Saturday, October 22, 2011

Some salty sea snorkeling

 After 3 days of a government motorboat course in Boynton Beach, FL and nonstop rain all week, a glimpse of sun was a happy sight at the end of the week. Sun obviously meant snorkeling, so after class on Thursday, I went over to Ocean Inlet Park for an evening snorkel. Air temperatures were pretty chilly (high 60s to low 70s) but the water must have been over 80 degrees. I had my 3mm on and got chilly after a while, but it wasn't bad. Should've brought my camera but left it back at the hotel, so no pictures from this little excursion but saw some beautiful tropical fish! No reef structure but around every big rock or bit of hard bottom throughout the sandy substrate, it was teeming with fish life. I noticed tons of juveniles (mainly grunts, surgeon fish, and blue tangs) and remembered how much I actually miss having the ocean nearby!
On my way home on Friday, I stopped by a dive shop to get a hood and ended up with a 7mm wetsuit and directions to the nearby Blue Heron bridge for some snorkeling. Apparently it's a great dive site around slack tide, but it was 4 hours before slack and I didn't have dive gear or a dive flag, so I mainly explored the swim area and shallow part of the bridge pilings:
 Looking in the water directly below where I am standing taking the picture above, I could barely make out huge starfish on the bottom:
 I took tons and tons of pictures of the starfish (I have a small obsession with echinoderms) but here is one of my favorites:
Oreaster reticulatus
Some other fish I saw around the sandy bottom/rocks:

Canthigaster rostrata


This cowfish was shy and kept turning away when
I tried to take a picture straight on.

I spy with my little eyes a fish... can you find him?!
 Some other interesting reef inhabitants...

Another Oreaster reticulatus with a juvenile Haemulon flivolineatum in the background and a little Liopropoma eukrines on the left.

Some Abedefduf saxatilis and juvenile Haemulon flivolineatum.

This school of hundreds of fish swam around me for a few minutes and engulfed me in its school :)

No comments:

Post a Comment