Dive Florida - Reefs, Fish, Blue/Green Water

Dive Trip Report to: West Palm Beach, Sept 22, 2002
Purpose: Shark Dive!

Pictures by the Irishman using an inexpensive under $100 35 mm camera: There's a shark out there! , Lot's of fish , Shark , Shark , Shark

Dive Reports:

Dive #1: . My Dive #413
A. Dive Boat / Location: Abernathy out of West Palm Beach (22nd St Marina) / Shark Canyon (up near Jupiter)
B. Conditions:
Visibility: 70 ft! Real good vis, light blue waters.
Seas: 1 -2 feet
Water Temp: 82 on the bottom. It's still nice and warm.
Skies: Sunny, Clear Blue Sky's - Typial of Florida!!
Air Temp: high 80's
C. Dive Information:
Depth & Time: Me: Genesis Nitrox Dive Computer - 90 ft for 36 min, PO2 1.19 on 32% NITROX.
Air consumption: Me: (120 cu ft), 3500 lbs to 1300 lbs! Lot's of air and bottom time were still available.
Current: Mild to the north
Description: Well, this was my first SHARK watching / counting or whatever else you want to call the Non-Feeding dive. We were up at 4:30 am (UGH - even for me as a morning person)! A group met at my condo at 5:15 am, we left for West Palm at 5:40 am. By 7:15 am, we were at McDonalds at I-95 and Blue Heron in West Palm for breakfast. By 7:30 am we were at Abernathy's Shop signing in. By 8:00 am most divers were on the boat setting up the equipment. We had a 41 footer. With only a dozen divers, three mates and the captain on board, there was lot's of spare room. The consesus was taken and to Shark Canyon we went. It was to be an hour boat ride. The seas were not too rough ( 1 - 3 ft ), but the boat rocked and rolled all over. By the time we were at Shark Canyon, we all were ready to hit the water.

We all went in, stayed on the top and headed down together. The vis was great. We were about 50 feet from the reef line, so that's where I headed. Maybe I could get a bug or two while waiting for the sharks to appear. Well, it was only a few minutes into the dive before our first black tip appeared. He was just at the outer range of our visibility, so there are no pictures. We drifted to a large opening in the reef line. It was about a 50 foot circle in the reefline. I believe this was the ampitheator that was used for the feedings. The black tip was still 30 feet inshore of us. There was an small (8 ft) nurse shark swimming around us. I did manage to get some pictures and will have them up shortly.

In general the reef line was very pretty. There was about 3 - 8 feet of relief from the sand to the top of the reef. There were colors which was very supprising at the depth we were at. It was mostly oranges. There were a good number of small fish. And of course we did spot one turtle. No bugs were seen.

Well in summary, some said they saw a dozen or more sharks. I saw at least one black tip and maybe two nurse sharks. I probably saw them several times. So either there were a lot of sharks seen only a few times or a few seen a lot. But there were some sharks and that was the goal of the dive!

Dive #2: . My Dive #414
A. Dive Boat / Location: Abrenathy / South Double Ledges (just south of the inlet)
B. Conditions:
Visibility: 30 - 50 feet. It wasn't as good as the Jupiter Shark Dive.
Seas: 1 - 3 feet
Water Temp: 82 on the bottom
Skies: Sunny, Clear Blue Sky's - Typial of Florida!!
Air Temp: high 80's
C. Dive Information:
Depth & Time: Me: Genesis Nitrox Dive Computer: 93 feet for 35 min, PO2 1.21, 32% NITROX
Air consumption: Me: (120 cu ft), 3500 lbs to 1000 lbs
Current: Medium to the north.
Description: Well as we were already up at Jupiter, we tried to have the second dive on Juno Ledges or Loggerhead. But, the Capt decided to use the up hour to motor back towards the West Palm inlet. We can't blame him for that. It would have been nice if he had just told us that he wanted to get back towards the inlet for the next dive. I also had asked to dive on the Princess, but the Capt said it was too deep for a second dive (100 ft). So we did 93 feet on South Double Ledges!!

The reef line was good, 5 - 10 feet with a second reef up shallower. I stayed on the deep reef / sand line looking for bugs. Again, none were found. Half way through the dive, I did spot a 2 foot long turtle under a ledge. I managed to get a few pictures and again, will get them up in the near future! It was a pretty dive, nice color, nice relief, fish, enough currnet to carry you along. The vis was acceptable, probably 40 feet.

Last Updated: 23-Sept-2002

The Irishman Software's, West Melbourne, Florida
Irishman@SpryNet.Com - http://www.IrishmanSoftware.com/