In August our University goes on a two-week break between semesters. This break we decided to stay in Nevis and take it easy. With the free time it was a good opportunity to go out diving again. So last Saturday, just before Tropical Storm Irene arrived (later to become Hurricane Irene), we went out with Scuba Safaris at Oualie and hit two new dive sites: Nag’s Head and Booby High Schoal.
Nag’s Head is on the south coast of St. Kitts – almost directly across from Oualie. Lots of volcanic rock, corals, many small fish. We saw several large lobsters when we first descended, a couple turtles and an eagle ray (unfortunately it was so far away and moving so quickly I couldn’t get a picture of it).
Booby High Shoal is a dive site in The Narrows, near Booby Island. The island is apparently named after the birds that live there, not the anatomical feature that it somewhat resembles. It’s a fairly shallow dive. With the incoming Irene the seas were starting to get rough and the Narrows are known for their rough water. We experienced some strong rocking from the waves during the dive. My wife, who stayed on the boat, developed a rather severe sea-sickness. Still I enjoyed the dive. It’s a mound of coral on a rocky shoal. Much of the base rock has eroded away, leaving many small caves and nooks and crannies for fish to hide in (but too small to swim through). Again we saw lots of small tropical fish and sea turtles. There was a lot of fan coral swaying with the rocking waves. The highlight for me was a small bait-ball of some very small fish I didn’t recognize. It was the first time I’ve seen a bait-ball. It was in a small crevasse in the rocks and there was a feeding-frenzy of small fish attacking it. Some of the other divers saw a nurse shark feeding on it as well, but it stayed under the rocks and I didn’t see it. Later I saw a large black eel swimming freely under the rocks, also attacking the bait-ball. I tried to get a video of it, but had a damn camera malfunction – operator error I’m sure.