Another joint event with our friends at the Bison Group. It's snorkel season and the Bison go snorkeling approximately every other week or so. We'd love it if this group joins us as we always have a great time when we have events together....
Lauderdale By The Sea is doing alot to improve it's snorkel and shore diving sites. ScubaNation recently filmed an entire episode on LBTS (airing May 3rd through the 13th - with both Chris and Griff in the episode). I have already found replicas of three cannons and an anchor from a Spanish Galleon. I am told there are many more parts of the ship near the first reef line.
Let's make an expedition to locate this new snorkel attraction. Then we can swim north along the reef, as we get closer to the pier there is usually an abundance of fish. French Angels appear to be wearing makeup on there face, looking like mimes for a mermaids pleasure. We may see schools of small fish swimming back and forth as if performing ballet. Other common fish are Blue Angels and lots of varieties of Parrotfish swimming among the grazing schools of Doctorfish. Blue Headed Wrass set up shop on the reef, this small tropical eats parasites off the fierce looking Barracuda.
During the summer months you will frequently see turtles feeding on the reef, they are returning to lay eggs on the very beach they hatched from. If you are lucky enough to see a turtle, remain calm and quiet, it may approach you. Never touch, chase hold on to, or harass a turtle. You could cause it to drown, they need to take a new breath of air more frequently than you might think. There are Big Fish too!!!
Schools of Snook are often seen here, an occasional Nurse Shark, and really big Tarpon come cruising through from their prehistoric past. Go often enough and maybe you will swim with a six foot Manta Ray, don't worry this harmless relative of the shark only eats plankton. Spotted Eagle Ray seemingly fly across the reef. Stingrays often lay partially covered in the sand, even this docile creature can be deadly(Steve Irwin)...a lesson to observe and not touch. See a pile of crushed up shells? It is likely there is a small octopus in it's den nearby.
All of this and more is a short swim from the beach on the south side of the pier. The reef is in 8 to 15 feet of water and can be accessed by snorkel or SCUBA. You will be amazed at the diversity of wildlife that is just off the shore. (SCUBA divers may want to go beyond the pier to the second part of the first reef line 15' to 21'). RSVP YES OR MAYBE specify your desire to snorkel or SCUBA. If you are experienced diver and want to commit to leading either a snorkel or SCUBA group please state in RSVP If we are having heavy winds it is likely the dive will be canceled. Late afternoon showers in the west often do not effect the coast.
YOU WILL NEED
a)Your own snorkel or SCUBA gear. If you don't have any gear, Gold Coast Scuba (a Bison club sponsor) will rent or sell you the gear. If you're a member of the Bison, you'll get a 10% discount on the rental or purchase of the snorkel gear.
b)Bring a dive flag or be sure you are buddied up with someone with a flag (never go without a buddy and a flag). GCS will loan you a flag.
c) BRING QUARTERS FOR PARKING METERS!!! $1.25/hour or park at the pier for $10.00 flat fee. Pay by Phone app for your smartphones also work.
DIRECTIONS Commercial Blvd. East to A1A turn right go 1 block to Datura Ave turn left to beach parking spaces. we will be preparing our gear at our cars or the covered benches at the shower area. Parking spaces are on Datura from the beach to the other side of A1A by the 7-11 or one block north in and around the pier area at Commercial Blvd.
One block south of Datura also provides additional parking spaces.
You can also park at Aruba's for $10.00 with the Valet for the beach.
BRING QUARTERS FOR PARKING METERS!!! BRING QUARTERS FOR PARKING METERS!!! Local merchants do not like to give out quarters.
Be careful there are 4 hour meters and 2 hours meters. DO NOT PARK AT A 2HOUR meter you won't have time to swim before it expires.
You can also park at the pier for $10.00 and there is some local parking as well. Some spots on Commercial blvd are free but it's a long walk. Please Carpool because there is very limited parking in this location.
Please don't feel left out if you get there and we are gone, we plan to enter the water by 10:00am. If you come out looking for us you should have a buddy and a dive flag.