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Marine Places

North Pole Cave (S) Reef

A wall reef that begins with a descent through the “North Pole Cave” - a deep chimney that exits near the bottom of the wall. The surface of the wall to the south is relatively fl at. Divers return to the boat along the reef top, where anemones and cleaner shrimp abound in the numerous patch reef areas

Points of Interest

1. Schooling fish – Mahogany snapper, yellow goatfish, bermuda chub and grunts school together here for protection from predators

2. Staghorn coral – A fragile branching coral species that has become rare in the Caribbean. Damselfish often live in the branches of this coral

3. The chimney – The entrance to the “North Pole Cave” is identified by a marker buoy. Divers descend vertically and emerge through a wide crack stretching from 30 m/100 ft to the seabed at 40 m/130 ft

4. Shark zone – Caribbean reef sharks and hammerhead sharks are often seen in this site’s drop-off zone

5. Pillar coral – These beautiful corals grow in tall columns. Their large polyps are always extended, making the colony appear furry even during the day, when most corals keep their polyps hidden

6. Cleaning stations – Watch as bluehead wrasse, juvenile spanish hogfish and cleaning gobies remove parasites from their clients, as other fish patiently wait their turn 

7. Long-spined urchin zone – These urchins were very common on Caribbean reefs prior to a widespread die-out due to disease in the mid 1980’s. This site has an encouragingly healthy population of these otherwise rare creatures 

8. Pederson cleaning shrimp & corkscrew anemone – A great example of symbiosis in action; the anemone’s stinging tentacles protect the shrimp, as the shrimp cleans parasites off of client fish

Species to Discover

Atlantic Trumpetfish, Porcupinefish, Long-spined Urchin, Cleaning Goby, Porkfish, Mahogany Snapper, Pillar Coral, Yellow Goatfish, Honeycomb Cowfish, French Angelfish, Pederson Cleaning Shrimp, Graysby, Spotted Drum, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

North Pole Cave (S) Reef Points of Interestzoom image
  • Location San Salvador Island, Bahamas
  • Dive Site 12-50 m (50-150 ft)
North Pole Cave (S) Reef, San Salvador, Bahamaszoom image