It’s amazing how quickly conditions change in Palm Beach. Two days ago water temperatures had dropped down to 75 degrees in some areas with visibility in the 20-30ft. range. Fast forward two day later and we’re enjoying 80-84 degree water temp. and top to bottom with 60ft.+ of horizontal visibility. It’s no wonder we have a look of pure confusion on our face when asked what conditions are going to be. The honest truth is that nobody really knows. So your best bet is to not skip a day of diving based on the previous days’ poor conditions report. It changes fast!
For this afternoon’s dives we headed south to Bath & Tennis reef where we enjoyed a slow cruise across this luscious reef. I made a quick stop at one of my favorite spots to check up on the finger coral than engulfs a section of the reef. I have seen this a hundred times and still it takes my breath away. Checking other areas of the reef, I know at some point in the past this coral was a lot more abundant as scatterings of this dead coral can be found littered throughout the bottom. I can only imagine how spectacular it must have been in times past (Come on Apple! Where’s that iTimeMachine?). Hopefully, with a little love and education, the reefs will be even more spectacular than they are right now.
On our second dive we motored just south of the inlet to Toy Box & Playpen. This artificial reef system has an incredible amount of sponge growth (and hydroids, too, so watch your buoyancy!). Hiding in this rainbow of sponges are usually all kinds of special creatures rarely seen. Today’s hunt was for the Florida Regal Sea Goddess nudibranch. One of the larger species of nudibranchs in Palm Beach, the colors and patterns on its body are striking to say the least. Unfortunately, we didn’t come across one, but there was plenty of other critters to encounter.
Beauty is always mixed with plenty of entertainment when you’re diving. I watched this goliath grouper make its way into the remains of the Paradise wreck and following it was a very good friend and fellow photographer. Determined to get a photo of this friendly, albeit shy, goliath grouper, he followed it into the wreck. Standing back I watched with much enjoyment to what extent my friend would go.
He carefully squeezed himself between the wreck and the sand, spending plenty of alone time with the grouper before finally realizing on his exit that a much larger staircase entrance was just a couple of feet away. Sometimes when you’re taking the photograph you don’t realize that YOU ARE THE PHOTOGRAPH! We had a good chuckle over it back on the boat.
Overall, it was another enjoyable day of diving in Palm Beach. This summer weather, although we find ourselves dodging that occasional afternoon thunderstorm and some days of less than ideal underwater conditions, it is all worth while to experience Palm Beach diving for all its splendors and entertainment.
Come out diving with us and experience some of it yourself!