Citizen-scientists plant endangered corals on Victory Reef. ERIC BILLIPS/Contributed

This Week’s Dive Report

As we predicted, conditions this past week were “okay.” What I mean by that is that we had a little bit of rain and wind, but still squeezed out some good dives over the weekend.

It’s the time of year when the winds, rain and swells can cancel some dives or make them more challenging. It’s always important to check weather reports and captain’s reports. If you’re ever in doubt, call your dive shop and ask them what conditions will be like. They can best advise you and help you choose a trip that you’ll enjoy and feel comfortable on.

Sea turtles are always amazing to encounter while diving our reefs. ERIC BILLIPS/Contributed

Next Week’s Dive Report

We had some north wind hitting us on Nov. 23, bringing in some colder, stronger winds for the days that followed. This coincides with the holiday, so it might be a nice time to stay dry and be with friends and family above the surface. 

Because it’s Thanksgiving, it’s also a great time to reflect. When I think about scuba diving, the oceans, and the Florida Keys, I feel very privileged and grateful. There is no place like home and no diving like here. I truly believe that. This holiday, take some time to reflect on what makes you grateful about our waters.

Thankfully, over the weekend, the winds and the seas should calm down enough to get some good diving in.

Citizen-scientists plant endangered corals on Victory Reef. ERIC BILLIPS/Contributed

Conservation Update

Despite the winds, the I.CARE Coral planting dive on Saturday still went on as planned. We planted a bunch of endangered corals at our deeper side, Victory Reef. Corals can survive in shallow and deeper sites, and our outplant efforts include both. 

Our conservation efforts must have attracted the attention of some curious nurse sharks, as quite a few hung out with us the entire dive. In the Florida Keys, nurse sharks are a relatively-common site. Some people describe them as the puppy dogs of the sea. They’re pretty cute to watch. Always remember: don’t provoke or touch the wildlife. It’s important that they don’t get accustomed to interacting with divers as it can change their natural behavior.

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