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January 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

the Caribbean of yesteryear

from the January, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dolphin Dive Center - Little Corn Island, NicaraguaNot many divers visit the Corn Islands, one reason being that they've never heard of these little Caribbean isles, about 50 miles off the Nicaragua coast. Little Corn is about 1.5 square miles, with no cars, motorcycles or even golf carts, but full of amiable folks, good shallow reef diving, diverse cuisine, and lots of charm. Entirely without glitter or much of a tourist infrastructure, it's my kind of place. So, thanks to an invitation to a Nicaraguan wedding, I toured the fine colonial cities of Leon and Granada, which is bordered by the imposing Lake Nicaragua, and did some spearfishing in the Pacific. Then, I grabbed a flight from Managua for eight days on Corn Island.

I wasn't sure what to expect, though I had read a ten-year-old Undercurrent article that suggested a diver might be bored after a few days. I certainly wasn't. While this is surely standard Caribbean diving, it's far from the madding crowd, with unspoiled, unbleached reefs. After six days of diving, I would have welcomed more.

Perhaps a unique diving feature is the ubiquitous and gregarious nurse sharks. On my first dive at Jeff's Rock, the ocean was bumpy and visibility about 60 feet (18m) or less. Soon after I hit the water, I was approached by a curious fivefoot nurse shark that followed us around for most of the dive (hmm, like he was looking for a handout, but my shop did no feeding). Among the reefs and small canyons, I came across two others, as well as a good-sized western stingray, plenty of tropicals, but not in large numbers. The depths ran 50-80 feet (15-25m), and water a constant 84°F (29°C) in November....

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