|Coral and related species||Fish and related species|
Giant brain coral
Grooved brain coral
Smooth brain coral
Butterprint brain coral
Blushing star coral
Orange tube coral
Green cactus coral
Club finger coral
Mustard hill coral
Venus sea fan
Common sea fan
Corky sea fingers
Southern sting rays
Aerial view of the Inn, its pool, beach and the sea inside the reef
Marine survey confirms excellent snorkelling off Turtle Nest Inn beach
Survey Date: May 25-26, 1999
Surveyor: Nicole Wiegand, Underwater Parks Development, Indiana University
Method of Survey: GPS coordinates, snorkel equipment, tape measures, clipboards, mylar, compass headings
Depth of Site: 0-5 feet
Encounter with a sea turtle while snorkelling at the Inn, by Roger and Donna Smith.
Major Site Features
On the southeastern side of the site, outlining the fringing reef, lies an encrustation of elkhorn coral, staghorn coral and giant brain corals. Extending from the sandy shore, large beds of turtle grass stretches into thick patches. Scattered between the turtle grass and the fringing reef, lies a selection of soft and hard coral formations. Various aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates thrive in the coral heads. To the southwestern area of the site lies a diverse genus of brain coral, including a rare giant brain coral.
A spiny lobster and a blue tang, photographed by Tim and Nancy McLaughlin at the Inn.
Much of the coral is regenerating itself. Some of the coral has died off, but new coral crowns the dead. Therefore, or under any circumstance, none of the coral should be touched.
A great barracuda spotted by Nancy Bernstein and Terry Seelinger while snorkelling at TNI.
The main concern of the site is the strength of the current due to the nearby channel. The current comprises a south to southwest movement. For safety rationale, snorkelers should not swim outside the Turtle Nest Inn Lagoon area. Along the coral formations, near the fringing reef, powerful surges flow across the shallow site. A combination of strong surges and shallow depths, a snorkeler could possibly be harmed on nearby coral extensions. Encrusted along many of the coral formations, lies large patches of fire or stinging coral. The lagoon area may also receive a minimal amount of boat traffic.
A couple of underwater shots taken by Roger and Donna Smith, while snorkelling at Turtle Nest Inn.
A giant brain coral and some elkhorn coral, captured by Roger and Donna Smith off the Inn beach.
The Turtle Nest Inn Lagoon area comprises an excellent site for snorkeling. The abundance of aquatic life combined with the rejuvenation of coral formations, makes the site sensitive. The site contains a rare glimpseof shallow snorkeling, directly off shore.
Lani, Ari and Nancy snorkelling, with Turtle Nest Inn in the background.
Every snorkeler should have a floating dive flag due to possible boat traffic through the lagoon. The site should be marked as sensitive, and snorkelers should be made aware of the environmental considerations. Snorkelers should test the current by swimming against it before they venture far. Take caution when reaching the outer fringing reef area.
Some underwater shots taken by Tim and Nancy McLaughlin while snorkelling at Turtle Nest Inn.
Reef Fish Identification by Paul Humann
Underwater Archaeology by Professor Charles Beeker
Marine chart of Turtle Nest Inn beach