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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Perfect Storm

Well the weather in the Venice area is getting cooler, which is bittersweet for me. It means busting out the 7mm wet suit, hood, gloves and freezing after long dives, but it also means that the clarity of winter is coming due to a lack of algae growth in the water (less "snot" or suspended particle). With the hurricane that is hitting the North East we have seen an increase in wind and wave action which again is a mixed bag of feelings. I am excited due to the teeth I am sure the rough surf are bound to uncover for me to find :) I am planning a dive as soon as the water is safe to get into, before everyone has a chance to pick over the fossil beds, expect a post soon of that adventure. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Turtle Beach- Donut Dive (Event)

Today I enjoyed my first Donut Dive, this is a monthly event sponsored by a local dive shop: Florida Underwater Sports (Sarasota). Today's theme was Halloween in nature and was an underwater pumpkin carving contest. We met up in the parking lot of Turtle Beach around 9am, a group of approximately 30 divers enjoyed free donuts (hence the name) and awaited the briefing from the DM. We hit the water in self organized dive groups and began carving pumpkins just offshore from the beach. Visibility was not the best around 2-4 feet with suspended particles, however just fine enough for us to work at the task at hand. IT WAS A BLAST! After the dive (no set down time) we met back at the same meeting area for voting. A winner was selected, unfortunately not me.... and 2 dive charter packages were handed out.

I highly recommend the "Donut Dive," great way to mingle, network, and of course dive. If your partner-less it is a great way to meet people, enjoy getting wet, and a new locale. I will have to re-dive Turtle Beach again and post a review on the spot, it lacked any structure from what I could tell and apparently has an abundant array of marine life. I was focused on an orange pumpkin so I cannot really comment on that. The dive was well organized and had a check in/out board for accountability and tracking. I have included a video of the dive and the link for the dive shop so you can find a list of events they are sponsoring.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Spear Fishing (Venice Reef)

Today we were planning on going 15 miles off shore and attempting a shipwreck that I will write about later. However when I woke up today I found out that there were 15 MPH gusts offshore, which was upsetting, because I had looked forward to diving. I decided to go ahead and attempt a basic dive on Venice Reef (2706.29 8228.904). My friend, my Dad, and I anchored up with ease and were greeted by tons of birds on the water, and dropped down with visibility being about 10-15 feet. We found TONS of life which is amazing because we have been experiencing red tide the past few days. We had a few shooters today, and attached is a picture of my friend holding his prized keepsake. I saw a few dive charter boats out anchored which reminded me of my trip to Mexico, just seeing the life and energy out on the water. During our surface interval a local Kayak sharks tooth diver swam up to us and clipped onto our boat to take a break due to all the current. We exchanged some numbers and stories, and went for our second dive. Although the second dive of the day did not produce any keepers to get any shots off at I still enjoyed the millions of bait fish and marine life. I love the calm that comes over me during these periods of visiting another world.                                         

Brendan (Author) preparing for the dive/ Dave with his hog fish

Friday, October 12, 2012

M15 Reef

M15 Reef (27° 05.001’ 82° 32.524’)

I have had the pleasure of diving this spot several times. About a week ago a friend of mine and myself decided to spearfish a few of the local reefs looking for something to shoot. We arrived to find a few fishermen on the spot and passed it to go to M16. On our way back in we dove M15 which is mainly concrete rubble, we were unable to find any shoot able fish on this day, however the colors of fish/reef are beautiful and always proves to be a very enjoyable dive.