Diamondhead Radnor – September 13, 2014

Water Temp: 80° F
Air Temp: 79° F
Max Depth: 25 ft.
Start Time: 9 am
Dive Duration: 49 min.
Weather: Mostly Cloudy

Current: North @ .25 knot
Visibility: Horiz. 20 ft.; Vert. 25 ft.
Seas: 1 ft. or less
Boat: Little Deeper
Lat/Long: 26*47.687/80*01.049    
Winds:  ESE @ 0-5 MPH     

   Dive team consisted of _11_ divers on the Little Deeper dive boat. Team went to this site to count fish and review condition of the artificial reef. Team members were also looking for lionfish in order to eradicate them. The team saw no lionfish on this dive.  The dive master dropped in and led team north across the sand and then west to arrive at the approximate center of the rock piles, where he planted the flag. Some team members missed the reef because they were too far to the east, and were redropped from the dive boat on the rock piles.
   The mapping team began a swim to outline the perimeter of the rock piles by heading south along the western side of the rock piles to reach the southern end and then swam in a counter-clockwise direction around the piles of rocks. During that swim the map team did not notice many, if any, rocks scattered in the sand. All rocks appeared to be within the piles on the interlocking geo-web mats. The rock piles on the mats appeared to be sinking into a gulley, but the outer edges of the mats remained at the level of the surrounding substrate. The map team observed a lot of algae and detritus collected near the edges of the reef. This loose mat of algae formed a “carpet” that moved back and forth in the surge. The team saw several sea turtle eggs in the algae mat. Some were broken, but some appeared to be whole. The map team also saw a 4 ft. long nurse shark toward the northern end of the rock pile. The rock piles are quite long in a north-south alignment and it took the whole dive to swim and pull the GPS flag around the entire set of rock piles. The map team did not get to any remnants of the barge to the south or to the “Donut” reef to the north. Most team members had a good dive in the less than desirable visibility. However, our missions were accomplished. Everyone could tell the weather was improving as the light at the bottom became brighter during the dive. 

Juno Pier Step Reef – September 13, 2014

Water Temp.: 79° F
Air Temp.: 85° F
Max Depth:  32 ft.
Start Time: 10:39 am
Dive Duration: 47 minutes
Weather: Partly Cloudy

Current: N @ .25 knot
Visibility: Horiz. 30 ft.; Vert. 35 ft.
Seas: 1 - 2 ft.
Boat: Little Deeper
Winds: ESE @ 5-7 mph

    The dive team consisted of 11 divers on the Little Deeper dive boat. Team went to this site to count fish and review condition of the artificial reef as part of the post construction monitoring. Team members were also looking for lionfish in order to eradicate them. The team saw no lionfish on this dive. The dive master dropped in and tied the dive flag off on the southern end of the concrete culverts portion of the reef. Visibility was somewhat improved because of more sunshine being available during the dive. The mapping team began a swim to outline the perimeter of the concrete culverts after map team leader, Missy Moore, finished a 10 minute stationary fish count at the south end of the concrete culverts. The map team headed east along the perimeter of the culverts and was proceeding in a counter-clockwise track around the concrete culvert debris field. At the furthest east point, the rock piles appeared to the east stretched out in a north to south alignment. The Map team continued around the culverts and noticed that the culverts had been dropped in a very scattered pattern. The culvert pieces seemed to be 15-20 feet apart and several of the culverts had scour around them such that the culverts appeared to be sitting in holes with the surrounding substrate being 2-3 feet above the bottom of the scoured holes. The culverts also attracted a huge school of very large Snook (approx. 200+) that appeared to continuously swimming in, around, and among the culverts. Not much invertebrate growth appeared on the culvert structures other than a light coating of turf algae.
   After circumnavigating the culverts the map team returned to the easternmost point of the culverts and began to track around the rock piles in a counter-clockwise direction. We collected GPS points at the southern end of the rock pile and at the highest point of relief, and at the northern end of the rock pile. The pile of rocks has a large pile exhibiting 12 feet of relief at its southern end (southern rock mound). As you proceed north on the rock pile, the relief drops to about 3 feet, then rises again to about 6-8 feet (northern rock mound), before dropping to a scattered section of rocks of only about 2 feet of relief at the northern end of the pile. The map team saw two nice sized lobsters among the rocks near the high point on the southern mound of the rocks. After mapping the rocks, the team headed back to the boat dive flag on the culverts and spent the last few minutes of the dive investigating a few of the large culvert boxes dropped there. Most team members had a good dive on this newly created site. Team missions were accomplished.


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