25-May-98, West Palm Beach - Kollers%20Reef -
Capt Rodney Lee, Sr 800-903-dive (2483)

Dive Trip Report: 13 Divers, Most from the Space Coast Descenders The dive boat uses a wood platform on the back of the boat for in/outís. Itís much better than a ladder!
Weather: Sunny, Clear Blue Skies (CBS), wind from the SE 8-12 knots, Waves 1-3í largest during 2nd and 3rd dives, temp 80-90ís, water was clear with vis about 30í (not the real deep blue color you can sometimes get).

Dive #1: Flower Garden (Mitzpa wreck dive canceled due to very strong current), My Dive # 116
1. Dive Parameters: Air Usage 2900 - 700 lbs, dive depth 52', time 40 min, bottom temp 79 deg - 3 mm full wet suit
2. Saw: Lots of grass, some coral, some fish, 2 big turtles (egg laying season is upon us), 1 bug. This was a fast drift dive, for some time we were lead against the current rather then just going with it.

Dive #2: Bath and Tennis, My Dive # 117
1. Dive Parameters: Air Usage 3100 - 800 lbs, dive depth 50', time 26 min, (38 min after 1st dive), bottom temp 79 deg.
2. Saw: Again, lots of grass, Two Turtles, 1 green eel, 1 spotted eel, bugs. This drift dive was much slower in support for some photography. There was some real interesting macro sightings - particulary some Christmas tree worms on a heavy cable.

Great Lunch -Rodney feed us well with cold cut sandwhiches.

Dive #3: Breakers, My Dive # 118
1. Dive Parameters: Air Usage 3100 - 800 lbs, dive depth 59', time 40 min, (124 min after 2nd dive), bottom temp 79 deg.
2. Saw: 5 Turtles, 2 green eel, spotted eel, lots of fish, lots of coral, lots of colors. The Breakers Reef is always the highlight of any WPB dive.

Computers really made this a do-able dive. During the third dive, which was called as 60í for 35 minutes, we saw our NDT limits go from 1+ hour down to 15 minutes. Dive computers are a must for safe multiple dives.

Main Dive Group Dive Report

We met at the Bell South Mobility parking lot at 3:00 PM on Sunday and 14 folks headed for West Palm by 3:30. We got there by 5:45 which gave us plenty of time to check into our rooms and get dinner before meeting the Koller's Reef boat at 7:20 PM at the Riviera Marina.
We met up with 2 more divers at the dock making a total of 16 people for the night dive. We pulled out of the dock and headed for the dive site around 8:00 PM.
Although we had a number of equipment problems and weight problems, we got everything resolved and everyone had a WONDERFUL dive. The water was warm and the seas were flat.
We saw lots of sleeping fish in their 'sleep cacoons'. There were tiny shrimp everywhere. You wouldn't be able to see them during the day, but at night, when the light hits them, their little eyes glow.
Lobster where out just taking an evening stroll. They really do know when lobster season starts and they knew it wasn't season on Sunday.
Ann won the night dive T-shirt drawing. Way to go, Ann.
After the dive, 7 folks headed home and 9 headed for the motel.
We got up at 7:00 AM on Monday and headed to Shoney's for the breakfast buffet. We were at the dock by 9:15 where we met up with 4 more divers making a total 13 for the day. We were on our way out to the dive site by 10:00 AM.
We broke up into 2 groups and had 3 wonderful dives. Again, the lobster were out in full force. We saw lots and lots and lots of different kinds of fish including French Angles, Queen Angles, BIG grouper, pork fish, hog fish, snapper, and your other typical reef fish. We also saw a couple of rather large barracuda hanging around.
The seas were 1 - 2 foot, the water was warm (surface 80 degrees), and the vis was wonderful (50 feet at least). There was a slight current, less than what I'm used to in West Palm. It was very easy to swim against the current, but who'd want to?
After the second dive, Captain Rodney made us lunch. Subs and chips and pound cake. This gave us about 1 1/2 hours of up time before our last dive.
By the last dive, the tide had turned and was going out. This caused the vis to drop to around 35/40 feet, but it was still beautiful!
On the last dive, group one came upon 5 sea turtles including hawks bill and logger heads. They are plentiful this time of year in this area since it is egg laying season. Group 1 also saw a couple of large green moray eels and a very large coral crab. Group 2 only saw one turtle on the last dive, but it was HUGE!!!!! A very large hawks bill turtle. Perry got some pictures of the big guy. Maybe we can get George to post some of the pictures on his web site.
Group 2 also found the 7 foot statue of Neptune at the end of the 3rd dive at the north end of Breaker's Reef. You can hardly tell that it is a statue anymore. It has been completely taken over by coral. However, it stands by itself in the sand which makes it obvious that it isn't a natural structure.
Bobby won the T-shirt drawing for the day trip. Way to go, Bobby!
We got back to the dock around 4:30 and loaded the cars for the ride home. We stopped at Cracker Barrel in Ft. Pierce for dinner on the way home. We got back to Melbourne around 8:00 PM. We all had a wonderful time!
Next planned dive is a beach dive on Sunday June 28th. I'll be sending out more details as we get the plans made.

Happy Diving!

PPS - There has been some interest expressed about arranging a dive trip to the Keys. This can be done to include bringing non-divers for a snorkle trip on the same boat as the divers. The Keys are shallow dives - 30 foot - with no current. You can do a 2 tank trip with each dive being 1 hour at total cost of $35. Snorklers are $20. Dive equipment rentals are approximately $30. Note: this is all tentative and I'm trying to get a feel if there is enough interest to set this up.

Last Updated: 10-July-2002

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