Pura Vida Divers were out today on Bill Walker’s, The Wetter The Better. We headed to the southern reefs under clear skies and 2-3 foot seas. The water was a beautiful blue color, which made us hopeful of some good visibility underwater.
Our first dive site was Flower Gardens. As soon as we got below the waves we could see clearly to the bottom. There was no question visibility was 100ft. The span of the Fish Bowl could be seen. Best of all, with 77 degree water temperature and a very light north current, conditions were perfect for diving. Along the way the divers encountered numerous eels, swarms of tropical fish including a gang of seven reef butterfly fish swimming together. By the end of the dive we would have an encounter with a loggerhead sea turtle, too.
For the second dive, we headed just north to Breaker’s reef. The lusciousness of this reef is breathtaking especially under such amazing conditions. The reef is alive with so much activity. Visibility dwindled slightly from what we had at Flower Gardens by maybe 20 feet or so, but 80 feet of visibility is nothing to complain about.
On our way passed the cable at Breakers 4-Windows, we decided to try our hand at underwater limbo. Doing this without touching the cable or the ground is challenging, especially when there isn’t enough current to push you across on your back. A true test of buoyancy skills and upside-down sculling. Our own captain (and dive guide), Mark Sowash, attempted this feat. With perfect buoyancy he creeped under the cable. The judges all gave him a 9 except for the French judge who gave him a 6. Better luck next time, Mark! Who says you can’t have a little fun while enjoying the underwater splendors.
Along the way a female loggerhead sea turtle swam nonchalantly beside the group. We stopped for a few minutes to observe two goliath groupers near the end of Breaker’s reef before heading NNW to Turtle Mound. As I was preparing to photograph the reef with the current, which had picked up a bit, at my back, I set down a couple of fingers to steady myself when I find myself at arms with the reef patrol… a tiny sharpnose puffer was nibbling at my fingers. A first for me! This little guy had me laughing so hard that it took me ten minutes to get the photograph I was after. I’m glad to know the reef patrol is out watching over those divers with less than ideal reef etiquette.
Overall, it was yet another terrific day of diving in Palm Beach. Special thanks goes to Bill Walkers from Walker’s Dive Charters for hosting our Pura Vida Divers today.
We hope you will join us on an underwater adventure in Palm Beach, Florida.
If you would like to purchase any of the following photographs, please contact Laz at TheLivingSea.com.