Dive Report : Biscayne

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Posted by Patrick on July 17, 2006 at 20:30:55:

Tired tonight so a quick summary...enjoy

Today was the first day on the water for this year’s project. The plan was to visit the ALICIA lost 1905 on Long Reef, and complete the collection of the last few data points required to complete the report on the work we’ve done. Instead of using the Park’s Whalers, we had a slightly bigger crew and instead used one of the park concession boats – Boca Chita – a 46-foot catamaran with twin outboards. Lots of room and she moves along a a very respectable 20+ knots, a nice ride for the day.

Conditions were excellent, especially so since there have been a couple of nasty low-pressure systems making for pretty violent offshore thunderstorms along with uncomfortable 3-6-foot chop. But today, the weather seemed to skim by us, both to the north and south of Long Reef. On the 20-mile run out we had just 1-2 foot seas; the most difficult part of the trip was avoiding the numerous turtles, and setting the anchor correctly on the site.

Once on the ALICIA site everyone had their assigned tasks and went to work. Water temp was 84 degrees and viz was about 40-50 feet – not as good as we’ve had it previously, but fine with me. Last week I was in 50 degree water and 5-foot viz.

After two dives, ALICIA was done, and we were off to ERLKING in preparation for the remainder of the week’s work. Conditions were about the same on ERLKING and it didn’t take long to get the baseline set and marked.

At 15:00, all divers were recalled and we headed back to Convoy Point, pleased to call it a very constructive day. The ride in was very nice, just watching turtles diving away as we passed, and flying fish launching out of the water every few yards.

On arrival back at the dock, a manatee – really a rare sighting this far south this late in the year, briefly greeted us. Of course the camera was packed when the animal made its appearance – oh well, next time. Tomorrow we’ll be back in the Whaler(s) and continue the survey/mapping on ERLKING.

Stay wet

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