The clear blue waters that surround the Caribbean islands are home to some of the world's most stunning underwater treasures. Coral reefs form beautiful underwater gardens visited by angels, horse eye jacks, blue tangs and stingrays. Dolphins come to the shallows to feed whilst humpback whales come to flirt, sing songs, and play. These are the hidden treasures waiting to be found in the Caribbean.
For the sailors that visit the Caribbean islands coral reefs are a hazard to be avoided, but for everyone else they are a sight not to be missed. They are a fabulously rich environment full of groupers, star corals and Caribbean reef sharks. Here are the stories of everyday struggles for life, fights to the death and night time escapades of carnivorous animals looking for a meal - and that's just the coral. These reefs are the Caribbean's real, living treasure.
The biggest treasure to be found anywhere in the Caribbean is Belize's Barrier reef. It runs for over 200 kilometres along the coast of Belize. There are coral atolls and perfect blue holes. It's one of the few places where manatees can be seen gliding gracefully over the reef. At certain times of the year there is a magical scene when the corals can be seen spawning. A mass synchronised release of sperm and eggs into the sea. Fish also gather over the reef for group spawning and this in turn gives rise the Barrier reefs most stunning sight. Whale sharks come up from the deep for a feeding frenzy, gorging themselves on the glut of food.
Everything from Spanish galleons to Russian Frigates can be found in the waters of the Caribbean. But if the shipwrecks are empty of the gold and silver treasures they once carried, they are now home to new treasures. Their structures are clad in weird and wonderful corals of every colour. Schools of fish now swim through their holds, moray eels pass through the gunnels and sharks patrol the decks. The RMS Rhone is now one of the British Virgin Islands most popular attractions. Lost to a hurricane it hit a reef and sunk off the desolate Salt Island. Today it is a mecca for divers who explore its coral encrusted remains in the hope of spotting a resident lobster or sleeping nurse shark.
In times past reefs created many ship wrecks, today it is ships that are creating reefs. With the popularity of diving, ships are now deliberately sunk . Anything from small humble tugs to grand, ocean going warships are sent to the bottom of the Caribbean sea. Here they help create artificial reefs and new homes for the marine life of the Caribbean. Nearly every island can now boast its very own "shipwreck."
Eighty miles off the coast of the Dominican Republic is an area known simply as Silverbanks. Its name comes from a huge fortune of silver lost here hundreds of years ago. But today there is another much bigger treasure to be discovered. Every year the waters fill with the sound of whale song as thousands of humpback whales pass through the region. They've come here to the relative safety of these shallow waters to give birth, play and find a mate. Watching two young whales flirting and teasing with each other is a Caribbean spectacle to be treasured forever.
Narrated by: Steve Toussaint
Written by: Sophie Cooper
Title: Wild Caribbean-Reefs And Wrecks
File Size: 744 MB
Video Length: 00:48:40
Video Codec: XviD
Video Resolution: 640x352
VIdeo Bitrate: 2089 kbit/s
Audio Bitrate: 192 kbit/s
Audio Codec: (AC3)
Subtitles: (External English)