I know it has been a few days since my last post. It has been kinda crazy taking a few days off in the middle of the week and then rushing straight back to work for the weekend. I am going to post some quick overviews and I will add pictures and more details later this week.
We arrived Wednesday am about 10:30 in Lauderdale by the Sea to sunny skies. Picked up extra tank and signed release forms from Gold Coast Scuba and then mosied on over to the Villa Caprice. I stated last week that there had been a management change and we decided to not stay with them anymore and we booked into our ever reliable Santa Barbara Inn with Bev and Gil. I could give you the long story but I will make it short and sweet and state that I will not ever be staying at the Villa Caprice.
Anyway, who cares about that when you are on the hunt for lobsters and have a full cooler and a few days off with my much beloved husband? We checked in suited up and were in the water by Noon. Overall we did 5 dives, with one of them being cut short due to extreme current and surge. I will be posting pictures later in the week.
Many people on the beach not too many divers, I expected more. Lost of snorkelers and a few asshole boat and jetskiers for the day.
Dive 1 Noon: Water temp about 86 degrees with a pretty strong current pulling north to towards the pier. Generally speaking, I really do not have to work to get out to the rubble reef (aka cheese or honeycomb). The dive plan was to head out to second reef but I got distracted in the nursery area to the south on the cheese. Lots of bugs hiding out in one of my favorite spots but dug in to deep to grab with hand or lasso. After about an hour, we swam out to second reef and had a look around for about 30 minutes. Lots of variety of fish, from angels, spadefish, hogfish, humungous squirrel fish, that I think were disturbed by hunters, gray angelfish, rock beauties, damsels, trunkfish, cowfish, blennies, a couple eels and even a nurse shark at the beginning of the dive. It felt awesome being back close to nature and enjoying all the incredible colors and creatures. Rich was getting low on air and we headed back in. Total dive time about 2 1/2 hours. I went in with 3600 psi and came our with 500 psi. Rich went in about same and came out with only 300 psi. I state this as the lower psi was due to the struggle with currents and sucking more air on swim back. Current ending up switching to the south by the end of the dive. I notice there are still two bouys missing. They would be nice to gauge the current. The close you arew to the pier the more the current tends to run North, if you head two or three blockes south, it moves more to the south at times. We ended up 6 blocks down from datura, navigated back to about 4 blocks where we removed gear, went and got car and loaded up.
count: zero lobsters
Dive 2 about 4:30 pm- We decided to head straight out to second reef and tool around there. Water was still remarkably warm. A bit of scatter that you will see in the water from the pictures. Viz was not as good as earlier in the day. Still an enormous variety of tropical fish. Lots of rock beauties and juvie queen angelfish. No sharks, turtles or eels on this dive however we did see numerous black brittle stars. It all started with Rich flipping over a rock. Then we spotted them in various nooks and crannies over the next two days. I had never seen any in this area before. Also heading out the second reef there are many mantis shrimp holes of you tops and look around. You can easily locate a hole by looking for a pile or mound of shells, rocks and coral with a hole covered over slightly. Many times they will have a little antennae sticking out. Current was running more to the South and we only ended up 3 blocks down but walked back in the water at shore.
count: zero lobsters
The entries were easy other than current, pretty flat. The exits were a bit harder for me. Very soft sand for about 12 feet which is hard to get through quickly without sinking. On second dive, hubby took my weights out of pockets and carried them up. that helps. I had 14 pounds and Rich had 8. Both of us dove with a 3mil suit. Never got cold at all, I did not dive with a hoodie.
We decided to relax and have some cocktails in the pool. Total dive time about 4.5 hours for two dives. I was tired and ready to get an early start.