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Friday, May 31, 2013

Palm Island Ferry

We have attempted two times now to dive the Palm Island Ferry. Previous attempts were foiled by boats on the dive spot, and today was no different. However there was a big enough chunk to call our own and we decided to drop and do some diving. We used the following coordinates N 26° 49.236'  W 82° 31.951' however due to using a friends boat out of Boca, we did not have a depth sounder (smacks head into wall) So we dropped in the area and hoped to run into reef/bottom. This was not the case and all I got to see was flat sand bottom about 60'... however we had a blast shooting Amber Jacks, we ran into a school and had our choice of the litter. My friend fired into one and did not stone him, he pulled with great force dragging us all over the place until we were able to brain him with our knife. I could not even imagine getting into his big brother (AJs get quite big). Visibility was around 10'-12' and we walked away with a couple keepers to end out the AJ season. Overall awesome dive, however not quite the best review on the reef. We will make another dive on this location and I will post pictures of the structure/video if I can.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sunset Cruise with Rocket Launch

Friends from Maryland came down for a weekend prior to them boarding a cruise ship and going to the Caribbean. They asked me to take them out on the boat and I obliged with a trip to Stump Pass. We arrived around 4pm and enjoyed beaching the boat in Ski alley, drinking a few beers, watching wake boarders/water skiers.  We decided to go to the Stump Pass Tiki Bar and enjoy their food specials, which is never a disappoint, great views/food/prices and service. We then went back to our slice of heaven to attempt to witness the Green Flash (sunset phenomenon) which we unfortunately did not get to witness this time. We began our journey home and the skies were a beautiful pink/purple hue as the city scape lights began to become dominant. Prior to us passing under Englewood bridge we saw what appeared to be an airplane trail almost perfectly vertical pink as well, when we realized it was a rocket being launched by NASA in Cape Canaveral. What an unexpected surprise. All in all yet another perfect and beautiful day on the water.
Picture does the night sky no justice.....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Shrimp Boat, Venice Ledge, Venice Reef

I came home and noticed posts from local captains stating that the viz was top to bottom in the Venice area, and just so happened to have a friend call me and my daughter was with her mom for the day (all the planets aligned) almost begging me to dive. We loaded up the boat and launched from the Venice boat ramps, heading out on one the flattest days I have ever seen. We arrived around the coordinates I have been given for a shrimp boat wreck (  27° 4'19.93"N ,  82°36'12.61"W ) I found these coordinates to be off by about 100' to SW, get to that area and look at your depth finder for changes. We dove this site and found buried masts, and nets from what appears to be an old shrimp boat. Marine life was scarce and appeared to be relatively newer +/- 4 years? (est.), this was found at a depth of approx 50', and viz was 30+ feet above the thermocline which just so happened to be around the bottom at 40+ ' causing our bottom viz to be 6-8' viz.

We then had a surface interval as we rode out to Venice ledge, which I have listed the coordinates too before. Today we saw small snook held up on the ledge, and plenty of aquarium/reef fish, but no shooters. This is located straight out of Venice beach at about 28'. Beautiful ledge/coral life. Always a pleasurable dive at really shallow depths, viz 6-8'

A friend of mine wanted to take a look at the last spot of the day that a boat was on coming in, so we dropped in on Venice Reef, which he tells me is concrete rubble and several culverts. Again fish populations appeared to have moved out, and we were unable to locate any shooters here. Again a beautiful dive to round out the day, and another site to add to my list.