8am-outside air temp-68 degrees, warmed to 86 by mid-day. The water temp has been a consistent 77 degrees for the past two months, however, today we had 79-degree water temp. Combined with light winds, a south current and 70’ plus visibility, it made for an outstanding diving and boating day off Fort Lauderdale. The start of above 80-degree summer water temp is almost here.
Vessel & Crew
Private vessel-Sand Diver (39’ Yellowfin with triple 300hp Yamahas)
Crew-Tom Campbell, Peter de Villers, Lance Van Schaik, John Strunk, and myself with Bruce Paul driving.
Dive, Dive, Dive
We left the dock in Lighthouse Point and stopped by the Lighthouse Marina for some fuel. We headed south, going out of the Hillsboro Inlet, to an area called Wreck Trek, south of Angler’s Pier in Lauderdale-by-the Sea. These are four wrecks that were placed in the sand in a north/south formation between the second and third reef. Lance, John and I jumped in on the northern-most wreck and headed south, drifting with the current. These wrecks have a large abundance of marine life and we got to see a 200-pound Goliath Grouper (we’re prohibited from harvesting) along with a large Loggerhead turtle. There were plenty of tropical fish and including a few larger Amber Jacks. It seemed everywhere you looked, there were a variety of fish.
Our second dive was also between the second and third reef but directly off the Angler’s Pier. This is a natural patch reef about 100-foot wide but has a lot of smaller fish. There’s not a lot of structure on this reef, however, it’s an area we sometimes visit because not a lot of divers know about its existence. The surprise catch of the day was a Kingfish or King Maceral by John, as we normally don’t see these fish in this scrub reef area. Landing a Kingfish made John “King of the Reef” and a great story to match.
The Gulfstream current is very close to our shore, allowing a large variety of fish in our ocean. With the location of the reef system so close to our white, sandy beaches of Fort Lauderdale, we never know what type of fish we’ll bring home. Warmer water temperatures and flat, calm seas are almost here, as we get ready for diving during the summer months.