The Friendly Grouper

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013, Joy’s Joy dive site, Little Cayman

Jane and I spent a few days on Little Cayman.  We did a few organized dives during which we saw the occasional friendly-seeming Nassau Grouper, but nothing like the one at Joy’s Joy. 

We stopped on our way from Little Cayman to Cayman Brac at a dive site called Joy’s Joy on the Bloody Bay Wall on the north shore of Little Cayman.  It has a a nice coral garden, a mini-wall between ~40 and 70 ft and then a drop off to 6000 ft.  The two of us dove the site three times (including one night dive).  On each dive, while I was below ~40 ft, a grouper followed me around for the duration of the dive (Jane said that as soon as it saw me it started following like a puppy, swimming a couple of feet away).  It seemed to enjoy being petted (see video).  I have seen Nassau groupers before, and they are pretty standoffish.  These ones are clearly habituated to divers, but there are strict no feeding rules.  I can think of no explanation for this behavior.

8 thoughts on “The Friendly Grouper

  1. Groupers in the Caribbean are often friendly and curious. A 4-ft one followed us around on a dive off Cozumel in December 2011. I didn’t try to tickle it, though.

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