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Patch Reef | by Seth Patterson
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Patch Reef

During our recent stay in Mexico's Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve we spent everyday exploring the rich marine ecosystems of the Caribbean. We would set out mid-morning and not return till sunset, often spending eight or more hours in the water.

 

To reach the reef we had to traverse vast expanses of grass flats. One of the most incredible encounters within this sea of grasses are the random patches of small reef and coral heads. These micro habitats always seem to provide shelter to an impressive assortment of fish and invertebrates and often in a density much higher than average along larger sections of reef.

 

At first we thought the long swim across the grass flats would be fraught with the anticipation of reaching the reef but in fact we found ourselves spending much time just drifting along the flats looking for these wonderful patch reefs. Eager to discover the many secrets they possessed.

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Taken on December 27, 2011