Trip Report Back in SE FL 2021 part 5

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drrich2

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The but is that SE Florida is a driving nightmare with rude drivers and there really is not a place that you can go that would be like a resort experience.

It has something to offer the family traveling with non-divers, though. Between 1 trip to Key Largo and 2 to Jupiter, our little family has variously gone on a number of side-trips...Jungle Island, Palm Beach Zoo, Zoo Miami, Lion Country Safari, Juno Beach, Hobe Sound Nature Center (IIRC on the name) and wherever they went when I was off diving. Now granted, there is indeed some driving to get around (although it was mainly on airport grounds I found stressful), but for those willing to roam, there's a variety to be had topside. Maybe that's why the area doesn't provide many resort type experiences...because most people will want to get off grounds and go adventure a little?
 
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scubadada

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Day 5 of diving, Sunday Sept 19

Two dives out of Boynton with Starfish, Capt Chris and mate Ren. Today was a really nice day. Weather was sunny and warm. Seas were less than two, probably less than a foot.

First dive was on the Castor. The current was brisk, but less than Thursday. The visibility was better, maybe 60+ feet. The water temp held at 84 degrees. There were about 15 Goliath Grouper on the stern and one very big one on the bow. There was a pretty good amount of bait and hunters. There were large Barracuda hanging around. There were a couple of huge Lionfish in the corridor on the stern port side, I guess no one was hunting. Hanging out with the GG after everyone else was gone was magical.

When I boarded, I found that an old friend, Brian, @deepstops, here on SB, was on board, We did the second dive together, We started on the outside reef at Black Condo and crossed over to Briny Breezes. It was a beautiful dive on the Boynton Reef. Brian got a couple of lobster, I got a great dive on the Boynton reef with all the usual suspects Sometimes, you just have to consider that you are very fortunate :)
 
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Day 4 of diving, Saturday Sept 18

Four dives with Starfish out of Boynton. Capt Chris all day, Moty in the morning and Ren in the afternoon. I usually dive by myself. I did all 4 dives with my new friend from Houston, Kirk, who I also did one dive with on Thursday. I also had the pleasure of diving with Mark, @CosbySweater here on SB. The day was warm and sunny, seas were nearly flat, glassy in the morning. Water temp is steady at 83-85. The visibility was 30-50 feet.

First dive outside of Clubhouse with crossover to Gulfstream. There was a brisk north current with a strong west pull that made staying on the outside an effort, Less current on the inside but still with a west pull, requiring continuous kicking to stay on the reef. The second dive was outside of Black Condo (Tumbled Rocks) with a crossover to Briny Breezes. There was a little less current, easier swim. Nothing spectacular a couple of Nurse Sharks, a Hawksbill and a big, old Loggerhead, huge Southern Stingray, Green Morays and all the usual reef fish

Third dive was back to the outside of Clubhouse, a little farther south with a crossover to the inside. Current had let up a bit from the morning and it was an easier swim. Last dive was up north on Lynn's and Castle Ledge. The current had gone slack, may have even started a trickle south by the end. Again, nothing special, a couple of Nurse Sharks, a small Hawksbill and all the usual reef residents. Mark got a few lobster.

A nice, satisfying day of diving with 4 1/2 hours underwater :)

Craig (@scubadada), Mark (@CosbySweater), it was nice meeting you both. A special thanks to Craig for letting me tag along on the five dives and for carrying the flag. Until we meet again.

As far as Southeast Florida diving goes, from the perspective of a newish diver with a limited frame of reference (that also includes Cozumel, Costa Rica, and Texas lakes), I've logged 44 dives over the past 12+ months in West Palm Beach, Jupiter, and now Boynton Beach. While you don't have the huge reef structures like you see in Cozumel, the variety of marine life one is likely to see diving out of these inlets (and Blue Heron Bridge) over the course of several days is tough to beat, whether you're into the bigger stuff, the macro, or everything in between; assuming you know where and when to look. If wrecks are your thing, there are a number of those kind of sites as well. As far as the varied conditions with respect to weather, currents and visibility, for me that's all part of the experience. I'm a better diver because of the dives I've had the opportunity to log there.
 

CosbySweater

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Craig (@scubadada), Mark (@CosbySweater), it was nice meeting you both. A special thanks to Craig for letting me tag along on the five dives and for carrying the flag. Until we meet again.

As far as Southeast Florida diving goes, from the perspective of a newish diver with a limited frame of reference (that also includes Cozumel, Costa Rica, and Texas lakes), I've logged 44 dives over the past 12+ months in West Palm Beach, Jupiter, and now Boynton Beach. While you don't have the huge reef structures like you see in Cozumel, the variety of marine life one is likely to see diving out of these inlets (and Blue Heron Bridge) over the course of several days is tough to beat, whether you're into the bigger stuff, the macro, or everything in between; assuming you know where to look. As far as the varied conditions with respect to weather, currents and visibility, for me that's all part of the experience. I'm a better diver because of the dives I've had the opportunity to log there.

Good diving with you on Saturday, Kirk! Let me know the next time you're in town and we'll hop on a boat together.
 
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scubadada

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Day 6 of diving, Monday Sept 20

Two dives with Capt Chris and mate Ren on Starfish out of Boynton, I was surprised again to see my old friend Maureen and her husband, Also surprised to see my friend Ron from the old days on Underwater Explorers

The day was sunny and warm, seas around a foot. The visibility was about 50 feet. Big difference was the current, essentially none, trace north to slack. Water temp remained 83-5 degrees.Today was the first day I dived by myself except for the Castor, very relaxing. First dive was on beautiful Delray Ledges. I was dropped on a nice big Nurse Shark. Highlights were a nice size Lemon Shark and several free swimming Green Morays. The usual huge schools of Grunts were present. The second dive was outside at Clubhouse with a crossover to Gulfstream. It was nice being able to swim up and down the fingers without being pulled off. Nothing spectacular above the usual reef fish.
 
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Hi @Tumblin’ Dice

You got to see more of the Boynton reef than most divers see in many visits. You're in good shape for your next visit. Let me know when that is, I may be down
 
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Day 7 of diving, Tuesday Sept 21

I had to have my routine maintenance done on my A/C this morning, so I went out with JDC in the afternoon, my only option. I did not realize it was a "Goliath Grouper" trip. If I would have known this, I would probably have skipped the day. The boat was full, maybe 12-14 or so divers. It rained all day, mostly lightly. Seas were about two feet, water temp was 84-85 and vis was about 40-50 feet. There was no current. First dive was on Wreck Trek, second on MG-111.

Nothing like having a boat load of divers chasing the Goliath Grouper around with their bright video lights while kicking up all the sand behind them.. I generally stayed off by myself and made the best of the situation. Diving is better than not diving.
 

Gene

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With family in Palm Beach County since the 1960s and an aunt and uncle with a boat and scuba gear, we've been lucky to be able to dive there for decades. But, with family members getting older and no longer owning a boat or gear, that's slowed down our diving there. I used to go out with The Scuba Club as well as sometimes Jim Abernathy. TSC is long gone now and I believe Jim's sold his shop and boat...? My son and I keep saying we'll do another wreck dive there sometime, but it hasn't happened in quite some time. Since we live in north FL, the springs our are usual dive sites, with even a Civil War era "wreck" at Troy Springs...
 

Johnoly

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. If I would have known this, I would probably have skipped the day...
Just a spearo tip for the future on the MG111, cause sometimes I want to skip it too.

About 289 ft to the east (cause we're supposed to start 300' near the DM's flag) is a low profile reef line. Sometimes the captain will give you a separate drop and you can slowly run that line. It's always fishie, sometimes bugs and usually a ton of sleeping nurse sharks tucked underneath the rocks.

Atleast you got to go diving while the rest of us are stuck at on land.
 

CosbySweater

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Just a spearo tip for the future on the MG111, cause sometimes I want to skip it too.

About 289 ft to the east (cause we're supposed to start 300' near the DM's flag) is a low profile reef line. Sometimes the captain will give you a separate drop and you can slowly run that line. It's always fishie, sometimes bugs and usually a ton of sleeping nurse sharks tucked underneath the rocks.

Atleast you got to go diving while the rest of us are stuck at on land.

Good tip Johnoly. I see what you’re talking about on the relief map. Looks nice and patchy. I might try that next time.
 
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