We did four dives on Saturday, Sep. 19 and two more on Sunday.
Dive 1 : The wreck of the Tortuga , a beautiful wreck with lots of swimthroughs and nice relief. I logged a max depth of 98' with a bottom time of 20 minutes by computer. Visibility was poor near the surface, but opened up to about 60' on the bottom --- along with a 3 degree temperature drop from 80F down to 77F on the wreck. The divemaster had some trouble hooking on to this wreck due to confusing cross-currents at different depths, and we suffered, quietly, the yelled insults from two fishing boats who were anchored nearby and didn't appreciate our appearance on the scene. But the wait was well worth it for this dive.
Dive 2 : The wreck of the Matthew Lawrence and the Army Tanks . I logged a max depth of 46' and a bottom time of 48 minutes. A line of rebar stuck in the sand marks the way from the wreck over to the army tanks. We found one lobster hiding under a piece of wreckage and a purple nudibranch in the rock pile near one of the army tanks. Visibility was about 50', temperature 78F.
We returned to the dive shop to get new tanks and a bite to eat before our night dives. The shop phoned out for pizza, which was at the shop waiting for us when we returned.
Dive 3 : A twilight dive on the "C1" and Concepcion. Max depth 72' and bottom time 42 minutes.
Dive 4 : Fantasy Reef, a long stretch of ledge with lots of nooks and crannies. Visibility wasn't too good, in fact I had to turn off my UK1200 and just use my daytime light since the backscatter from the UK1200 made it hard to see what the light was pointed at! This was a beautiful reef, but its nooks and crannies were all surprisingly devoid of critters other than reef shrimp. I did find one colony of juvenile basket stars in a soft coral.
Dive 5: On Sunday, our first dive was Teneco Towers , which I've always done out of Lauderdale rather than Miami, but it was an easy ride from the Haulover Cut. This site is more beautiful each time I dive it, with abundant growths of gorgonians and dramatic schools of reef fish. I logged 94' max depth and 28 minutes bottom time. A 5' green moray greeted us when we got down to the sand under the main tower.
Dive 6 : Our last dive was the Crane Wreck , a place of low relief and little interest. A construction crane once upright now slinks along the murky bottom. I logged 75' and 38 minutes bottom time, most of which was spent in the misguided belief that whatever was interesting about the site would soon come into view.
We dove with
, located on the south side of Sunny Isle Boulevard (route 826) north of
Haulover Beach. The
crew and shop staff were friendly and helpful
, and the
Irish pub next door
provided an outstanding selection of decompression fluids. Parking at the
Winter Haven Hotel
down on 14th Street was a nightmare, however, and we will probably try to find
more practical accomodations somewhere closer to the dive shop in future.
Last Updated: 10-July-2002
Last Updated: 10-July-2002