Tugboat Reef – November 4, 2017

Water Temp: 74° F
Max Depth: 73 ft.
Start Time: 11:46 am
Dive Duration: 29 min.
Weather: Mostly sunny
Wind: NE @ 13 mph

Air Temp: 80° F
Current: N @ .25 kts.
Visibility: horiz. 15 ft.; vert. 15 ft.
Seas: 2-3 ft.
Boat: Little Deeper
Lat/Long: 26°58.616/80°00.965

   The goal for this dive was to note the condition of the site, obtain fish counts and video benthics.
   Due to discharge from Lake Okeechobee, visibility for this dive was extremely limited!
   Four divers went down on the southern most site. Six years ago when we were on this site, this upside down barge was completely buried. This time divers found about 6’ of relief, 30’ long, depth to sand 84’. Coral was growing on the site, so it’s been exposed for awhile. Water conditions were terrible, practically black water, extremely silty and very dark. Nevertheless, our videographer got some good footage of the site. There were a hundred or more Gray Snappers, a Graysby and a scorpion fish noted.
   Corals – Blushing Star, Massive Starlet, Orange Cup, Mustard Hill Sponges – Barrel, Red Boring, Red-Orange Encrusting, Star Encrusting, White Lumpy Encrusting, Loggerhead, Variable Boring, Black-Ball, Vase, Elephant Ear Tunicates – White Condo, Bulb, Black, Bulb, Purple Encrusting Hydroids - Algae Hydroid, Feather, Stinging Bush, Bryozoans - Seaweed, Pearly Orange Encrusting, Basket Star, Christmas Tree Worm, and a Crown Conch were also spotted on this site.

 

 

  The captain searched for the middle tug but was unable to find it. The last time the team was on this site, the tug was on its side and deteriorating into the sand.
   The Team dove on the northern most tug. Conditions were very poor. Visibility was minimal. Divers that reached the site first directed their lights outward from the tug to assist the others in finding the site. The boat is oriented east-west with about 12’ of relief and is washed out underneath.
   There were very few species of fish at this site, only about 15 - 20. Fish noted included: Tomtates, Gray Snappers, a 6’ Goliath Grouper, Cubbyu Drums, Porkfish, Scorpionfish, Red Parrotfish, Yellow Jacks, Sharpnose Puffer, Sergeant Majors and a Graysby Grouper. Corals – Mustard Hill, Fire, Orange Cup, Knobby Star Sponges – Red-Orange Encrusting, White Lumpy, Leather Barrel, Vase, Star Encrusting, Branching Tube, Erect Rope Tunicates – Bulb, White Condo Hydroids - Algae Hydroids, Feather Pencil Urchin and a fire worm were spotted.

goldfish

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