Silversides schooling in July Snorkeler on surface with son Alec waving.
Tiger Grouper, Big Eye Snapper, Queen Anglefish, French Anglefish, Strawberry Grouper, Snorkeling, Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water dives. Scuba Location Cayman.
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We offers Guided Shore Snorkeling, Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water dives!

We offers Accommodations for two guest in a private beach Apartment, Private Guide for Shore Snorkeling, Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water Course or Guided shore diving trips daily!Email or Call 345-927-0315 Cayman Brac is Where Relaxation is a way of Life.

Born in Texas, we had made Houston our home for over 25 years. At the end of 2004, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, we permanently moved to Grand Cayman. It was a time when most people, who had any other place to go, had left the islands. We felt compelled to return, to be a part of the community, to help rebuild the country we both loved.

As a Caymanian who grew up in Port Arthur,Texas,Irene felt that returning to the land of her ancestors was way over due. Throughout Monte's twenty years of traveling the world and leading dive tours, the Cayman Islands had long been his favorite place to be, and the one place he longed to call home. So in a matter of months, after the Cayman Islands suffered the worst hurricane damage in over fifty years, we arrived and joined thousands in the restoration process.

Exploring underwater right after Hurricane Ivan, we witnessed the horrible damage to the sea sponges and the loss of sea fans. We saw huge sections of sponges missing, having been ripped off by the turbulant waters down to around 40 feet deep. The remnants were deposited on the beach. With great sadness, Irene collected hundreds of specimens from the beach in varying sizes. They now adorn the tops of our kitchen cabinets, along with conch, welk, and other shells and coral rocks. A constant reminder of the sea's power, and the multitude of species to explore underwater. We are happy to report that the sponges and sea fans look great, and it is now difficult to notice where the damage occurred.

With our two children, ages 12 and 15, we go diving weekly, after school and work, and also on weekends. We are fortunate to live within five minutes of some of Grand Cayman's most famous shore diving sites; Eden Rock, Don Foster's, and Sunset House. Right off the sandy cove in our backyard is Armchair Reef. The reef begins at around 20 feet and the deepest area is at 70 feet. We've seen as many as four turtles, and eight Queen Angel Fish on the reef at one time. We are never dissapointed in this great shore dive, and the Underwater classroom it provides to teach our kids about marine life and coral reef conservation.

For the first time in over twenty-five years of diving I am able to observe the underwater world all year long. It is a facinating journey of seeing the ocean change with each season. In July 2006 the Silversides usually show up in Devils Grotto at the Eden Rock dive site for about two weeks. This year they stayed for six weeks. We promise to be your eyes and report to you on the changes, as we discover them, in our Seasons Of The Sea features.

During one weekend a large Goliath Grouper was there inside the swim through.Being about five feet long, (the size of a coffee table), it took time for my son and daughter to feel comfortable getting close enough to see such a large creature. But they did and are still telling others about it.

   (You can see in this picture the relative size to Michael, one of our diving friends.)

Our 10 year old son Alec, who loves movies, especially the Disney productions of Pirates of the Caribbean, was facinated when we showed him the hull of an old shipwreck at 35 feet, at the Eden Rock dive site. It had been uncovered due to the waves of Ivan. Irene pointed out a Cleaner Shrimp hiding in the wreckage to Alec, and later explained to him that it is now a cleaning station for fish. After that experience Alec determined that it was in fact an old pirate shipwreck, and who are we to correct a ten year old. Afterall they know more than the parents, right?

Stingray City at the Sand Bar in Grand Cayman

We frequently go to the sand bar at Stingray City, to let the kids observe with Stingrays and to see the Green Moray that lives there, and to visit the Nurse Shark that reside right on the barrier reef in the North Sound. It is a very safe environment and one of the top tourist sites on Grand Cayman.

Understanding animals and what they do for protection is what the adventurer Steve Irwin showed through his television programs on the Discovery Channel. When he entered the underwater world in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and encountered the Stingray he unfortunately found out too late the instinctive survival response of a Singray feeling threatened. The Stingray confused Steve Irwin for it's natural predator the Hammerhead Shark.

Sphyrna mokarran
Over many thousands of years, the Hammerhead Sharks have evolved to have the "T" shaped head, which aids in their detecting the differences in the magnetic fields, so that they can find Stingrays under the sand. The defensive response of the Stingray is to use the barb on the tail to lash out at a potential predator, by "throwing" the barb, as a last effort of defense. This extremely rare event occured to Steve Irwin, and we are so saddened by the loss of Steve.

Explore Underwater Online Magazine, is our way of sharing our explorations with friends around the world. We hope that you will visit often, and send us news of your explorations, and favorite discoveries. We'll share them with others through this online magazine. Together, we'll all promote the adventure of exploring underwater.

Monte, Irene, Jessica, and Alec

Photographer Monte Lee Thornton Grand Cayman Shore Snorkeling Guide Cayman Islands

Photo of Monte at Pirates Week Festivale 2008

Photographer Monte Lee Thornton Grand Cayman Shore Snorkeling Guide Cayman Islands

Photo of Monte at Pirates Week Festivale 2008
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