Vero Beach Shore Diving, 8/14/11

I have had the luck to do a few shores dives off Vero Beach in the last couple of weeks. We have found a nice little spot called Rio Mar that has a shower for cleaning gear after. We went on August 16th for a late day early evening dive. Very nice to be back in the water. It was about 5:30pm when we descended.
Walk was pretty easy on entry into water and low and behold there was no ledge drop off as we had experienced before. I am now putting my full foot fins onshore to make it easier to fight any waves. No issues there. We swam out a bit and descended about 100 feet out. There is a nice smaller reef rubble area to get your fins wet on. Lots of little blennies, some jacks, sea urchins, and a ton of sea cucumbers. I have never seen as many sea cucumbers as I do in this spot! Rich saw a turtle right as he descended, nice big healthy looking turtle. I did not see this as I was on the hunt for bugs.
We swam around for about 30 minutes and then decided to go out deeper. Being in a new territory is always fun for me. Swim, swim, swim, see nothing and then BAMMM! a nice big reef with lots of overhangs. Apparently, we were way the heck out there according to some beach watchers. It was a little silty but some algae floating but I didn’t mind. This is usually when we see lots of turtles. This larger reef area is very different from Pepper Park about 30 minutes south. It looks healthier and has mutiple colonies living there. Larger reef fish, like a gorgeous French Angel fish about 18″ diameter we saw. There are lots of little blue striped grunts, scrawled file fish, porcupine fish, sergeant majors, spotted drums and spotted cowfish. I did not see any parrot fish. Found this odd as these little beauties are usually seen in many different varieties. There were alot of little crabs. We also saw many large stone crab claws laying on the bottom of the ocean so they are there. I think we saw a few black grouper. They had mouths like the grouper but they appeared more black all over instead of spotted black. Still working on this.
We decided to start looking for bugs. I am usually the ones who can spot these little tasty treats from afar but Rich had his bug sonar on or something. It was getting a bit dark so we had no trouble finding some. The first three were not legal size so we left them alone. Then we had one get away and the last one we found was a female so we let her be. A little helpful tip we learned earlier that day from Jim at Deep Six, the females when they are holding eggs generally have their tales curved slightly to protect them. It is a great identifier in my opinion to be gentler and not damage the eggs for our future dinners. At this point we are about 1000 psi and it is 8pm so this is where Rich starts to panic about running out of air.
Ride is was easy, took about 15 minutes, the current was calm and not much surf. It gets murky as you get about 100 feet off shore but we just pointed our gauges and let them lead the way.
Stayed tuned for Vero Beach Day 2

About daniellesdives

diving enthusiast
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