Sirena headed to the southern reefs this morning. We bounced a little getting to the dive site with 2-4 ft. seas, but nothing too bad. Our first stop was at Flower Gardens where we enjoyed 50 plus feet of visibility, a very slight north current, and 72-73 degree water.
We dropped in just south of the Fish Bowl and, as always, the huge schools of fish were huddled in that small patch of reef. I wish I knew what is so special about this one spot that makes the fish stay there in all my years of diving.
Throughout the dive we enjoyed schools of tropical fish. With the current so light, I took advantage of the opportunity to swim to the eastern side of the ledge. While it’s not as “fishy” on this part of the reef, the lusciousness of the soft corals is breathtaking. We swam around back here for a while before making our way back to the western ledge.
Back on the boat, we slowly motored to our second site, Breaker’s reef. With the seas at our back, things were a little less bumpy. We were soon back in the water around fourth window. Still the current was light and visibility was still in the 50 feet range.
Right from the start, Breaker’s was showing off in all its glory. Angelfish flocked! A southern stingray swam right through the middle of the group. One of Larry Wood’s hawksbill sea turtle with the satellite transmitter swam through the group as well. Larry Wood has a wonderful study called the Florida Hawksbill Project that is helping this critically endangered sea turtle.
The fun was far from over. On our slow drift north, one of the divers spotted a dark-colored batfish near the reef. Schools of angelfish swirled around us. Laying on top of the reef was a gorgeous green sea turtle. We stayed to watch the turtle for a while. It eventually swam to the surface to breathe and, in the hopes of getting a shot of it returning to the reef, I followed it from the bottom. A few minutes later the green sea turtle came gliding down.
Breaker’s reef is always such an amazing place. The fish life, the corals, I could spend a whole day in one spot and never get tired of it. We are very fortunate to have such an amazing place.
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