The sunshine state has not been holding up to its name the past two days. We have been under a deluge of rain bands. Of course, for a diver, rain just means we get a free gear rinse on the way back to the dock.
Sirena headed to the southern reefs this morning under overcast skies and a little rain. On our way south, the rain subsided and we headed underwater for our first dive at Ron’s Rock. This unique dive is a great place to hide from the current as the sand channel runs east and west. With little current this was not an issue. Water temperatures remained a constant 76-77 degrees. Had it not been for the overcast sky, which made it feel a little like a twilight dive, I would say visibility would likely be in the 50ft range.
Navigating across Ron’s Rock to the next reef north, Middle Earth, and jumping to Flower Gardens is always exciting. We never know what creatures we will find crossing this area. Everything from hammerhead sharks and sawfish to the regular goliath grouper can be seen here. The grouper was home under the rock, but he was feeling a little shy today.
Traveling a little east on Middle Earth has some of the most beautiful sponge and coral-covered ledges around. We meandered back and forth across this area before making the jump to Flower Gardens. Here the group enjoyed encounters with all kinds of eels, enormous porcupine fish and other tropicals.
Upon our ascent, unfortunately things weren’t looking too great. Like the scene from Ghost Busters, it appeared that Raymond had conjured up the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Although the rain was not a total whiteout, captain Dean and crew’s concerns about what was just south of us (lightning!) unfortunately caused us to call the trip. Better safe than sorry!
We headed back to the dock at ludicrous speed thanks to all the new modifications that Sirena has gone through in the past month, and, of course, we got our free gear rinsing service on the way in. I think our next dive boat will be a submarine. That way rain, shine or Ghost Busters’ end of the world conditions… We will be out there diving!! 🙂