With over 40 moored dive sites right in front of our shop, and along one of the worlds most pristine reefs, you would think that it would take years before a diver would even think of looking for something new. Yes, it does!
But the occasion does arrive, and it may be in the form of "dang nabbit it's hot, I gotta get in the water and it's an hour 'til the next dive", or "Golly gee, it's been a while since I've seen a seahorse (octopus etc.) or something new", and every diver has often thought, "If only there were a nice shady place to go diving now....."
We have got the spot for you; it's the best unknown dive site in the Caribbean, aptly named "Under the Dock". This dive starts on the steps at the end of West End Divers pier where after a giant stride entry and buddy check you descend to a small sand patch at a depth of about four feet where you are likely to be greeted by resident Sargent Majors and small schools of Grunts. After a quick buoyancy check, you enter the closed overhead environment between the pilings of the dock.
As your eyes become adjusted to the gloom in the shade from the deck above, you will notice that among the carpet of Turtle Grass there are areas of hard substrate in the forms of concrete anchors and blocks. Searching about the crevices and crannies will often bring sightings of an octopus and the occasional Scorpion fish.
Looking on and about the pilings can bring finds of seahorses, burrowing tube worms, and anemones that we never see at the depths of a normal scuba dive. The shallow dive profile also brings you into contact with smaller versions of the marine life we see during dives on the outer reef like Eagle Rays and Sting Rays no bigger than a dinner plate, tiny crabs and urchins, the sharp tailed eel and many other juveniles. Schools of bait fish look for protection in he shade and the pilings while 12 inch Barracudas practice their hunting skills.
Don't let the depths and logistics of this adventure intimidate you, many discoveries have been made on this dive and it rarely fails to deliver. It can also be quite refreshing on those warm August afternoons.