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Back in the high life, part 3

Discussion in 'Florida' started by scubadada, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,592
    8,627
    113
    So, it's taken me several days to get going on this thread, it's been a very interesting first 5 days.

    The airport in Philadelphia was still pretty deserted on the morning of the 10th and most shops and restaurants are still closed, at least early in the morning. The Admiral's Club in B/C is open, but they still walk you back to your seat, take a drink order, and bring you a crappy snack bag. It's better than hanging out in the airport. Everyone at the airport and on the flight down to West Palm wore a mask. National Car was fine, everyone was masked. The National Emerald Isle is closed, all pick ups at at Alamo, not as good as the old days but worked out fine. Everyone at Winn Dixie was wearing a mask when I made my one stop at the grocery for my stay. I stay in my townhouse in Hypoluxo, the only people I come into contact with for the rest of the trip are on the boats.

    Friday the 11th. I got off to a very good start. I went out of Boynton with Starfish. The first dive was on the Castor and the second started on the outside of Briney Breezes with a crossover to the inside. There was little current, water temp 84 degrees, only downside was visibility of about 40 feet. The Castor was great with little current, so nice to be able to swim around. There were quite a few Goliath Grouper on the wreck, mainly the stern and off the wreck. The highlight was a large group of GG of the port bow stacked up. You don't see these when the current is up. There was a fair amount of bait and hunting Jacks. One of the resident Bulls was circling the perimeter of the the wreck for much of the dive, probably hoping someone was hunting. The second dive was very relaxing. A Loggerhead straggler swam with me for at least 5 minutes on the outside.

    Saturday the 12th. This day was a total loss due to Tropical Depression Nineteen. Nobody went out Boynton to Jupiter. I rode my bike to the Boynton Inlet and waves were breaking over the entire inlet, big swells, whitecaps all over, wind that you had to lean into. Of course, this could always be worse. This is now Hurricane Sally, battering the gulf coast.

    Sunday the 13th. My trip in Boynton was cancelled so I went out with Narcosis in West Palm. Seas were a good 2-4 with occasional bigger. Visibility was about 50 feet on the first dive on North Double Ledge and a bit less on Governor's River Walk on the 2nd. Water was 84 degrees. The dive on the reef was very nice even with very brisk current. A couple of Hawksbills, Nurse Sharks, all the usual reef fish. We ran out of reef at the end of the dive. The current on the wrecks was ripping, hold on for dear life ripping. To make it worse, there were no Goliath Grouper or sharks, maybe they were hiding from the current. It was a bit of a short dive as after being blown off the last wreck, there is nothing. I was glad to have gotten to go diving.

    Monday the 14th. Went out with Starfish again from Boynton. Seas were 2-3, occ bigger. Brisk current on both dives with 84 degree water and visibility of about 50 feet. First dive was from outside of Clubhouse with crossover to the inside. Second dive a little farther north from outside of Black Condo to the inside. A couple of Loggerheads, a huge Southern Ray, a couple of Nurse sharks and all the usual reef fish. A good day.

    Today, Tuesday the 15th. I went up to Jupiter and went out with JDC for a 3 tanker. A beautiful day, seas 2-3, little current, water 84 degrees. Did dives at Area 51, Spadefish Point, and Bonnie's. Three or 4 Hawksbills, a Loggerhead, many Nurse Sharks, a few Reef Sharks, huge free swimming Green Moray, the usual reef fish. A very relaxing day.

    I have 6 more days, mostly in Boynton with a couple of dives on the Castor, back to Jupiter for another 3 tanker on Friday. It has not been the smoothest trip to date, but I'm extremely happy to be diving. I have some photos from the Castor and from Jupiter that I will post when I get around to downloading my camera. Right now, it's time for a beer and then make dinner.

    Take care, stay healthy, good diving to all,

    Craig
     
    RyanT, drrich2, AfterDark and 12 others like this.
  2. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,319
    2,713
    113
    Thanks for keeping us posted- Always enjoy reading your reports.
     
    scubadada likes this.
  3. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Florida
    774
    1,283
    93
    Keep the updates coming!

    I’m booked to dive the Castor with Starfish Thursday 9/24 but the forecasted conditions Mon-Thu 9/21-24 look horrible. Hopefully the system that is forecast doesn’t develop or blows through faster than they are projecting.
     
    scubadada likes this.
  4. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,592
    8,627
    113
    Wednesday the 16th. Two dives with Loggerhead out of Boynton. Seas were 2-3 feet, brisk current, water temp 84, visibility 40-50 feet. 1st dive outside of Clubhouse with crossover, 2nd dive outside at Sharkie's Ledge with crossover. It was not easy swimming between the fingers in the current. Hooked off several times so that I could more easily explore. Highlight was an inquisitive, medium sized Goliath Grouper on the second dive that has been living in the same place at least since July. There was also a very large school of Spadefish at this spot. I must have spent 10-15 minutes here

    Thursday the 17th. Two more dives with Loggerhead. Seas around 2 feet, very brisk current, water 84, visibility 50 feet. 1st dive on the Castor. Unlike my dive last Friday, yesterday had strong current that did not allow excursions off the wreck. There were about 10 Goliath Grouper on the stern and about the same number off the bow. I could not see if there was still a group off the port bow. There was a large school of Horse Eye Jacks on the bow as well as a small squadron of Barracuda. A pair of large Southern Rays spent a lot of time cruising the sand off the bow. Second dive was a return to Sharkie's, starting further south. Came upon the same GG I described above, it came over to me a few times within about 3 feet. If I moved any closer, it would scoot away. The school of Spadefish was still there. about twice the size as Wednesday, I was able to insert myself into the school and have nothing but Spadefish all around me, magical.

    Up to Jupiter this morning for another 3 tanker. As @JimBlay mentioned, looks like things are going to go bad sometime Sunday. Looks like I will not likely get in quite as many dives as I had planned
     
  5. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Florida
    774
    1,283
    93
    It looks to be the first cold front of the season combined with some groundswell from Teddy perhaps? Many times these early cold fronts don't make it as far south as they predict. That seems to happen quite a bit in September. I'm hoping either the strong onshore winds they are projecting don't develop or that they wrap up more quickly than the models show. The models have the seas building to 11-13' along the coast Sunday into Monday!!! Yowsa.
     
    scubadada likes this.
  6. morecowbells

    morecowbells Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St. Louis burbs
    960
    665
    93
    Thanks for sharing your dive insights We will be splitting our dives between Boynton Beach and Palm Beach next month. It will be our first dive vacation to Florida. After reading of the conditions, I am glad I have some Scopolamine patches available! We have a place booked on Singer Island. My husband is a craft beer geek. So you have any recommendations on brew pubs to visit? Thanks in advance.
     
    uncfnp and scubadada like this.
  7. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,592
    8,627
    113
    Friday the 18th. So, three really good dives with JDC today. Seas about 2 feet, mild to moderate north current, warm, sunny day, visibility 60-80 feet, better on the first dives. water temp 84-85 degrees. First dive was on Tim's Ledge, a not formally named dive just north of Area 51, a very nice site. Second dive was on Spadefish Point, 3rd dive was on Capt Kirle's, the least remarkable for the day. Today was Reef Shark day, many, many on the 1st two dives, couple on the last We also had several Goliath Grouper and a couple of Hawksbill Turtles. Of course there was the usual reef fish. All in all, a very nice day of diving

    Tomorrow may be my last day of diving for this visit, I have 4 dives out of Boynton with Starfish. Sunday appears to be going bad, if I'm lucky, in the afternoon. We'll see, seems like it may already be into fall weather.
     
  8. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,592
    8,627
    113
    Dixie Grill and Bar
    5101 South DIxie Highway, West Palm
    Very good menu, outdoor dining in addition to indoors, a phenomenal beer list, your husband will be impressed. Believe me :) Very casual...

    Let me know if you have additional questions about BB or West Palm
     
  9. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,592
    8,627
    113
    Saturday the 19th. This turned out to be my last day of diving this trip as today and tomorrow are lost to big seas.
    upload_2020-9-20_12-13-16.png
    upload_2020-9-20_12-13-41.png

    I did 4 dives with Starfish Scuba out of Boynton. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, flattest seas of the visit, glassy in the AM, less than 2 feet all day. Visibility was best of the trip, at least 60 feet, as good as around 80 feet. In late morning, you could see the barrel sponges on the reef from the boat! There was a mild north current. Water was 85 degrees all day.

    First dive was on the Castor, another one of those great days when the current is mild enough to allow you to swim around at will. There was 10-12 GG on the stern, a few on the bow, and a small group off the port bow, not as many as Friday the 11th. There was some bait and Jacks. The second dive started outside of Clubhouse and ended on the inside at Gulfstream and Black Condo. I took a visitor from NY on the first two dives, he did very well and ascended on my flag when gas dictated.

    The third dive was entirely outside of Clubhouse and north. This was a a really fun dive. Coming up, over a finger, I was surprised by a large Bull Shark that slowly cruised in front of me before proceeding south. Seeing Bull Sharks in this area is distinctly uncommon. Later, a Loggerhead Turtle swam straight toward me and placed its head against my mask, I spent a few moments peering directly into its eyes. It ended up swimming with me for about 5 minutes before veering off. A couple of large Green Morays, one free-swimming, ended the highlights.I started the last dive outside of Black Condo but had little NDL left at the end of the day. I cut across the reef and ended with a peaceful, relaxing drift on Black Condo and Jerry's No-Name.

    I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to dive in beautiful SE Florida again. This visit was a good example of needing to remain flexible to maximize diving. I ended up using 4 of my 5 most frequently used operators and dived in Boynton Beach, Jupiter, and West Palm. I have not ventured outside the US this year, and find it reasonably unlikely that I will do so

    Until next time, good diving to all, take care,

    Craig
     
  10. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,592
    8,627
    113
    Good luck, forecast does not look promising at this point
     

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