Another wonderful day of Florida diving in West Palm Beach! We headed out today aboard The Wetter The Better to do a couple of reef dives. Our first stop was at Larsen’s Valley. Conditions underwater were 40-45 feet of visibility, a very light north current and 77 degree water temperature. Not bad for WINTER diving! Only in Florida!
Along this unique dive site we encountered schools of tropical fish swarming throughout some areas of the reef. A friendly green moray eel stopped by to say hello, too! Our dive guide, Michelle, found one of the largest horse conchs ever! It was probably a good two feet wide. These conchs are the largest molluscs in the area. The top predator in the mollusc world around here.
The winds picked up a little between dives and the seas picked up to 3 – 4 foot, but everyone onboard managed fine under the conditions. In part, of course, to our wonderful captain Bill Walker and his merry crew who kept the group well entertained during our surface interval.
For our second dive, we dropped in on Midreef. Captain Walker magically put the group above a female loggerhead who was swimming 70 feet below. How captain Walker performs this feat over and over again is a secret he will not share. Midreef is such an enjoyable dive with its vast, hill-like geography, tons of marine life, and a great place to do a little shell collecting. By the time the dive was over we had bagged a number of shells including a beautiful helmet and hawkwing. All of them vacant, of course!
A couple of scarlet cleaner shrimps took the time to give us a little manicure. And Allegra, who was working on her PADI Advanced certification, took a special liking to a sea cucumber — cradling it like a baby before we told her she couldn’t bring it home with her. Sea cucumbers don’t make very good pets — they eat everything in sight and will keep you up all night with their barking! Okay.. Not really!
Speaking of pets and barking… At one point in the dive, Lindsay, who was teaching Allegra, was closely observing a creature near the reef, floating in her usually upside-down form, when a Sea Chihuahua began to bite at her fins. The Sea Chihuahua looked a lot like me, but there was a purpose to these follies. Allegra watched this take place which caused her to laugh uncontrollably, thus flooding her mask… Flood mask and clearing skill for Allegra = COMPLETE! All thanks to one trusty Sea Chihuahua.
Adding a bit of laughs and good times in a safe manner adds to wonderful day of diving. Come out diving with us and experience the fun for yourself. Keep an eye out for that Sea Chihuahua!! You never know when it will strike again!
Special thanks to captain Bill Walker and crew, Michelle and Alex, for hosting our group of divers on the ocean today. Another wonderful day of Florida diving in West Palm Beach!
If you would like to purchase any of these photographs, please contact Laz at TheLivingSea.com.