With a full boat on Sirena, a couple of Pura Vida customers and I went out on captain Finch’s maiden voyage aboard the Narcosis dive boat. We were treated to an aerobatic display by a group of bottlenose dolphins as we headed south of the inlet. For a while the dolphins played in the wake, flipping and jumping out of the air. I would have sworn captain Finch had hired them for this maiden voyage as the captain of the boat.
Under his skillful command, captain Finch, and his crew headed to Ron’s rock for the first dive. Dropping us on the ledge just south of the rock, the group drifted north with a very slight north current and about 45ft. of visibility. Compared to the brisk air temperature, the water was soothing and inviting at 70-72 degrees. For an hour we swam along the reef encountering all kinds of marine life including numerous sea turtles.
During the surface interval a couple of the spear fishermen jumped in at the Governor’s wrecks and in less than thirty minutes they were bringing up dinner — a huge cobia! While on their dive a couple of bull sharks checked them out. Getting dinner at this site is a challenging affair some times.
For our second dive, captain Finch maneuvered Narcosis to the Cross Current barge. In sixty feet of water, this barge has an amazing amount of life on it. In particular, the abundance of colorful sponges is difficult to surpass at any other dive site. Every nook and cranny is covered in sponges.
While diving this site I am always drawn to the colors of the wreck and capturing its splendor becomes a whole dive affair. A tiny hawksbill sea turtle, no larger than two feet in length, was snoozing away inside the wreck. I continued to photograph the area and returned near the end of my dive to see if he was still there. Sure enough, he was still snoozing away, and as I was about to ascend the little guy woke up, swam by me for a proper greeting, and continued to the surface for four good gulps of air.
I hovered midwater watching him the whole time. One quick flip of his body and a couple of swim strokes and he was heading back down. The surface current had pushed him further north away from the wreck. Without much deviation, the little hawksbill found his way right back to the wreck, circled around a few times, and returned to the exact spot where he was originally. He settled back in for a continuation of what was likely a very enjoyable afternoon siesta (I took his idea and followed suit when I got home!).
Before my ascent, I noticed a female loggerhead turtle swimming amongst the large boulders that are part of this artificial reef. This beautiful little creature is likely here for turtle nesting season. By the time the season is over she will have likely nested at least four times and laid over 500 eggs. Something to consider whenever you see one of these little females sleeping under a ledge. I’m certain this feat has got to be very physically taxing on her. It is believed this is the reason why sea turtles will nest every other year.
I filmed her from a distance all the while cringing for there were dangerous strands of monofilament fishing line wrapped all along on the reef and a plastic bag swaying in the current. These poor turtles, and all marine life, must contend with so many life risking dangers in their own environment. If you have the opportunity, please help clean up when you are out diving and remember that even at home the choices you make (i.e. recycling, not using plastic bags) can make a difference to the natural world.
A special thanks to captain Finch and his crew aboard the Narcosis dive boat for taking care of us and for a wonderful day of diving in Palm Beach.