What is the coolest or most amazing thing you have ever seen in the BVI?
It is an often asked question on the dive boat. It is also a very hard question to answer as we have seen so may incredible creatures while diving in the British Virgin Islands. So instead of giving our favorite let’s give you a few of our unusual, yet amazing sightings during our dives in the BVI.
Starting with the smaller underwater critters, nudibranchs are definitely in the top most amazing things we can find. One of the reasons they are so incredible is that they are rare and we don’t spot them often. Their scientific name, Nudibranchia, means naked gills, and describes the feathery gills and horns that most wear on their backs.
A few of them we see more often, such as the lettuce leaf nudibranch , elysia ornate nudibrach or the black spotted nudibranch. However it is nudibranchs like Hypselodoris Bayeri or Cratena Peregrina that really get us over excited as they are the more elusive ones.
The fingerprint cyphoma is a very close relative to the more commonly found flamingo tongue. However you can find one fingerprint cyphoma for every 100 000 flamingo tongues you see. They are both beautiful and have such unique patterns. Did you know that under that incredible pattern sits a hard pale shell and the beautiful pattern is actually a retractable mantle of flesh.
A master of camouflage is the neck crab. We had never seen them before, until the sinking of the Kodiak Queen wreck. All the sudden we were finding this amazing guy hiding himself on the mesh of the sculpture. Every now and then you can still find him in the sand next to the ship, hiding and blending in.
Sharks have become an increasingly common sight on our dives in the British Virgin Islands. The majority of them are Nurse Sharks and Grey Caribbean Reef Sharks. Every now and then we are in for a treat though and some of the larger predators come and show off. Tiger sharks and Hammerhead sharks are known to be in our waters and are very rarely but we can get lucky and see them.
Ending in grandeur has to be the sightings of Humpback Whales. Although we have not been lucky enough to see these guys while diving, we hear them often. Even more so this season. A family decided to raise their calf in the calm bays of the BVI. So often we are diving to the sounds of them communicating. It can sound as if they will appear any time, however they are still so far away. As one of the loudest animals on the planet, scientist believe that their sound can travel as far as 10 000 miles. Occasionally we get lucky and manage to see them put up a show for us while driving out to the dive sites.
There is so much to see, find, explore…The only way to see the next most amazing thing is to get out there, go boating, snorkeling, diving and find out what surprises Mother Nature has for you on your next trip.