Blue Heron

          Waking up at 7AM on a Saturday is never a pleasant experience. But it is quite worth it when it comes to diving, especially a dive as awesome as Blue Heron Bridge. Considered by many to be the best shore dive in Florida, and Harris to be one of the best dives he’s ever done (which is saying quite a bit – this guy lives and breathes diving), I count it among one of my favorites as well. It’s free, shallow (meaning the equalization issues that plague my right ear aren't inhibitory), and rare creatures seem to view this as their Mecca. There’s a new assortment of creatures every time I go, and some old familiar favorites as well. What better dive to try out my new camera and underwater housing?

            This dive has two parts, the fishing peer and the wreck. Usually I do the peer first and then the wreck, but Keith – the Dive Master for our group – decided to do the wreck first. On the way over, I just kept snapping pictures of everything I saw, exhilarated by the idea that I had a digital camera ten feet underwater:

We finally hit the wreck, which is really just a small little dingy.

It was exceptionally populated with fish this time.

Next to the dingy, there is a collection of shopping carts:

One of the locals steals (or used to steal – I can’t remember if he’s been caught or not) shopping carts, and sinks them to create artificial reefs. It’s one of the small quirks of this dive.

We saw a couple puffers and batfish over here, but no seahorses, sadly.

After we were done here, we headed over to the fishing peer. 

The most noticeable thing about this area is the plethora of huge sea stars and urchins:

These sea stars are the size of dinner plates, or bigger. And they really are everywhere.

I saw my first jellyfish while diving, but they were huge and pink and really easy to see and swim around.

Under the peer there were some huge schools of tiny silver fish, more batfish, and even a lobster! 

I was a really horrible dive buddy, as I was adjusting to both a new camera, using in a housing, and taking pictures while floating and getting pushed by the current. About halfway through the dive I realized I forgot to set the white balance, and slowly got used to the odd way you have to adjust the F-stop and aperture. It was really hard to see the digital screen sometimes, and the constant light-shadow-light-shadow was really messing with me. But now I just want to go on more dives, and take more pictures, as if diving itself wasn’t it’s own motivation.

If you want to see the rest of my pictures, they’re in a Picasa album here
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