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Grecian Rocks rocks!
ChuckP - 8/18/2009 10:21 AM
Category: Travel
Replies: 4

Dive report from the Florida Keys:

What a difference a month can make.

When I last checked in, the northern reefs (Elbow Reef, Dry Rocks, Grecian Rocks) hadn’t bloomed yet and the reports I was getting were pretty dismal. "Very disappointing", one long-time Keys diver called them. All the action was taking place at French, Molasses, Davis and Conch.

Well, something happened. While I haven’t been to Grecian myself, the secondhand stories I’m hearing are using words like "fabulous" and "spectacular". Apparently, Grecian Rocks has really outdone itself. It’s not a large reef and doesn’t get much press, but it’s certainly in the spotlight today. If you’re planning a run to the Keys anytime soon, put Grecian on the list.

In other news, the swimthrough caves at French Reef are getting more and more intriguing. On the map, French just looks like a continuation of Molasses, but that’s where any similarities end. It’s the only reef with a number of swimthrough caves, but no one’s ever actually sat down and mapped them out. As such, the personal dive sites use descriptions like "somewhere to the northwest of mooring ball F3", which is helpful, but not very accurate. Adding to the confusion is that the caves are very close to the sea floor, making them hard to spot. I’ve asked a number of people who had visited French what they thought of the caves, only to have them respond, "What caves?"

So, the bottom line is that people spend half their dive time just looking for the caves to begin with. One of these days I’d like to get some serious divers to spend a few days out there and get the caves mapped out once and for all. Then I’d put the map in digital picture format and email it to some personal dive sites and diving blogs so they can put it on their site and save their readers some valuable dive time.

On the migratory front, the conch made their move a few weeks ago, albeit a tad further north than normal. They usually traipse their merry way between Conch Reef and Little Conch Reef (which seems to make sense in some strange, arcane way), but this time they were spotted about 10 miles north of Conch Reef. Must be all that dang global cooling I keep reading about. Or global warming. Or whatever it is this week.

In yet other news, the largest tortoise in recorded history was spotted off my boat last week. I didn’t see it, but a couple of guests said the thing was monstrous and they’d been diving the waters for over 10 years.

Speaking of sea critters, lobster season officially opened this past weekend and the place was a madhouse. Every third vehicle on the road was pulling a boat. I saw boats leaving the marina that I didn’t even know were here. A neighbor who hasn’t moved his boat in a year went out three days in a row.

The bad news, however, is that two of my neighbors (shhh!) went out the day before lobster season opened and came back with a whopping TWO lobsters. All the rest were "shorts" to short to be legally taken. (Or illegally legally taken, in this case.) That doesn’t speak well for the lobsters as a whole, especially on the day before the season opens. They oughta close the whole thing down for a year and let the population regroup.

If you’d like to read an interesting perspective on lobsters, check this out.

You might bookmark the site for a rainy day. Some of their stuff is pretty lame, but some of it is exceptionally clever. The way the guy dismantled the ’Terminator’ movies was one for the books.

Happy divin’, y’all!
Cap’n Chuck
Premiere Charter
LatitudeAdjustment - 8/18/2009 6:50 PM
Dove French reef a few times before I found the caves and was starting to think Skin Diver Magazine was pulling my leg. I also missed Christ statue the first time but that’s because according to the tabloids it’s moving north toward Miami :)
ChuckP - 8/19/2009 8:44 AM


because according to the tabloids it’s moving north toward Miami

And they’re right! According to scientists, global warming is now responsible for tectonic plate movement. See, the water warms, which warms the tectonic plates below it, which eventually expand to the point where the earth blows up. According to Al Gore, we’ve got about three months before we lose Australia to outer space.

As far as the statue goes, they say the most surreal experience diving in the Keys is standing in line next to the statue waiting for your photo-op. You’re in the very heart of nature, far from the maddening crowd, with what seems like an infinite ocean stretching away from you in every direction...

...and you’re standing there like you’re at a bus stop!

Must feel pretty bizarre. As far as French Reef goes, I’m glad you found some caves. Besides the aspect that no one’s mapped them out, there appear to be a few that no one’s even mentioned. A group I brought out a while ago found what we called "the binocular caves"; two round caves right next to each other, yet I haven’t seen any mention of them on the dive blogs. For that matter, I’ve read a handful of posts on French Reef that didn’t mention the caves at all. If you asked them, they’d probably respond, "What caves?"

LatitudeAdjustment - 8/20/2009 2:41 PM

"You’re in the very heart of nature, far from the maddening crowd, with what seems like an infinite ocean stretching away from you in every direction..."

Wow it’s already moved north out of that coral reef bowl it was in!

Is Buddy still there or has he started moving east?
ChuckP - 8/21/2009 11:36 AM

LA -

Wow it’s already moved north out of that coral reef bowl it was in!

Actually, when I said "like an infinite ocean stretching away from you in every direction...", I actually meant 20 feet. With the murky water, I was hoping no one would notice the difference. :)

Is Buddy still there or has he started moving east?

Buddy is still there because he is rooted in Eastern Philosophy, which is much deeper than Western Philosophy. Well, assuming there is such a thing as Western Philosophy. I believe it’s usually called "Wal-Mart".

As for you, I believe a number of burning questions are in order:

1. What latitude are you adjusting?

2. How far are you adjusting it?

3. Why does it need adjustment?

4. Is it your opinion that most people’s latitude needs adjustment, or is this something specific for people in your own particular latitude?

5. Know any Jimmy Buffett songs?

Burning questions, all!