Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jardines de la Reina.

A few days ago, I came across this video on youtube of some pretty amazing scuba diving in Jardines de la Reina, or the Gardens of the Queen, in Cuba. Anderson Cooper went on assignment for 60 Minutes, and got to scuba dive the reefs down there, which are basically untouched by tourists (1000 divers per year, maximum). Don't get me started on how jealous I am that Anderson Cooper got to go there, but let's be real - it's Anderson Cooper. Everybody loves Anderson Cooper. I can't even be mad.

Anyway, back to real life. The Cuban reefs in the video are similar in some ways to the barrier reef just off of Belize. When I was a junior in high school, my dad, my brother, and I took an amazing trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize. We saw a lot of similar species to the ones in the video. Huge groupers, parrotfish, reef sharks, etc. Seeing the Cuban reefs in the video brought back all those sweet memories.

After watching the 60 Minutes clip, I stumbled upon another video about environmental conservation efforts in Cuba, with a large portion dedicated to the pristine condition of the reefs. It's called "Cuba: the Accidental Eden", and it's a PBS video totally worth 50 minutes of your life. If you like reefs, scuba diving, and/or Cuba (among many other things), you should really watch it.

These are just a couple photos of the Cuban reefs I found online (taken from the Environmental Defense Fund website). I especially like the second photo, with the sharks lurking in the background.

A Black Grouper.

A Queen Triggerfish.
Also, here's a hot tip from 11 year-old Lindsay: Don't paint your nails with shiny, blue nail polish and then go snorkeling, and feed bread to triggerfish in the Red Sea. THEY WILL BITE YOU.
You can thank me later.

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