I know I sound like a broken record player, but I have to say it again: Scuba diving in West Palm Beach, Florida is always full of surprises. You never know what wonderful encounter you will experience next! If you have been following my blog posts for the past week you can see how diverse and special every dive can be. Today was no different!
Within a handful of minutes upon descending on to Flower Gardens, our wonderful dive guide, Jayne, found a pair of Caribbean squid hovering near the bottom. Nowhere near an easy task as these squids are master of camouflage — matching the reef very well. Thankfully our dive guides have years of experience to find all those unique marine life.
The group stayed and watched the squid for a while before heading off. I stayed behind to observe the squid a little longer. It wasn’t long before I realized why they were staying in one spot… The squids were mating! The male’s body would flash color rapidly like a strobe light. The female’s colors were darker, but changing colors, too. Some imperceptible flash of colors made it clear to the male of his acceptance by the female. The male then approached carefully from below and inserted one of his tentacles that contains the sperm packets into the female’s body. In an instance, he reached in and out and quickly backed away.
But this magical encounter was far from over! The female then manuvered herself through the maze of reef and inserted half of her body into a dark crevice. In this crevice she was laying packets of squid eggs. Upon leaving the squid eggs, the male would approach her, flash colors, and once again mate. Over and over both squid would continue this process. Surprisingly, the female would travel a good distance from the spot where she lay her eggs, mate with the male, and would always return to the same exact spot. How she could differentiate the exact location of the hidden eggs is a test to the squid’s intelligence, no doubt.
Needless to say, I spent my entire hour-long dive watching this very unique behavior that I have been fortunate to see only one other time in my 23 years of diving. Did I mention that scuba diving in West Palm Beach is full of surprises?!?! Well there you go!
On my second dive we headed north to Breakers reef where I encountered numerous sea turtles, green morays, and the plethora of tropical fish. All bathed in the rich colors of the Palm Beach reef and the gorgeous blue water of the Gulf Stream. Even the norm (ie. sea turtles, gorgeous reefs) in Palm Beach is a rarity in many other places to dive around the world. There is no question why the best diving in Florida is in West Palm Beach!
As you can see from my one week of blogging, staying a week to dive in Palm Beach just begins to scratch the surface. Make it a month and I guarantee you’ll love every second of it. So what are you waiting for? Book your dive trip today and enjoy the wonderful underwater surprises of scuba diving in West Palm Beach!