Sun 29-Mar-98, Subject: Dive Report:
Fly To Marathon, Marathon Sea Food Fest, Lobster Dive

Sunday Morning, 29-Mar-98, 8:00 am, Piper Warrier, PA 28, N42998 departed Patrick AFB Aeroclub,
Pilot: Mike Hughes
Route: Patrick, Direct Melbourne, V437 Pahokee, V601 SWAGS, Direct Marathon, VFR, Altitiute 6500'. Flying Weather: Clear, vis 10 miles. During the trip around Lake Okeechobee, while under flight following from Miami Center, traffic was called opposite direction, same altitute, 4 miles. We descended to 6000' and the traffic passed exactly where we were a minute ago. A great thanks to Miami Flight Following . We arrived at Marathon at 10:00 am, weather clear 80 degrees, wind from the SE at 10 and all the water a beautiful Blue/Green. Mike parked at the EXON FBO on the East end of the airport.

Arriving at the Marathon Sea Food Festival 10:30, admission was $2. SFF's speciality is Florida Lobster Dinners! This is a small SFF with 6 food booths, @30 Vendors, Live Local Music, Boat and Motor Display. The food, music, scenary, 4-sale items etc were all GREAT. We'd like to thank the Marathon Pilot that supplied FREE transportation for us.

Dive Trip Report to : Marathon

Diving: Middle Keys Scuba Center , 11511 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, (305)-743-2902, about mile east of the Airport (eastern most FBO). We supplied a bathing suit, towel, fins, boots and snorkel/mask. For $80, the dive shop supplied a wet suit, two tanks, BC, weights and a trip. The boat leaves at 1:30.

Dive #1: , My Dive # 111 (Yea it's out of order!).
A. Dive Location: "Elbow" reef - can't find it in the dive books yet!?
B. Conditions:
Visability: Vis 30' (not the greatest but it was OK),
Seas: 2-3' with winds out of the ENE at 15 and some minor surge on the bottom.
Water Temp: was a chilling 73
Skies: Clear and visability unlimited
Air Temp : around 80 in the warm Florida Sun,
C. Dive Information: We spent 55 minutes discovering this really beautiful reef. Max depth was @ 15'. There were lots of blue sea fans, colored coral, reef fingers, fish, and of course BUGS (Florida Lobster) . This was my first time at this reef and it really rated among the best. We managed to bag 6 out of 8 Bugs. Most of them were in small holes and required just a poker stick instead of a loop/stick combination to coax them out.

The second dive was canceled due to several reasons beyond our control such as rough seas, sea sick snorkler, one diver getting back way past the 1 hour time limit, and our need to be back on the dock by NLT 5:15 in order to get to the airport before the FBO closed. We were given a partial credit for the next dive trip! We later discovered that if we had pre-paid our gas at the FBO, we would not need to be back by 6. There is a passenger gate available after hours.

This Author was the pilot on the return trip. We retraced our route down, except we were at 3000' (due to diving) and IFR. The trip back was partially at night and we did run into and through some clouds on the way back. You could see cities on both the East and West coast of the state at night! Our trip ended back at Patrick at 8:30, and after refueling, putting away the plane and filling out the paperwork, we were home by 9:30 PM. It was a long day, but we did it all, and all in one day!

If your a pilot and like to dive, this makes for a real fun and interesting day. Call the dive shop ahead of time for resevations.

Last Updated: 10-July-2002

The Irishman Software's, West Melbourne, Florida
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