Dove with Dive Charters International run by Leo Sands (888) 340-DIVE. This is a (relatively) small boat with a 14 diver max. They also drop in groups of 2-4 and drop the different groups in different spots on the reef so that you are not in the midst of a herd. Unless everyone on the boat wants to dive a wreck, it will be drift diving on the local reefs. They dive a 60-60-60 profile (60 minute max dive, 60 minute SI, 60 minute max dive) and given the depth of the reefs (60-80FSW) this is a case where NITROX can significantly extend your bottom time. We dove 36% DNA this trip and (while none of us had nitrox computers) were in lots better shape at the end of the day on tables than we were on an earlier trip. They offer DNA at the boat for those certified for slightly more/fill. The fill station is right on the dock so there is no long trek with tanks. Likewise, any gear you need will also be dockside. Cost was about $55/2 tank trip (including tanks and weights) and they make 2/day on the weekends leaving at 8:30AM and 1:30PM. Water temperature was 86F at the surface and 84F on the bottom. I wore a polartec, one of the divers with me wore two layers of polartec, and the other a 3mm shorty over a polartec. Visibility ran from about 50 feet the first day to about 80 on the last trip.
Sept 27 was a bad day. We had decided not to do the AM trip but were planning on a two tank afternoon dive followed by a two tank twi-lite extravaganza. We got in a single dive before the crew (rightly) called off diving for the day. In one 40 minute dive we covered 2.5 miles. Needless to say, surface conditions were less than ideal.
Sept 28 was a little less rocky but still kind of rough. We started the day out with Del Rey Ledges and finished the morning on Jacob's Reef. Lots of fish on both but nothing that leaped out for special notice. That afternoon, we dove on Gulfstream and Lollipop. On the second dive that afternoon, we spotted a large nurse shark lying in a crevice and saw lots of lobsters. I also got some shots of bristle worms and flamingo tongues with the macro lense on.
Sept 29 (last day) the water was flat as glass as you might expect. That morning we did Sea Gate and Little Shark. As usual, there were lots of juveniles around Sea Gate and on Little Shark we spotted two rays and a rather large moray as well as enough lobsters to feed the population of a good sized island. We also watched another diver (a moron I think) trying to hack a hole in the coral to get at a lobster that had gotten away. I had words with him and also reported it to the captain and DM.
Up to the day (mostly) ocean conditions off Boynton Beach
One of the local divers that frequents the boat owns a Cuban restaurant in Boca Raton. Drive S on US1 to Spanish RIver and take a right to N Boca Raton then a left and it is on the left about 1/2 mile down the road. The Zarsuela de Mariscos is excellent as is the Ropa Vieja. If you are making both the AM and PM trips, the Two Georges at the end of the dock has pretty good fish and chips (one serving is enough for two) and reputedly also has pretty good burgers. There is also a sandwich shop in the strip mall across the road. We divvied up the duties. I played tank boy and equipment handler, someone else paid for the trip, and a third person went and got lunch between trips. We then had lunch sitting on the boat waiting for the PM trip.
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