TISIRI’s Joe Kistel participated in a data collection dive with the Jacksonville Reef Research team yesterday 5-22-10.
The vessel “Native Diver” arrived at the Coppage Tug artificial reef site around 9am. Once Captain Steve found the tug on his sonar, Luke Lawley 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 vessel it looked like Capt Steve and Lawley hit the bull’s-eye. The mooring chain was sitting dead center in the tug! Kistel wrapped the chain around a framing member near the old wheel house and the boat was tied off.
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 40min of total dive time counting fish and taking photographs. The Hughes were next, followed by Wilcox/Davis and finally, Lawley/Logan. All diving pairs successfully completed their respective missions and averaged about 30 min of dive time.
While dives were down Capt Steve reported seeing a pair of large leather back turtles. All divers reported great diving.
Popular Critters: Sea bass, Red Snapper, Tomtates, Queen Angels, Spadefish, Barracuda
Water Temp: Surface =77 Seafloor = 71