Pura Vida Divers headed out today on captain Bill Walker’s The Wetter The Better this morning for another wonderful day of diving on the southern reefs while some of the crew put the finishing touches on Sirena in the boat yard. Our dive sites: Flower Gardens and the Breaker’s reef.
The search for the great hammerhead shark continued after the epic day we had yesterday. All eyes were on the horizon as we traveled north along Flower Gardens. The visibility was 45-50ft, water temperatures were in the mid to upper 70s, and there was a slight trickle of north current.
Dropping in near the Fish Bowl, we were surrounded by hundreds of fish. Below us eels poked their heads out of their holes. Scorpion fish laid in ambush. The reef was alive with activity.
After drifting passed the Fish Bowl a couple of the divers headed towards the east side of the reef — a hundred feet or so of the western edge of the reef. While this part of the reef is no where near as fishy as the western side, what it lacks in fish it more than makes up in luscious corals. The eastern side of Flower Gardens looks like an underwater rain forest. This area is a great hiding spot for sea turtles and quite often we come across the great hammerhead shark cruising back here.
We came across one hawksbill sea turtle hiding in the thick, bush-like soft corals, but the great hammerhead never did make its appearance. At least, not that any of us saw it. Who knows how many animals cross our paths when we’re looking in the opposite direction. Having the mantis shrimp’s vision would be a plus in the underwater world.
For our second dive, we headed north to Breaker’s reef. Visibility opened up considerably with 50-60ft clear blue water. Current was again a slight trickle north and the water temperature was so inviting.
Our heads spun around in search of the great hammerhead. On our search we came across a couple of nurse sharks laying on the bottom. A friendly goliath grouper on the northern end of the reef just before the jump to Turtle Mound.
Swimming across the sand flats we made it to the south western side of Turtle Mound. This spot is always teaming with fish life. We stopped for a while here and looked for all kinds of earthly delights hiding in the reef. On top of the reef, one of Larry Wood’s hawksbill turtle with the satellite transmitter appeared to be doing a head stand. The little guy appeared to be indulging in a delicious sponge snack as it ripped off chunks of the reef.
Traveling towards the north end we stopped to say hello to the scarlet shrimps and get our teeth cleaned. And before we would begin our ascent, a gorgeous stingray and cobia swam circles around us.
The great hammerhead would elude us today, but the enjoyment of diving on the beautiful reefs of Palm Beach would not. Just another wonderful day of diving in West Palm Beach.