1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - D2D New Years 2008: Cayman Islands - July 26, 2008 - 2009
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January 19, 2008: Jupiter, Florida

"Zion Train/Miss Jenny/Esso Bonaire III" - "MG-111"
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A D2D get together, and there was the hint of possibly Lemon Shark sightings. Didn't see any of those ...
Diving off the Atlantic Coast of Florida:
  • Directions from Tampa: From Tampa I would go I-4 E to Polk Parkway, then to HW-98 S, HW-60 E, and a Yeehaw jump on the Turnpike south. You'll hit Jupiter; it's where I hop on I-95 on my way to my sister's.
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Sunny but cool

  • Personal Notes: But I did see a few Goliath Grouper and a very large Nurse Shark. I wouldn't mind going back to these sites with a macro lens - there was a lot of small stuff on the wrecks, too.

    Visibility sucked on the Esso Bonaire III (the only one of the three wrecks on this site we managed to get to, since the visibility was at best 30 feet). We encountered a huge Goliath Grouper thumping angrily for a while under the stern; when a number of divers showed up, he high-tailed it out of there; I caught sight of his tail later in the dive but he didn't hang around. There were large schools of fish all over this wreck, as well as a fair amount of growth.

    Visibility dropped even lower on the MG-111, a torn-up barge. Hiding in the wreck my sister showed me a very large Nurse Shark. As I was photographing her, I heard the thump of a not too happy Goliath Grouper - who was sitting right off of the nose of the shark. I did what I could to get shots of him (they were hidden inside the wreck, and the grouper was very dark in color, so the camera wouldn't focus and fire on him) and then popped out to explain to Suzuki the relative positions of these two large fish (though the Goliath Grouper wasn't really that large for a Goliath Grouper).

    Special Thanks goes out to Johnoly, Angie, Jupiter Dive Center, and everyone else who contributed to this D2D get together.

Pictures!

Some decent shots, all things considered. I really like the tunicates. All shots are with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, using a +2 diopter (Ikelite suggests using the diopter, which can allow for focusing on closer objects).
Zion Train/Miss Jenny/Esso Bonaire III
Just off of the wreck was some coral with a Spotted Moray in it.

1/50-F5.6-ISO160
Suzuki spotted this Scorpion Fish.

1/50-F20-ISO160
Harlequin Bass.

1/50-F20-ISO160
Blue Angelfish. You get an idea of how bad the vis was - this guy wouldn't let me get that close to him.

1/50-F7.1-ISO100
Bulb Tunicates.

1/50-F22-ISO100
Tomate, I think.

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
A lot more - this gives you an idea of the amount of life on the wreck.

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
1/50-F22-ISO100
Shifted the focus point ...

1/50-F22-ISO100
Barracuda. I would have enjoyed some time with him playing with the settings, seeing if I could get him lit up this well, but with a totally black background. Alas, both of us moved on ...

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
1/50-F5.6-ISO100
A Sargent Major was hovering over this, but I spooked him. It's an egg patch ...

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
An idea of what an F-stop change will do to a picture. It was still sunny, but the F-stop change makes it look like night.

1/50-F18-ISO100
I probably should have rotated this shot. These are Bar Jack, I think.

1/50-F3.5-ISO100
There were some Creole Wrasse in the area, though not in the large schools I usually see them in.

1/50-F3.5-ISO100
A Creole Wrasse in the middle of the Tomate.

1/50-F6.3-ISO100
MG-111
Pink Lumpy Sponge, maybe?

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Another Scorpion Fish - spotted this one myself.

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
He had really big eye growth, and I wanted to make sure I got a good shot of his head. This is more a shot of his forebody, and includes his fin ...

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Porkfish. Not easy to shoot, but I got a few.

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Blenny of some sort.

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
1/50-F5.6-ISO100
1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Nurse shark. You might be able to barely make out the head of the Goliath Grouper in this shot ...

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
The Goliath's tail is near the left edge of the photo, and you should be able to make out the whole body. The head of the Goliath starts straight up from the tip of the nose of the shark.
Redband Parrotfish.

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Juvenile Longfin Damselfish.

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Saddled Blenny and Blue Chromis (I think).

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Strawberry Tunicates supposedly vary in color and include an orange variety. I think that's what this is.

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Fairly certain this is Fire Coral. Do not touch!

1/50-F5.6-ISO100
Not sure, possibly some kind of coral formation.

1/50-F6.3-ISO100


Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
395 Zion Train/Miss Jenny/Esso Bonaire III 92 feet 46 min. 73 F
396 MG-111 67 feet 48 min. 73 F
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