Perseverance pays off! Conditions in Palm Beach can change so drastically from one day to the next that the only way to really guess what it is going to be like is to not guess at all… Just go diving!!! With all the rain we have had in the last two days you would expect less than ideal conditions, but mother nature proves me (and the weather man!) wrong all the time. We had gorgeous conditions above and below the sea.
Pura Vida Divers were out with captain Van on Narcosis. Headed out the inlet, we were greeted with an endless, glass-calm horizon. The skies were clear of any stormy clouds and the blue coloration of the water on the southern reefs was inviting.
Upon our first descent onto Bath & Tennis reef, we were greeted by a breathtaking school of grunts swarming like flock of starlings. Best of all, the school of grunts was hovering all together high up in the water column. They appeared to be feeding on the microscopic creatures drifting in the current. With no current and 40-50 feet of visibility, enjoying this close encounter was extra nice.
Below us, on the reef, a green moray eel was taking over the cleaning station with over a dozen neon gobies moving throughout the moray’s body. Four gobies were perched on the coral looking down at the moray probably wondering if they wanted to be part of the goby traffic jam.
Lindsay grabbed my attention with her underwater bell as a tiny three foot (or so) female loggerhead turtle swam alongside the school of grunts. As the dive progressed we would encounter numerous other loggerhead turtles and a few hawksbill turtles, too. A nurse shark was thrown into the mix for good measure!
An hour later, we were back on the boat enjoying the top side view. While we waited, we noticed a weed line that was littered with tons of trash. In fact, there was more plastic trash in the weed line than actual sargassum weeds. Backing up the boat through the weed line, a couple of the folks onboard the boat hung onto the ladder as we picked up a lot of the plastic debris.
We might not realize it, but we can make a BIG difference back home by properly discarding of trash and recycling. Consider your purchases, too. Buying less items that are wrapped in plastic will make a difference. Just as important, if you see trash, please dispose of it properly. We have already lost way too many sea turtles and other marine life to our careless discards.
Ready for our next dive, we plunged into the warm 76 degree water at three windows on Breaker’s reef. Once again, we were greeted by huge schools of grunts and other tropicals hovering way above the sponge-covered reef. A female loggerhead was busy napping under a ledge so we drifted away so as to not disturb her. It’s a tough job these turtles have in the coming months as they lay up to 500 eggs by crawling onto the beach 4-5 times during the season and digging out a nest to lay about 100 eggs at a time.
While I was photographing the school of grunts, a spanish hogfish charged towards me with a mouthful of crab. I swam a distance beside him curious to see what it would do. Surprisingly, it would flick the crab towards the reef in what I would guess is an attempt to shatter or stun the crab before grabbing it in its mouth again. Needless to say, it was going to take some perseverance to swallow this mouthful of crab.
For almost an hour, we drifted slowly along the ledge on Breaker’s reef. The sun shining its golden rays into the water column. We had our own high definition nature documentary playing before us. What an amazing world!
Special thanks to captain Van from the Narcosis Dive Charters for hosting our Pura Vida Divers today.
*** If you would like to purchase any of the following prints, please contact Laz at TheLivingSea.com ***