Legends of Diving Articles
Personal Account by Ben Rose
The marine identification course has its roots in my first
years at UNEXSO. Bob Farley and Dave Woodward suggested that
we put together a book on fish identification. Then, we
decided to implement a course on general marine
identification. I was really keen to do this course as it
brought all my skills and interests together.
Thirty people attended the first course. I was absolutely
stunned that there were that many people on Grand Bahama who
were interested. And, to be frank, it wasn’t my best course.
I might have had all the knowledge, but I needed to learn to
teach and that first course gave me the opportunity to
understand the nature of teaching and put the subject into a
context and format that people could understand.
I developed a “water column” concept; looking at surface
dwellers, midwater dwellers, reef dwellers and bottom
dwellers. We soon added dives to the course. The objective
here was to give people an opportunity to understand the
nature of the ocean: its white sand plains, turtle grass
beds, its reefs and the microstructure that is there.
Frankly, I think it makes diving more interesting and
assists divers in understanding the fragility of the living
ocean. You can stay on a coral head for an hour (or more,
much to the consternation of some of the divers) and see an
entire tiny world of critters going about their business.
In my book, the most beautiful little fish on the reef is
the fairy baslet, probably because purple is my favorite
color. I picked up the scientific names for fish as I
Until a diver really begins to look and to see the
microcosms that make up the living ocean, there is a
tendency to think that there is nothing there. Only then can
you understand that there is an entire life system out there
that is incredibly important to the ecology of the ocean.
UNEXSO Guide and Marine Expert
At an early age
Ben Rose knew he belonged in the ocean. He came to UNEXSO in
1965 already with amateur experience in diving. There he learned
to dive with sharks. He has expanded his knowledge of sharks to
expert level. He started a marine identification program,
identifying and categorizing species of fish in the Caribbean.
He is an avid writer, sharing his experiences through personal
accounts of diving history and diving with sharks.
(Read more accounts by Ben Rose)
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