Dive Trip Report to: Pepper Park
Purpose: Beach Dive / DEMA Pictures
Yet another wonderful dive!
6 of us met at my house between 6:30 and 7:00am on Saturday. We loaded up and headed for Pepper Park. It was an hour drive and we go to the park around 8:15am. Here we met up with 5 other divers. We organized our buddy teams and headed into the water.
The entry was a snap. A little bit of surf, but not bad. I was with 2 of our youth group Crew members. We carried our fins and masks until we got passed the breakers. As soon as we were ready, we dropped to the bottom and SCUBA'ed out to the first reef. The first reef is about 70 yards from the beach. There was a bit of a surge that kept sweeping me sideways. My compass was spinning (seems to do this as you approach the first reef - iron ore maybe?) so I focused in on the sand ripples to keep my bearings straight.
We hit the first reef and vis was only about 8 to 10 feet. The first reef is rather boring. Flat rocks with some vegetation and small tropicals. We immediately crossed over the first reef and headed for the second. The second reef had some ledges with a little bit of relief. We headed south on the second reef since there was a very mild north current. It wasn't long before I decided to take my group out to the third reef (about 120 yards from the beach). The third reef line has a lot of ledges and relief with all kinds of nooks and crannys. This is where all the really neat stuff starts. Our group saw a couple of lobster (good size), a rather large snook hanging out under a ledge, a hawks bill turtle sleeping way up under a ledge, a barracuda, sea cucumbers, lots of fish, and more sea urchins than I care to remember. They were EVERYWHERE!!!!! At the third reef, we had 15-20 foot of vis.
Max depth was 20 feet with it getting shallower as we got farther out. The third reef was only in about 12 foot of water.
Halfway through our dive, I surfaced to get our bearings. Since the north current wasn't very strong, we turned around and headed north for the second half of our dive. I checked the shore occassionally and when we got to the place where we entered the water, we headed back in.
We had an hour dive and still had 1200 lbs of air left (except Cathy who doesn't breath - she had over 2000 lbs! :-)
After the dive, we met up with Wayne and George's group that dove the Urca de Lima wreck (1000 feet north of Pepper Park) for the group picture for DEMA. They had 4 in their group. There were also 3 other divers on the beach and we invited them to get into the picture. We had a total of 18 divers to add to the world's largest group dive attempt.
Wayne is organizing another beach dive for next Saturday.
Bookmark Wayne's web site. He's got beach dives scheduled all summer to explore the Treasure Coast wrecks.
I just spoke with Christy from the Olguine Company (DEMA's PR company for the world record attempt) and she told me that they had 70 divers on the San Diego dive and they are estimating a total of approximately 980 divers all together around the country! We had 18 in our group.
Christy will be sending me all of the specifics once they are compiled. I will send them out as soon as I get them.