Tuesday, April 7, 2009
A day @ Sambo Reef
Finally, with clearing waters and light southerly winds, Sunday, we went out to Sambo Reef to snorkel. The reef is just six nautical miles south of the Boca Chica - Stock Island entry channel. Sambo is one of 13 reefs of the Florida National Marine Sanctuary located along the Atlantic edge of the Key and the deep waters of the Gulf Stream. For the past two weeks we've had high to moderate winds clocking around from all directions, great for sailing at times but causes cloudy turbulent waters around the coral, sea grasses, rubble and shallows. The Sanctuary areas have mooring Buoys strategically placed on the perimeter of the dive areas. After securing Zephyrina and hoisting our dive flag up the halyard, to signify divers in the water, we and friends, Jan and Luke Sand donned our fins, masks, snorkels and dive vests and jumped into the 78 degree water. Our underwater visibility for seeing fish and coral was about 5 feet in depths that ranged from 5 - 12 feet. Among the waving red-gray grasses, we spotted lime green feathery fern like grasses, making a colorful contrast on the sea floor. Small light pink coral heads appeared more prominently at ridge edges. Some were tree shaped with multiple branches reaching upward. The largest and most spectacular coral was about three feet in diameter, orange with a yellow lacy edge. It reminded us of a huge wood ear that might form on one of our live oak trees. The fish were not as numerous as we'd seen before. The four of us exchanged sightings, after the dive, and our list includes several Blueheads both adult and juvenile, a couple of varieties of Parrotfish and number of schools of small blacked striped fish, we think were most likely Grunts. All in all, it was good time, we just hope we'll get another opportunity before we leave. But here it is Tuesday and the winds are NNW 20-25 knots with the forecast for a steady 15-20 clocking east for the next several days. Ah, but, John has a hot water plumbing project to keep him busy. Our connection hose under the galley sink popped out of it's crimped hose. After removing the hose couplings, he's been trying to replicate the coupling types and sizes on a new hose. One of our dock mates, Rich Gano has kindly chauffeured John to Home Depot twice. With perseverance, John succeeded!