Yemaya dive site at María La Gorda
depth range:100 feet
features: chimney like fracture in the wall from 12m to 33 m deep. wall dive.
Yemaya is the Goddess of the sea in the Santeria religion, an African religion practised in Cuba. The dive starts on a near vertical wall and finishes on the shallow reef that tops the wall at about 12 metres. Within the wall there are deep gouges that make good tunnels for divers to explore. All sorts of obscure sponges line the tunnels and the wall including elephant's ear, barrel and many other encrusting or bulbous forms. The coral growth is equally diverse with beautiful sea fans, staghorn, black, whip and elkhorn varieties on display, more pelagics on the wall where there were tuna and a shoal of about fifty jacks.
There are many less well-known sponges, such as elephant’s ear and barrel sponge. There is also an abundance of spectacular corals including sea fans, staghorn, black, whip and elkhorn. The fish life is abundant and varied including shoals of tuna and jacks, as wells as barracuda, tarpon, crabs and lobsters. This is a wonderful site to explore, and to observe and interact with an array of marine species in their natural habitat.
Leaving the final tunnel there was a purple vase sponge with three colourful shrimps in it. Away from the wall there were barracuda and two tarpon scaring off all the smaller fish and a large crab and a lobster under some rocks.
This site is suitable for advanced divers only, as there can be strong currents in the area, and the maximum dive depths exceed 30m. Visibility is good, and is usually in excess of 30m, making it a fantastic site for sub-marine photography.