CALOOSA DIVE CLUB OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
Photo of the Year 2021
7 Club members did two Saturday afternoon dives and two Sunday morning dives with Conch Republic, out of Tavernier. I was personally disappointed in the dive operation. Since we have dived with them quite a bit in the past and had good experiences, I was wondering if having the business up for sale and all that encompasses might have had some negative impact on the friendliness, enthusiasm and lack of help from the staff, especially on the first day. They also hit us with a $2/diver/day fee for their reef restoration projects. And while I do not mind contributing to that effort, I do mind getting hit with hidden fees at the last minute.
Saturday's dives were very underwhelming. First was Betty's Reef - we swam to the anchor line against a fairly moderate current to the edge of the reef and saw very little the whole dive. My highlight was finding a small anchor and coming across fishing line that when I started to collect it, found there was a fisherman on the other end! One of our divers' highlight was one nurse shark. Second dive was Little Conch and there was no highlight for me for this dive.
Sunday's dives were better. First dive was Davie Crocker, where Captain Slates feeds the nurse sharks and Green Moray Ells. When we dropped in, we had about 8-12 (hard to count as they come and go) nurse sharks cruising back and forth between us and 3-4 big green morays out free-swimming. We watched those for awhile and went down the reef to the right and then when we swam back to the left, Captain Slates had a big group down feeding them, so that was fun to watch. And while I think that feeding sharks is a bad idea, it does make for exciting dives.
Next dive was Davis Reef, and though nobody found the Buda statue, it was a nice relaxing dive. We saw more hogfish than I've ever seen on one dive and a nice black grouper.
All the dives had some schoolmasters, angelfish, filefish, trumpetfish, and big schools of grunts, but the corals looked in poor shape and the reefs didn't look very healthy.
Caloosa Dive Club is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. PO Box 152940 Cape Coral, Florida 33915