Set the alarm for 6am…but hit the snooze and crawled out of bed around 7am. Headed over to the 7-11 to grab a cup of jo and feed the beast (MY HUSBAND). We had all the equipment ready to go so drove over quick, dropped it all off and parked the car. Haven’t dived for about 6 months so had to refresh my brain on the equipment and definately took a little longer than expected.
Ok, fun thing about shore diving (really joking here) is doing in a new location the first time. The sand at Lauderdale by the Sea (LBTS from here on out) is quite mushy and your feet sink a few inches with each step. Add the weight of the equipment on your back and the fact that I could do with a bit of excercise and it was fun. Thankfully I have a good sense of humour. Walked the 50 feet or so to the water’s edge and took the plunge. There is a little ledge that disintigrates when you step on it, so watch your footing as you don’t want to topple over. (as I did) Got in the water and forgot rule #1, put my mask on my head or aroubd neck when entering water. If anyone found a scuba pro mask . Let me know or take good care of it. Didn’t bring a spare so had to pack it up and head up to Deep Six (2 blocks away) to buy a new Mares. Not my first choice but it will do for this trip.
Finally got back in the water, mask around my neck this time. Current towards the pier was pretty strong and I would definately reccommend heading at a slant so you end up where you need to. Back kicked for about 100 feet out to the second buoy and dropped down. Saw the anchor and the ballasts staright away. Checked my buoancy and off we went. Our initial dive plan was to swim out over 1st reef and cheese and then head 180 along the cheese and work out all the kinks till 2000 psi and then head out to second reef.
Lots of smaller coral. I thought the cheese had alot more color and vibrancy to it. More variety of reef fish. Saw an eel and quite a few variety of angel fisg and tangs. Largest angelfish was around 12-16inches. Beauty!
Hit 2000 psi and went straight out to second reef. Thought we were lost. It was no man’s land for about 75 feet. sand, sand and lots of bust up old coral. looked like a graveyard and tehn when I was about to give up, the reef! Big garbage can size corals, a nice ledge that you could poke around a bit. It was a little murky and visibility was only about 25 feet. Water was silted up a bit. I didn’t recognize the tires or the alien probes but I think I was just too busy looking around. Saw a couple little lobsters, some black and white spider looking shrimp. Really graceful! Fish were plentiful and overall it was quite exhilaerating to be back in the water! We hit 1000 psi and decided to head back to second reef till we got to 500.
Swam around and spotted another eel. there was a beautiful enormous school of baby feeder fish that drew lots of larger schools of fish. I would say, blue tangs, angelfish, yellowtails, two frog or stone fish (still looking that up), plenty of blennies I think. Nothing large. No shark or turtles but there is always next time.
Hubby will tell you, he is an air hog, I ended up with 700 psi and he was about 100 when we came up from dive. Came up about 1pm. Heading out to parking lot now. Oh what fun this was. Gravity hit me on the ledge coming out and I fell over 3 times. Laughing my a++ off! People on the beach must have wondered what the hell was going on. I gave up, waited for Rich to come back and lend me a hand(or arm) to hold onto. Floated around, inflated BCD and chilled. He came back for his lost wife and I aked him to help me out. Ladies, please don’t be bashful. Your man loves feeling needed and trust me, it is so cute for those watching you on the beach.
Hit the showers and we got the infamous, “Did you see anything?” We smiled as graious divers do and bit the urge to say a 10 foot shark and just told them plenty of fish, a few eels and some shrimps.
BTW, the corals are looking great, lots of new growth and lots of baby small corals just starting to grow. Variety are good, very pretty and large fans and tons of colored sponges. sea anenomes were everywhere! Large black ones over 8 inches to small red ones the size of a 1/2 dollar.
Stay tuned for dive 2 later the same afternoon.