TISIRI’s Joe Kistel participated in a Jacksonville Reef Research Team Dive today to assist with marine life observation efforts. The JRRT goal was to conduct relative fish counts of the fish species observed....(continue below)
The reef location area where the dive efforts took place is known as NSS and the reef sites included the Coppage Tug and Coppage Culvert artificial reefs. Visibility and dive conditions were not ideal but manageable. Due to a strong groundswell produced from winds earlier in the week, divers were “tossed around” throughout the dives. This was kind of a neat experience at first because each diver would get pushed 20 feet one way and then 20 feet in the opposite direction without any effort. They get pushed with the motion of the wave. This same groundswell is also probably what limited the visibility to about 20ft. The sediments were being tossed about in the waves just as the divers were.
The wave motion did not seem to be much of an issue for the divers performing Fish Counts. The fish they were counting seemed to flow with the divers. So even if the divers moved with the waves the fish they were counting seemed to do the same. For videographer and photographer Kistel, the groundswell proved to be more of an issue. To keep still he had to physically wedge himself into the reef structure. Even his tripod could not handle the force of the waves. The particulates stirred up in the wave motions also made it hard to properly focus the cameras.
Divers included Bill Lindholm, Joe Kistel, Jim Davis and Mason Cooper. Dive objectives were successfully met regardless of the slight environmental complications. Thanks to all who participated. The pictures and video above explain it better than words.