Our dive today was on a charter that took us out to the northwest side of Providenciales (also known as “Provo”) in Turks and Caicos. Our guide described the area as the “Black Coral Forest,” and it was a good dive to get reacquainted with scuba diving in general, as it had been over a year and half since we had last gone diving. You can see my son here next to a giant barrel sponge, which is the largest species of sponge found growing on Caribbean coral reefs. I learned that a barrel sponge that size could be as much as 100 years old, as this species tends to only grow between 1 and 1 1/2 cm per year.
We didn’t see a lot of fish or other sea animals on this dive, but here’s a closer look at some of the black coral … the color looks bluer than black, but it gives you an idea of what populates the area. Scroll down below the picture for a short video from this dive.