Coppage Culverts Dive

TISIRI’s Joe Kistel participated with the Jacksonville Reef Research team yesterday 5-22-10 on a data collection dive at the Coppage Culvert site. 

The vessel “Native Diver” arrived at the Coppage Culvert artificial reef site around 10:30am.  Once Captain Steve said we were over the culverts, Jim Davis threw the mooring buoy chain and rope over board.  Kistel immediately jumped in the water to follow the mooring line down to the sea floor.  As he reached the culverts it looked like Davis must have took notes from Lawley because the mooring chain was lying inside a vertical culvert!  Kistel wrapped the chain through the pipe and clamped it off for the “Native Diver.”

The remaining JRRT divers entered the water and met Kistel on the sea floor.  Sue Wilcox and Jim Davis were the 1st pair down and conducted fish counts.  Denise and Daniel Hughes were next with fish count efforts and photography.  Lawley and Sally Logan were the finale pair down with the mission of soil/water sample collection as well as visibility measurements. 

Kistel was the 1st diver out after about 30min of total dive time counting fish and taking photographs.  The Hughes were next, followed by Lawley/Logan and last Wilcox/Davis  All diving pairs successfully completed their respective missions and averaged about 30 min of dive time.

While Wilcox and Davis were returning a pair of porpoise approach the boat.  Kistel jumped in to get a shot and was able to get near the animals but not close enough for a photograph. 

Kistel made a suit less dive back down to un tie the mooring line..  BRR!!

Dive Specs:
     Visibility:  30ft
     Structure:  Culverts
     Popular Critters:  Sea bass, Red Snapper, Tomtates, Queen Angels, Spadefish, BarracudaInteresting critters: batfish and scorpion fish
     Interesting critters: batfish and scorpion fish
     Water Temp:  Surface =77 Seafloor = 71

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