Author: Doug (---.dsl.stlsmo.swbell.net)
Date: 03-01-05 13:58
People have always told me that barracudas attack if they think you are food. Food are usually small, silvery fish. If the water is very murky and you are wearing a watch that glints in the sunlight, that could possibly precipitate an attack. If the water is clear enough to enjoy snorkling he'll see that you are way too big for food and leave you alone (it says right here!). Anyway, I always leave my watch on-shore ;-).
I have seen 2 sharks in Culebra waters. One was west of Luis Pena, the other was off Tortuga Beach on Culebrita. The one off Luis Pena was about 2 feet long; the Culebrita one was 6 or 7 feet long. Both were nurse sharks, which are reputed to be very docile. Both fish were far less menacing looking than the barracuda I have seen.
The two most hazardous things you are likely to encounter are unexploded ordinance (looks like rusty pipe) and the reef itself. If there is current or surf, you must take great care to keep from being swept onto the coral. It has razor sharp ridges and it can tear you up good. Also fire coral can burn skin badly, so learn to identify it and avoid it. Avoid touching all coral, anyway, because you are as hazardous to it as it is to you. Disturbing coral can be lethal to the reef.