The Raytheon SCUBA Club visited Biscayne Bay National
Park for three days of diving in late February. As
is typical for this time of year, the weather was a
mixed bag. We got blown out on day three, so we
came home early. Day two on the other hand was
downright spectacular with warm water, calm seas, and
SCUBA Club had a beautiful day for our Sheridan /
Seafood barge trip on May 2nd. Our first dive
was on the wreck of the Sheridan, a 180-foot ocean-going
tug that sits upright in about 75 feet of water.
The ship is mostly in tact with many easily accessible
compartments and cubbies to explore. Our second
dive was on the nearby Seafood barge, which has a
similar depth. The barge actually had more
abundant fish life than the Sheridan; both Lenny and Bob
came home with some "seafood" of their own for dinner.
Visibility was 25-30 feet, seas flat calm with no
current, and the water temp was 75 degrees at depth.
Mechelle, and Sean came down for a visit in June.
We had a great time sharing some of the Florida
lifestyle with them. Between a baseball game,
boating, dolphin watching, kayaking, hanging out on the
beach, real golf, miniature golf, AND a couple of tastey
Florida meals, including steak and crab on the grill by
the pool and She Crab soup at Frenchy's, I think they
were pretty much wiped out by the time we were done with
them. Next time you guys want to come down, you'd
better take a few days off beforehand to rest up
SCUBA Club took Chris' boat out to Greg's Crack and
Veteran's Reef in June. Greg's Crack is a natural
ledge in about 60 feet of water with deep undercuts and
a 4 - 7 foot profile. Veteran's Reef is an
artificial reef site in 45 feet of water; prominent
features include three steel-hulled barges, each over
100 feet long and over 300 tons of native Florida
limestone. Seas were calm and the water
temperature was 84 degrees at depth. Many of the
larger fish species have apparently migrated further off
shore in search of cooler water, but there was still
plenty of smaller stuff to see. Cedric did manage
to come home with a Red Snapper for dinner.
We had an
excellent day on the boat with friends on July 3rd.
Greg and Chris did a quick dive on Clearwater
Reef, while Jeff, Linda, Sue, and Amanda stayed topside
for some above water fun. After dropping Jeff and
Linda off at the boat ramp, the rest of us continued
South to the Pub for some dinner. We got a little
rain in the afternoon, but overall it turned out to be a
weekend was another fantastic day on the water.
Greg, Bob, Chris, and Jeff headed out on an offshore
adventure to a couple of new (to us...) spots off of
Bradenton / Sarasota. "The Peaks" is a large area
of rubble in about 75 feet of water with a 25 - 30 foot
profile. Bob managed to bring back 3 good-sized
Hogfish from this spot. There were also lots of
Grouper there, but not many of legal size. Our
second dive was on the Fin Barge, in about 80 feet of
water. We saw several Jewfish, a Spotted Eagle
Ray, large schools of baitfish, and a killer Remora that
was hell bent on attaching itself to Greg at our Safety
stop. Seas were smooth and warm. Many thanks
to Jeff for keeping watch topside.
We took the
boat down to Key Largo again this year for some diving,
snorkeling, and fun (not necessarily in that order).
Mom and Amanda's friend Hannah were able to join us as
well. We stayed at new place this year called the
Mariner's Club. It's right on the ocean and
provides easy access to the reefs by boat; quite an
improvement over previous years which required a longish
boat ride from the bay side to get out to the dive and
snorkel sites. Our three-bedroom townhouse also
had a full kitchen, which made it easier to eat in for
lunches and breakfast.