How else can I describe a day where the sun is shining, the ocean is glass calm, the air temperature is perfect… oh, and the wildlife is at epic proportions? To quote Mel Fisher, “Today’s the day!”
As Sirena cleared the inlet, the glass smooth surface of the water accentuated the crystal-clear waters below. Capt. Dean motored the boat near the shore on our way to the southern reefs. He mentioned to me that he had seen some spinner sharks in the area lately.
Right on cue, the sharks began to appear alongside the boat. One, two, a dozen… We quickly lost count, but to say there was a hundred of them was no exaggeration. A spectacular sight to behold! We motored back and forth in the area trying to catch a glimpse of the sharks who are quite shy. We came across a huge school are tarpon nearby.
Seeing the sharks underwater, even with hundreds nearby, is nearly impossible. Dean asked if I was interested in getting in with the sharks. I quickly jumped up and said, “Heck yeah! I’ll give it a try.” It wasn’t long before I was in the water, but a desolate scene, except for a small school of permits, filled my field of view.
Where were all the sharks? Everyone on board the boat motioned that I should swim to shore. They could see them off the back side of the waves right near the shore. An occasional spinner shark would quickly appear and disappear from my view. My heart raced as I scanned around. Any second now I would have the encounter of a lifetime… I would be surrounded by hundreds of sharks.
Meanwhile, Capt Dean was busy corralling the sharks nearby. As I began my swim back to the boat, two spinner sharks swam near by. It was nice to see these amazing acrobatic sharks from below the ocean waves for once. Hopefully the schools of baitfish will make their way to the area, and we will be able to see these sharks in all their flying splendor.
Eventually we made it to our first dive site, Bath and Tennis reef, where we enjoyed some great conditions underwater. The water was a soothing 72-73 degrees with 50+ feet of visibility and a slight north current. You can’t beat that for winter! Numerous eels, turtles, and tons of tropicals kept us entertained.
Unfortunately, I also came across some sights I despise seeing… Beautiful sea fans broken on the sea floor. Whether caused by a diver or a fisherman, it’s such a shame that better care is not taken by both parties. We all need to do of our part to protect what we love otherwise all we will have left for our children are stories of days gone by. Please watch your buoyancy when you’re diving and remember that every little space in this underwater rainforest is brimming with life.
During our surface interval, a second show was on hand for us. A pod of over 50 Atlantic spotted dolphins swam near by the boat. For the next 45 minutes we would enjoy their company both above and below the water. Few encounters in the ocean match those of a face-to-face encounter with a sentient being like the dolphin.
We finished off the day with a dive at the Trench where we were engulfed by tropical fish and had numerous encounters with sea turtles. Mel Fisher was right… Today was certainly the day! Tomorrow will probably be just as good… and the day after.. and the day after that.
Get the idea? You should be diving!!! Come join us for some spectacular diving in Palm Beach.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these prints, please contact Laz at TheLivingSea.com.