Trip Report Palm Beach FL May 15-16, 2021

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Johnoly

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I'll echo & expand upon Jim's comments. Being a spearo, I want to be away from the crowd that spooks the fish so I NEVER see the DM nor the group until back on the boat. They dive in a straight line down the reef and I make a giant 'arc' to the east or west and make my way back to the straight dive line for an easy boat pickup.

I also drive for several personal dive boats who 'could be' flag-less. In addition to using bearing & distance on my GPS to track diver's expected path, I can position my boat to see bubbles or signs of bubbles. In an imaginary line, the divers are infront of me and the sun is directly at my back and my boat's in the middle. If it's less than 1ft waves I can either see their bubbles or the air bubbles will make about a 6ft circle 'flat-ish' pattern that is very different from the surrounding chop. If the waves are 4-6ft, as a big wave crests near the expected divers, the sunshine behind me will shine 'thru' the wave with a distinctively lighter pattern than the other darker parts of the wave and I can see it and that's 'you'. We also have sonar/fish finder on the boats and if I want to re-confirm that I actually did see bubbles, I'll drive slowly over the front tail of the expected bubbles and I'll see your bubbles on my fish finder screen as I go over them and it will show you on the bottom.

It takes a lot of years to understand and that's why it doesn't matter if it's a charter or a private boat, the difference is a Good Captain who knows where you are at, even if flag-less and can't see you. It's ALWAYS the captain's fault if he loses you. I'll be 300ft from you before you shoot your SMB on your stop and then I'll do 1 full wide circle around your SMB to let the diver underwater know that I see & am tracking them even if I have to leave and pick up another diver.That gives the U/W diver confidence that "He knows I'm here" . Sadly this is not always the case.
 

gamon

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Thanks for the report.

I was booked for those dives but since I'm traveling by airplane and it was sketchy at best with more than 6' seas forecast I scrapped the trip.

Apparently that was a mistake. You just never know.
 

Divin'Papaw

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Thanks for the report.

I was booked for those dives but since I'm traveling by airplane and it was sketchy at best with more than 6' seas forecast I scrapped the trip.

Apparently that was a mistake. You just never know.

Forecast was definitely not good. One of those times when the forecast was worse than the actual conditions turned out to be.
 

CosbySweater

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As always, great report and great photos. I’m up in VA this week so no diving for me but I was watching the weather all weekend. Glad to see you were able to get 4 dives in. Fun that you got to do those sites in reverse. Curious where the drop is for reverse Corridor and reverse River Walk.
 

deeper thoughts

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Very nice thnx for posting
 

tekkydiver

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I'll echo & expand upon Jim's comments. Being a spearo, I want to be away from the crowd that spooks the fish so I NEVER see the DM nor the group until back on the boat. They dive in a straight line down the reef and I make a giant 'arc' to the east or west and make my way back to the straight dive line for an easy boat pickup.

I also drive for several personal dive boats who 'could be' flag-less. In addition to using bearing & distance on my GPS to track diver's expected path, I can position my boat to see bubbles or signs of bubbles. In an imaginary line, the divers are infront of me and the sun is directly at my back and my boat's in the middle. If it's less than 1ft waves I can either see their bubbles or the air bubbles will make about a 6ft circle 'flat-ish' pattern that is very different from the surrounding chop. If the waves are 4-6ft, as a big wave crests near the expected divers, the sunshine behind me will shine 'thru' the wave with a distinctively lighter pattern than the other darker parts of the wave and I can see it and that's 'you'. We also have sonar/fish finder on the boats and if I want to re-confirm that I actually did see bubbles, I'll drive slowly over the front tail of the expected bubbles and I'll see your bubbles on my fish finder screen as I go over them and it will show you on the bottom.

It takes a lot of years to understand and that's why it doesn't matter if it's a charter or a private boat, the difference is a Good Captain who knows where you are at, even if flag-less and can't see you. It's ALWAYS the captain's fault if he loses you. I'll be 300ft from you before you shoot your SMB on your stop and then I'll do 1 full wide circle around your SMB to let the diver underwater know that I see & am tracking them even if I have to leave and pick up another diver.That gives the U/W diver confidence that "He knows I'm here" . Sadly this is not always the case.

Sorry, but a quality Captain would not allow divers to operate without a flag. It's against the law.... for good reason.
 

Catito

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I was able to get out this past Saturday and Sunday morning with Pura Vida. Saturday I was on Marin (deep boat) and Sunday on Aurelia (the only boat they took out).

Even though there was a NE swell and the forecast was for 5-6' seas the conditions were not that bad both mornings. We had 3-4' seas with a moderate period of maybe 6-8 seconds. It was very manageable.

Saturday 5/15
1st dive was on North Double Ledges
Moderate south current so we did it in reverse ... north to south
This was the worst dive of the four for the weekend. Water temps were 80-81, viz was a milky 40' or so. I quickly got separated from the group and missed the jump to stay on the best ledge. Easy to do going backwards. It turns out that the main group with the guide missed it too so I didn't feel so bad! Most of the dive was in an area of rubble and patchy reef. Not an awful dive but not the best. I did see a nice hawksbill and bull shark right at the end so that was nice.

2nd dive was on Corridor
Also a moderate south current so we did it in reverse ... north to south
This dive was much better. The viz was better at 50-60', the group stayed together well, water temps were still 80-81. Saw a cute baby reef shark (maybe 2-3'), small hawksbill, LOTS of schooling jack on the Ana C and one lone medium sized goliath grouper.

Sunday 5/16
Only 5 customers on the boat. It was heavenly!

1st dive was on the Princess Anne
Fantastic dive. Trickle of a south current so we could easily explore this large wreck. We were in bull shark heaven! There were at least 6 that hung out and circled around us the entire dive. There were schooling spadefish, schooling barracuda and a school of rainbow parrotfish. Water temp was right at 80 and viz was 50-60'. Awesome dive! We even had a bull follow us up to say goodbye! I'll post a pick of it from our safety stop.

2nd dive was on Governors
Still a slow south current so we did it backwards .... north to south. Viz wasn't as good as on the Princess Anne. Maybe 20-30' with water temp right at 80. Even in the lowish viz the guide did a great just hitting most of the wrecks. With the minimal current we could take our time and just explore. Lots of lionfish were killed by two of our group. A good dive to wrap up the weekend.

I'll post some screen captures shortly.

I think it might about be time to break out my 3mm. I was in my 5mm with my warm water lycra hood. I was incredibly comfortable and maybe a bit warm at times. I'm never warm!

Thanks for the report. I did a dive with Pura Vida last Saturday, too…but a reef dive at 8am. It was a surprisingly mild current. Lots of Loggerheads; one Lemon and tons of eels. I did wear my 3mm. A little chilly!
 

iamrushman

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thanks for sharing your photos and report.
 
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https://xf2.scubaboard.com/community/forums/cave-diving.45/

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