8am-outside air temperature - 60 degrees, warming to 82 degrees by 10am. A southeast wind, 75-degree water temperature with one-foot seas, a mild north current and visibility of 40 feet.
Vessel & Crew
Private vessel-Chiefy (29’ Sea Vee with twin 300 hp Mercury Verados)
Crew-Chuck Van Buskirk, Carmine Dilorenzo, Ben Fallon and myself.
Dive, Dive, Dive
The ocean conditions continue to be outstanding with the water temperature warming and the visibility increasing every day. This spiny lobster season has been great as we ended up with 18 lobsters today, including a “slipper” lobster.
Sometimes called a shovel nose, the “slipper” lobster have an appearance of looking prehistoric, with their shell or carapace oddly shaped. They are found in the same holes as spiny lobsters; however, they look like a rock underwater. They’re easy to catch as they don’t more very fast, but often overlooked. They are unregulated in the State of Florida, so you can harvest them throughout the year and they don’t add to your total limit of spiny lobsters. They are harvested for their tail meat, just like spiny lobsters. And just like “spiny’s,” you cannot harvest the egg-bearing females. Chuck caught the one slipper lobster, but he decided to donate him to the Gumbo Limbo Nature Preserve, so we kept him in salt water for the trip to the nature center later in the afternoon.
Our dives were south of the Hillsboro Inlet, in the area north of the Pompano Beach pier, on the second reef in 35-feet of water. Ben and I dove together and then Carmine and Chuck dove together. This area has been very productive for catching spiny lobster this year and it didn’t disappoint us today.
Besides getting a nice amount of spiny lobster, Chuck was able to Save the Slipper (Lobster) to spend its years on display at the nature center. Overall, it was a great day, especially for the “slipper” lobster.