No! I’m not referring to a state of mind… I mean blue water! After way too many days of thunderstorms and relentless wind, mother nature rewarded us in the best way possible: very blue water! Stir this up with an amazing number of marine life encounters and you have the recipe for a great day of diving.
Sirena headed north this morning across what could best be described as “Lake Atlantic.” The water was as smooth as a mirror. My eyes were quickly scanning the horizon for all kinds of telltale signs. As we headed to Juno Ledges for our first dive, we came across a pair of mating green sea turtles within 100 feet of the shore. Flying fish skimmed off the bow and glided in mid air while its perfect reflection glimmered below them. The ripples from their tale, which they use to gain momentum to glide, could be seen like a comet trail behind them.
Reaching our dive site, we did not hesitate to get in. The water was an inviting cobalt blue color. The rays of the sun dancing on the water below us. Ninety feet below us we could see the bottom. This was definitely a good sign!
We were soon drifting at a slow northerly pace along the edge of Juno Ledges. The water is pleasing 78 degrees. We stayed mostly near the top of the reef at 75 feet so we could extend our bottom time. Hawksbill sea turtles were busy munching on sponges. Every few minutes a couple of reef sharks would swim passed the group. Just ahead, a great hammerhead came into view, but unfortunately was too shy to come in close or stay for very long.
The reef, in all its beauty, kept us entertained in between the large animal sightings. A large male green sea turtle, apparently late for a date, zoomed by us. Close to an hour was spent drifting in this paradise before the last of the group ascended. As we observed all the planktonic life on our safety stop, I began screaming through my regulator at Ian, the dive master. Just a couple of feet behind him a mahi mahi was cruising by. This blue water fish is not one we regularly come across on our dives, so it was a nice treat to see one so close in its colorful attire.
Conditions were too perfect to not attempt some of my favorite type of photographs: over / under photographs. With captain Mark and Ian’s patience, I was able to capture a photograph of Sirena floating behind Ian while he patiently waited underwater.
We began to motor back south to North Double Ledges and ran our same route when we came across a pair of mating green sea turtles in the same area we saw the first. Were they the same ones? Who knows? But this is certainly a popular spot!
As we got closer to the Lake Worth inlet we could see the awful brown-colored water coming out of the inlet. A possible sign that they were dumping a lot of the rain water from the lakes and canals into the intracoastal. Hopefully one day when the Everglades are restored to their natural way will we begin to see a lot more bluer days out on the reef. Thankfully, because of the north current, just south of the Lake Worth inlet, the water was once again a breathtaking cobalt blue color.
We dropped in on North Double Ledges with similar conditions as on Juno Ledges. We enjoyed the splendors of this reef. Schools of fish swarmed around us throughout the dive. A goliath grouper watched us pass by from a distance. All sorts of critters were out of their reef crevice enjoying the blue.
Conditions in Palm Beach can change drastically from one day to the next. A storm one day can bring glass calm conditions and blue water the next. You never know when you’re going to have a GREAT blue day! Enjoy some blue of you own. Join us for some dives in West Palm Beach.
If you would like to purchase any of these photographs, please contact Laz at TheLivingSea.com.