Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

Giant grouper

This was a lot shorter drive, less than an hour from us, but a little more expensive than Palm Beach a couple of weeks ago. The reason gotta be gas price, since the dive sites were about 12 miles from shore. Luckily the boat was fast. Even more luckily the conditions were outstanding: in 50 feet of water we could see the bottom with perfect clarity. This is suppose to be very rear in the Gulf of Mexico. Also it was a small group and first time Michelle and I had no supervision. They ancored the boat, said that things of interest are in front of the anchor line and we were on our own. Good thing. Anyway, the first site was an artificial reef- a bunch of huge concrete items piled up. It looked great in the clear water. There was a huge school of small fish above, and 4 or 5 barracudas that were hunting the former ones. Bellow among the reef a bunch of great looking fish. 3 of them stole the show, 3 giant groupers. One was under a pillar at first but later we spotted it again out above the surrounding sand. A couple of them was foraging around. These fish are HUGE! 2-300 pounds (although they can grow double of that), as long as tall I am. They look super cool. I am posting someone else's picture of one here.

The second site was a ledge. Less interesting, highlightes were a group of cattlefish and a few tiny pretty ones. Thanks a lot, whoever came up with the idea of artificial reefs, otherwise the gulf might not be much of an excitement.

We loved this trip, the groupers definitely made our day.

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