Lauderdale by the Sea – labor Day weekend report 2010


We arrived sat am about 11. Water looked pretty flat but there were slight clouds in the sky. Checked into Santa Barbara Inn as usual. I did find a new little treasure for this area but they were booked on the larger suites for the weekend. (check back soon as I hope to have an update about them).
We hit the water about 1pm. I have to say about 50 dive flags were in the water and the area is crawling with small boats.
There was a slight current to the north but it wads an enjoyable swim out. We decided to head straight out to the first reef. Took our time enjoying being back in the water. I did notice as we crossed the great divide that the sand was incredible wavy. Looked like small sand dunes under the water. There was quite a current on the swim across and we found we needed to exert a lot more effort to get across. The quick 5 minute swim took us probably twice as long. There were a lot of eels in the water today. Small and large. I spotted a fabulous blue spotted eel, There were also tons of Christmas Tree Worms on coral (if you touch them, they suck back into their body!) We saw about 1/2 dozen different colors. They really seemed to be in full bloom today. I uncovered a few huge piles of healthy stag horn coral growing. This was nice to see. We swam south and the coral appeared to be healthier and more alive the further we go from the pier. We started hunting around for lobster and found 2 pretty quick. neither to size so we let them be. A little later we came across a healthy one that was about 3/4 inch over size. Big! Great dinner for later.
I couldn’t help but observe that there were plenty of respectable size conch in amongst the coral piles. This brings me to another future post…Is conch really in need of being protected or has it reestablished itself off the Florida shores?
When we got to be around 1500 psi we headed back towards the pier and low and behold, a beautiful sea turtle was in front. I tank dinged loud enough for Rich to hear me and get his attention. We swam around with this creature for at least 15 minutes. he foraged on the coral and nipped away at the sea grass. He was rooting around in holes for some crustaceans and as long as we stayed back 15 feet or so he was happy to let us hang. definitely a highlight of the day. We had observed some broken small eggs earlier in the dive and were not sure if they were turtle or eel???
Hubby was getting low on air so we swam into the cheese area till he was around 500 psi and headed out. AS many of you are aware we got steel tanks earlier in the summer to extend bottom time. I love mine and for those of you thinking about it , it is well worth the expense. I have 100’s and Rich has 120’s. We did this to try to get his air to end up around mine. It hasn’t quite gotten there yet but he will tell you himself…he is an air hog. Getting better but still an air hog. I came up with 1100 psi while he ended up with 300. We both started with 3600 thanks to Gold Coast Scuba. Love them!
I am still trying to figure out how to even it out more. I use 12 pounds weight and he is down to 6 pounds weight. Yes, it is true, I am a floater. Starting at 24 when I first started diving, I am proud 3 years later to have halved it. This is without a suit, skin diving. When I wear the 3 mil I have to add 4 pounds. Anyway, if anybody has any thoughts on how to get him lower on air consumptions, please post a comment. He has worked on breathing techs and stuff already.
Well we started for shore, ended up about 3 blocks south of Datura so just took a leisurely walk up the beach.
BTW, I forgot to mention. this was the first time we experienced a ledeg/sandbar of huge proportions close to shore. I know weather was rough the week before but the entry was easy and about 15 feet off shore you lost about 4 feet, had to swim over and then there was a sandbar.
Stay tuned for more later…

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About daniellesdives

diving enthusiast
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