I was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, so I scheduled a Dive with Jeff at Scuba Marco, on Marco Island, FL.
Jeff called me the day before to confirm the dive. His boat is a six pack. We had five divers on the boat.
We dove two wrecks. The first was Bagen’s Barge. It is a small barge (8’x10’) sitting in about 35 feet of water. The water was colder than any of us expected (65 degrees) and with my full 3mm+ vest was chilly during the dives. My buddy, Bob, had even less neoprene on. Visbility on the dives was about 10 feet.
The big attraction in this area is the Florida Goliath grouper. And sure enough there was one down on the wreck. He stayed just outside of us, but was about 4 feet long. Lots of snapper and a big snook on the wreck too. Lots of sea urchin and crabs.
The 2nd wreck was a debris field of a shrimp boat. Here teh groupers were in abundance. The biggest one when we tried to take a picture made this concussion sound (boom!) then fled. He had to be a good 5-6 feet long and 300 lbs. One really big fish. Lots of baitfish around the debris. Also saw lots of starfish.
As a bonus on the return trip to the dock we saw a manatee surface. It was huge. After coming to the surface to breath, it turned back down and slapped its tail on the water like you would see a beaver do. Really cool.
Overall, it was a good time, and Scuba Marco was a good operator. Next time. I will be more prepared for the cooler water.