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Enjoy Little Cayman Diving at its Best!

Autumn 1999

Interview with Ben the Grouper®

Those who have dived with us already know Ben the Grouper®, the famous friendly mascot of Bloody Bay, living on Mixing Bowl, Marilyn's Cut and Donna's Delight. In an exclusive interview with two of Paradise Divers' instructors, Ben revealed a few of his secrets and talked about his Benpreoccupations.

Harold: Ben, how do you explain your fascination with scuba divers?

Ben: Well, it goes back to my early childhood, when I was still a wiggling minnow. I was always attracted by the noise you make underwater, and frankly, you are rather ugly and most clumsy. But on the other hand, you are also very large, strong, colorful and a lot more efficient than the cleaning fish.

Vinny: Then you just consider us to be large cleaning fish, is that it?

Ben: Of course. Why, do you serve another purpose?

Harold: Hmm. Ben, tell us about your reef neighbors. Do you have enemies, friends, or business partners?

Ben: Definitely. The reef is a complex and quite amusing society. I don't really have that many enemies, apart from an occasional shark cruising the top of the reef. I'm too fat for the barracudas and too small for the sea monsters. Actually, the real danger comes from the fishermen who come here despite the fact that it is forbidden to fish in the Park.

Harold: What about friends?

Ben: My nephew Jerry is my best companion, even though he sometimes gets on my nerves by imitating me. But he will be perfect to take over my contract when I get too old for this. Otherwise, I get along with the green morays, we sometimes hunt together, or at least I like to think of it that way...

Vinny: Ben, we are aware that you're a pretty busy grouper, so would there be a last message you'd like to give to the guests of Paradise Divers?

Ben: Yes. I love playing with the divers but only as long as they respect me and my environment. I don't really like to be poked in the eyes and simply hate being petted against my scales. And regarding your long plastic fins, they can cause tremendous damage to my reef gardens. Please be cautious and remain well above them. Oh, and one last thing: Jerry and I are probably a bit strange, liking human-fish contact the way we do. But the other creatures don't, so try to leave them alone... They have a right to a peaceful existence.

Vinny: Thanks a lot, Ben. We hope to see you soon underwater!

Ben: You're most welcome. My reef is yours to enjoy.

Photos courtesy of Bob Klernow

Rare Encounters Underwater

The divers of Little Cayman recently had the visit of unusual neighbors. We are all used to seeing hundreds of colorful tropical fish, as well as the many friendly turtles, eagle rays, sting rays, green morays  and the occasional blacktip or reef shark. But lately, divers have been Banana Windcoming back up with stories of hammer head sharks and manta rays. Now, we're all aware of the chronic tendency of divers and fishermen to exaggerate a bit, but this is no fish story, reports are confirmed! Some even dare mention the sacred name of Molly   the Manta who disappeared in 1995. She is unlikely to be back, but we sure hope that the newcomers will enjoy the place and pay us an extended visit.

Without a doubt, though, the great winner of every diver's heart this summer has been Spot  the dolphin. Spot is a solitary dolphin that first appeared in Grand Cayman around the beginning of this year. Amazingly tame and obviously enjoying the company of humans, he stayed there for a few months before moving on to the Brac and remaining there a few more months. 

Finally, having probably heard that the best diving is in Little Cayman (or so we say ;-), he's now decided to come and pay us a regular visit on Bloody Bay, charming everybody with his playfulness and letting both divers and snorkelers share with him a few memorable moments of fun and graceful  games.

Spot appears to be a young bottlenose and seems to have been in contact with people before, which lead some of us to believe he might have come from one of the training facilities in Central America that were severely hit by the passage of hurricane Mitch, last year. But nothing has confirmed that hypothesis so far, and we simply will keep enjoying his presence, as long as he pleases, without knowing the secrets of his past.

Did you know that...

This web site has been thoroughly tested for total year 2000 compliance and the data sent to our research center. The results should be known around... June 2001.


The staff at Paradise Divers     

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