SCUBA DIVING INSPIRES UNDERWATER TATTOOS (AND TOE NAIL POLISH)

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Chasing Ink With Camera!
One Day On A Little Cayman Dive Boat

The compass has a dive flag. Celtic ink with 3 waves for the dive world

Stripping down in Little Cayman's only food store
Little Cayman Island, population 200, attracts only two types of visitors.  Ornithologists. Experienced Scuba Divers.
Ornithologists because of the birds. The largest colony of Red Footed Boobies in the Caribbean is found on Little Cayman's Booby Pond. Scuba Divers go there because of the sheer wall of coral found in the island's underwater preserve, just north of the island.
My wife and I returned from Little Cayman Island on Sunday.  We weren't there for the birds.
Flamingo is the logo for dive haven Bonaire.
We spent most of our week on a couple of dive boats. One large scuba boat was operated by Reef Divers out of the Little Cayman Resort.  The other, a small Boston Whaler operated by three divers, was out on the reef hunting the invasive lionfish.
Big or small, on Little Cayman the dive boats attract mature divers.  Youngest diver on the Reef Divers boat with us was probably 40.  The Oldest? 85 and counting.
A mature crowd meant people experienced in the sport. They   also were a well-heeled group who brought the best equipment and dressed in the nicest clothes. Polite. Sophisticated. Educated.
But, what was shocking was once the shirts came off and the men and women dropped trou, you got to see how dedicated, in private, these divers are to the sport of scuba diving.
 The pictures on this blog were all taken over a 24-hour period. One morning was spent diving on Bloody Bay Wall with Reef Divers.  The afternoon was spent with three lion fish hunters.  I grabbed a lot of pictures with my loaner Olympus E-PL3 while taking a surface interval in the pool with fellow scuba fanatics at Little Cayman Resort.  I learned quickly that high-end diving  brought out the ink in people. 
No one was shy about showing their colours. Arms dripping images of sharks, jelly fish, octopi and whales. Feet etched in pictures of dolphins.  A woman with a turtle and a butterfly on her shoulder.  Another with a leatherback tattoo on her ankle.
I took pictures of every aquatic tattoo I saw before and after just one day of diving. No one turned me down. No one wondered what I was doing.
Cheers Mate! And Bottoms up with White Fin
All but one of the pictures were taken on the two boats or in the freshwater pool.  I was also lucky enough to get a picture of a manta ray that was on the back of a man shopping in the island's only store.  He had no qualms about stripping off his shirt in the middle of the canned goods aisle to let me get my picture!
Of course, not everyone wants ink and, as I found out,  there were alternatives.  I did photograph a woman's two big toes that have been decorated with red and white nail polish to look like dive flags.  And I also met up with an ink-free diver who was content to stand in the pool and honour his sport by drinking a can of  White Fin Lager inspired by Jaws and brewed by Cayman Islands Brewery.
This diver had the help of her husband to put dive flags on her toes. She did the red polish, he the white.

Comments

Jasmine said…
Crazy nice tattoos.
John Wayne said…
Wow nice post! It seems that you have good information on tattoos. I love tattoo art very much. I have couple of tattoos on my both of my hands but I want to get a permanent one. Can you please suggest a Cayman Tattoo artist around Little Cayman?

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