Diving in South Florida: Day 1

August 2, 2009

Today was my first trip out with Kevin from Underwater Explorers.  Several friends and acquaintances have recommended him to me… Tracey Barba, Tim Owens… not to mention, Penny had been out with him at least once a few years back.

Our first dive was in the area of Black Condo… at least that’s what I think the name of the reef was… the first half of the dive was pretty cool…. and the second half mediocre.  The current changed direction and it forced a change in plans.  Although it was intended to be a drift dive, it required more swimming.  Our dive was just over an hour and the water temperature was around 86-87F.  Being this close to the Gulf Stream has it’s advantages!

On the 2nd dive, I added an additional pound of weight which dialed me right in.  Since I haven’t been warm water diving in over 2 years, it always takes me a bit to get readjusted.  For me, that was the first dive.  This second dive I was much more in tune with the small macro life, and pretty much blocked out the big picture…. yeh… I was paying attention enough to know where Penny was and where the others were drifting off to, but I was really into seeing the small stuff.

Some of my favorite items are cleaning stations.  Love those little shrimp/spider like critters that clean the parasites off of other fish and such.  Very cool.

As I was drifting across the reef, saw a big fat Green Moray Eel.  He didn’t seem crazy about seeing us, and gave us the typical toothy greeting.  I’m guessing he was 6-7 ft long, but happily stayed in his crevice.

Further along we saw a variety of spotted eel… a smaller fella about 2 ft long, white with black spots.  In addition, there were quite a few Angelfish… big pan sized…. Grey, French, and Queen…. definitely numerous.

Despite putting on sun screen before the first dive, I got quite red from today…. The dives were worth it though.  More to come tomorrow!


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