF fish ID book, and there it was, a Caribbean torpedo ray, a beautifully spotted ray with a blunt nose and a decorated tail. The author's note says that not much is known about this electric ray and that they'd appreciate hearing from divers when they spot them. The photograph in the 2nd edition was taken by Wayne Hasson off Grand Cayman. Once Tanya's back home in Florida, she plans to email Paul Humann and let him know about her encounter on the dive site Eagle's Nest.
Our second dive was at Grand Cayman's famed Devil's Grotto -- the beautifully lit grotto in the Eden Rock reef system, which is a maze of swim-throughs. As soon as we got in, a mob of tarpon joined us. You can spend the entire dive here wending your way through the various tunnels in the reef, and when the lighting is right, it's a great place for photographers to capture divers swimming through Devil's Grotto.
In the afternoon, a group departed for Stingray City to experience what is quite possibly the world's most famous animal encounter. Betty Orr, Vice President and Director of Insurance of DAN Services, who offered a number of travel tips, including packing your clothes in space-saving, wrinkle-preventing, waterproof 2-gallon ZipLoc bags.
Tomorrow: the final day before most of us have to leave this beauty of an island.