Shore diving was fabulous today! Dive 1 (1/22/12)

Today was an incredible day for diving! We arrived at Lauderdale by the Sea yesterday and checked into the Santa Barbara Inn. This morning we got up super early and headed to the water by 8 am. we had the gear loaded in the car and were about to pit it on but Rich not only blew an o-ring(no big deal) but his air 2 was leaking and needed to be tightened. We headed over to Gold Coast Scuba and Steve was fabulous and topped the tanks and sorted the equipment issue out for us. I purchased a new light today. I previously had an Intova(crap IMHO – had it about a year and had the switch break, went through three sets of batteries and it ended up corroding) Steve had one for $110 so I scooped it up. (write up to follow)
We hit the water about 9am. It was calm, flat and entry was extremely easy. I was wearing a 3mil suit but added the beanie today to keep my head warm. Rich had his 3 mil on, no beanie. I had my gloves on the whole time, 3 mil as well but Rich only used his during bugging. We were the second set of divers in. Several reef jellies floating around, many small but one about 12″ in diameter. I thought it was surprisingly warmer than I thought. At least 10 degrees warmer than Cocoa Beach water temp. BTW, air temp was about 68 when we hit the water.
Now normally I would give a play by play and tell you where we went but we found a honey hole we are keeping all to ourselves. Anyway, upon descent we saw a green sea turtle within 3 minutes. Little dude was sitting on the bottom just chilling out. Beautiful markings and was definitely a young one perhaps 16-20″ across shell diameter. Viz was good, not a lot of sediment, perhaps 15-20 ft. Turtle was located on the rubble reef area up close to shore. We followed our dive plan and within 5 minutes we looked up and spotted another turtle feeding on the surface. The jellied where making a tasty treat for this creature. again, not an enormous one like we have seen in the past but still a little larger than the first one we saw.
Lots of little blennies, jacks, french and queen angel fish, blue tang juvvies and an incredible rainbow parrotfish. Full of exquisite colors, all of the rainbow. It has been a while since I have seen one and he was simply stunning. I swam around for about 1000 psi and then we decided to headout further to the next reef.
For those of you that have read my posts in the past, skip. For my new friends, you have to swim about 100 kicks across what I refer to as the dessert to get to the next reef. The next reef is well worth the swim. Larger schools of fish and this is where we have seen many shark. The plan was to keep heading out past this reef to the staghorn area. We decided after swimming for a while out to turn around and go back to the second reef area. Reef is looking healthy. I will note some ASSHOLE was anchored on the reef all day( the first area). I thought he was tied off on one of the hooks but I heard from someone else in the water that day, he dropped his anchor directly on the reef. Where exactly is FWC when you need them?
Sorry for the rant, but when you dive an area and you see how much better it is looking and the care locals are taking to keep it clean, it chaps my ass! This is the same area that they have the coral stimulator bouys at. Come on and get with the program.
Anyway, we were fortunate enough to see a big black grouper and a school of large silver fish I think where pompano. We got a bit adventurous and i wanted to try my new light out so started rooting around the ledges and lo and behold, hubby Rich pulls up this humungous lobster! He says my eyes were wide, I will tell you I was already thinking about how I was going to prepare him for dinner. Stuffed or baked? He turns it over and it was empty, must have molted and shed his shell yesterday. Darn it! but in my experience where there is one, there are more. We dug around another couple minutes and found my new HONEY HOLE. 4 in one small area. Good news was we got one for starters on that dive. Would have bagged more but Rich forgot to attach his bag. I do love him! He had to carry the critter all the way back in the net, cramped his hand up. We decided to head back and put the lobster away.
When we came up and were trudging back to shore, I saw two black big things. I was thinking dolphin or maybe manatee? It was two giganormous eagle rays glided in the surf close to shore. What I thought was super funny was that all of the people snorkeling around and those on shore were completely oblivious to them! I had just stripped my fins of and had most of my gear on my hands so we headed in to shore.
Dive was fabulous and weather was great! We headed back, rinsed off and prepared to drop the tanks for a fill at Gold Coast. Did I mention fill cards for $75 for 20 dives? Had to refill our card as we were don to last fill. This is where hubby proves yet again to be the best damn husband in the world. I got a new dive camera today, gratis of him plus a wide angle lens (write-ups to follow). Thanks so much to Steve at Gold Coast for hooking me up with a killer deal. Again, let me state, my LDS when I am here. Honest, good folks who value the long term customer and don’t try to sell you crap you don’t need. They do business like we do in our stores.
Stay tuned as I will be adding some pics of my catch and also adding second dive…will we find the honey hole again?

About daniellesdives

diving enthusiast
This entry was posted in Lauderdale by the Sea, Trip Reports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Shore diving was fabulous today! Dive 1 (1/22/12)

  1. Great article. Adding to my favorites now!

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