Our SHARK WEEKend continued today with the PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Diver Distinctive Speciality Course taught by Lindsay in the morning. We followed it up with two great dives in Jupiter with Jupiter Dive Center in search of sharks.
We were on the search for sharks. During the winter season, Palm Beach county tends to get a little more sharky than normal. Cue in the sharkaholics! We boarded Republic VII with captain Tim and his great crew and headed out to The Tunnels for our first dive.
Without much hesitation the sharks began to show up. Caribbean reef sharks swam in and out of view throughout most of the dive. Over a dozen reef sharks were counted, a couple of nurse sharks and loggerhead turtles, too. This reef, with its undercut ledges is always filled with all kinds of fish life. Out on the sand, plenty of stingrays were laying about.
Visibility at this site varied from 40-60 as the 2-4 foot seas were stirring up the fine sediment in some areas of the reef. We enjoyed a nice slow north drift with 72-73 degree water temperature.
For our second dive, we headed south to Lee’s Ledge — part of the Juno Ledge system. This ledge in the 60-85 foot range is gorgeous. The visibility really opened up here with an easy 80-100 feet. We came across three nurse sharks and I lost count of the number of loggerhead turtles after 7-8. I would say there was easily for a dozen in the area. A number of goliath groupers graced us with their presence, too! The colors and marine life on this high profile ledge is stunning!
While we were unable to find any lemon sharks on our dives, the number of other sharks we encountered more than made up for it. It is easy to see how important sharks are to the marine ecosystem. Where ever sharks are present there is a perfect balance of marine life. Areas that are devoid of sharks tend to have one species of marine life overtaking the reef causing a cascading imbalance on the reef.
Lets do our part to assure the survival of sharks for sake of the health of the reefs.
Special thanks to Jupiter Dive Center for hosting our Pura Vida Divers on today’s dives in Jupiter.
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