The following being a complete log of my trip to the best of my memory:
As Spirit arrived in FLL early Sunday A.M. I beat feet for K.L. post haste arriving at CRD in time for their PM dive. Both boats were full thus rendering any chance of meeting SB'ers nil. Did paperwork for the next day and headed up to Caribbean Drive to Scuba Do. Turns out they had just two (newbies - like dive number 5) for their PM sortie so I signed on. We did Snapper and, probably, Pickle. Scuba Do recognized my obvious superior skills and treated me accordingly. Water temps in the 87 degree range; the same all over on shallow dives this week. Fish abundant. Good crew.
Monday A.M.: CRD - Duane and some reef. Took the little boat. Nine revenues on board. No SB names were mentioned so if I met any I didn't know it. Dove with "James" on the wreck. Good dive. There may have been some current. Bottom temp about 70.
Monday P.M.: CRD - Eagle and some reef. Little boat again. Just four of us this trip. The Eagle's always good. Saw five big jewfish. The smallest was real big. The biggest was huge. Slight current. A bit chilly. Fair viz. CRD did their usual great job.
Tuesday A.M.: Ocean Divers - Spiegel & Benwood. Maybe eight or nine of us. I'm pretty sure I was buddied with a couple of others. Some current. Cold. Viz not too great. Other than that a great dive.
Tuesday P.M.: Quiescence - Horseshoe, Statue & Elbow. Two other divers. Again, brand new. Boss Rob ran the boat. The others mentioned the Statue and Rob, being both knowledgeable and compassionate, suggested we might hit the Horseshoe where the glass minnows were in full bloom then a quick stop at the Statue followed up by the last dive at the Elbow. Never saw the minnows before. Got buried in a bait ball. It was great. Searched out the newbies and showed them the minnows. They seemed to like it. Rob did real good. Quiescence has the biggest 26' boats in the world and the engines are very quiet and vibration free. As always, they come highly recommended for all skill levels.
Wednesday A.M.: O.D. again, - Duane & Mo (I think). Two other divers, Mike & Mary, both experienced. Craig was driving and Mike was babysitting us. Got to the Duane and HMS Minnow Jeff was already on site. His divers reported a strong current and 69 on the bottom. Craig said we could try the Speigel however Mike & Mary elected the Duane. That was OK by me. Craig briefed us: "You've all dove the Duane many times, right?" (We nodded.) "No sense in me wasting my breath; we're on the bow, pool's open." Outstanding briefing. It was c-c-cold. Viz was so-so. Mike and Mary went back aways. I hung around the front 50' of the ship. Saw all the usual suspects. A nice dive. Wearing a 3MM jumpsuit and hood was good. Mo (or maybe French) was good. I think the viz got up to 50'+.
Wednesday P.M.: HMS Minnow - Mo "wall" drift and French. Me plus four other experienced divers. Headed for the Duane but the buoys were throwing wakes. Did a drift from the outer south ledge of Mo up to about Boynton Beach. (Slight exaggeration). The last few minutes an Eagle Ray put on a show doing wingovers and hammerhead stalls directly below us. Show off. French was great. Looking forward to doing Business with the Minnow and Jeff on the next trip. Viz seems to be getting better but was changing on an almost hourly basis.
I haven't been diving in NJ yet this year; travel, family visits, graduations, weddings and work are screwing things up big time. But the cold water and poor viz on the K.L. wrecks was a gentle reminder for my NJ season which starts next week.