Captain Hook’s Photo Album

WaterSports from Marathon, FL


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Bruce & Brandon at the Edge Of Night & Herman's Hole


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Bruce and Brandon had the Reef Hopper all to themselves again today. They selected to dive a deeper reef and then shallow. So we made way for Edge of Night Reef to begin our day. Once we had the anchor set we entered the water to find 70 feet of visibility. While heading east along the south ledge we watched a school of Blue ParrotFish swim through the sand fingers. Spending most of our time at 60 feet we consumed our air much faster than on the shallow reefs and move to 45 feet to finish our dive. A Giant Green Moray lay wrapped through a cleaning station patiently allowing several Neon Gobies perform their work. We moved Reef Hopper to Herman’s Hole for our second site. With a maximum depth of 25 feet the colors were brighter. We found 2 Nurse Sharks, a Spotted Moray, 2 Giant Green Morays and several Spinney Lobsters. For 55 minutes we wandered the reef finding surprises at every bend. It was a great dive to finish our morning.

8 files, last one added on Jun 24, 2008

TBolt & Barbara's Reef - June 22


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With only two divers on board, Bruce & Brandon, we departed at 0835 for the Thunderbolt. We hooked the stern mooring and set our lines for the descent. Without a current we dropped effortlessly down the descent line. As we passed along the port side we saw a 50 pound Goliath Grouper enter the super structure at the main deck. Then as we approached the bow a 250-pound Goliath Grouper swam from the starboard side and down the bow hatch. We entered the bow hatch and watched the burly fish swim through the hull toward the stern. We left the Thunderbolt heading northwest to Barbara’s Reef. As we swam west along the finger corals we found a Giant Green Moray peeking through a hole. There were Barracuda everywhere. Under the ledge on the east end of the main reef patch we watched a Nurse Shark meander through the smaller coral heads.

8 files, last one added on Jun 24, 2008

The Elbow & Marker 47


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The Reef Hopper left the dock with 2 divers and 3 snorkelers. The winds were blowing 4 knots out of the southeast providing flat calm seas. We dropped anchor on the south side of Elbow Reef for our first site. As we descended upon the north ledge we headed around the west end to start our dive into the east running current. We worked hard along the south ledge maintaining a light kick when we paused to avoid losing ground. We found several Spinney Lobsters and Flamingo Tongues along the way. When we reached the south ledge, we were able to use the current to drift along our return path. We explored a new site for our second stop at Marker 47. We had crossed this ledge numerous times on our easterly routes but had not dove it. As we descended upon the 8-foot south ledge we turned west into the current, now stronger than at the Elbow. The visibility had dropped to 25 feet but was good enough to enjoy this new spot. A Southern Stingray became spooked as we approached and made a lightening quick exit from its spot buried in the sand. Working into the current for 20 minutes was tiring and we turned back to the west for the gentle ride back toward the Reef Hopper. A myriad of Black Grouper darted through the corals while assorted HogFish swam along the edge of reef and sand.

6 files, last one added on Jun 24, 2008

Thunderbolt Wreck & Horseshoe Reef - June 19


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We started our day diving the Thunderbolt wreck. With 5 divers on board the Reef Hopper we descended the bow mooring. On the fore deck we were greeted by two 30 pound Goliath Grouper. We swam to the engineering compartment on the stern and dropped down to penetrate the lower level. As we were entering the forward compartment two Goliath Grouper approximately 250 pounds were hiding in the shadows. We exited the lower level and swam to the superstructure to penetrate the wheelhouse. The view of the cable wheel is always beautiful. We then swam around the bow where we found and released an entangled crab. Our second site was Horseshoe Reef. We anchored Reef Hopper in the center of the Horseshoe and the wind place her dive platform over the northeast ledge. We descended upon the north ledge and headed west to the largest ledges on the northwest corner. We found several Coral Banded Shrimp along our tour.

In the afternoon we took 3 families including 7 divers and 4 snorkelers to the reef. The southwest wind was stirring the sand so we headed east to Shark Harbor. As we descended we found the current had increased significantly since the morning trip. While the dive was more work than normal we had a good time. We found two Porcupine PufferFish and a large Queen AngelFish. We moved northwest to Doughnut Reef for our second site. There we were able to place the stern right over the best ledges on the northwest. Along our tour we spotted a large Black Grouper, Flamingo Tongue and several Spinney Lobsters. I found a large Sea Urchin shell to add to my collection.

13 files, last one added on Jun 24, 2008

Diving on June 17


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The Vollger family made their third private trip this morning. They wanted to dive something a little deeper so we went to Edge of Night a 60-foot reef. We had 60-feet of visibility and could see the Reef Hopper from the sand. As we dove to the east a 40-pound Goliath Grouper was hiding in a coral hole. We spotted a few lobsters and a Spotted Moray Eel. We tried to go to Flagler’s Barge for our second site however; the visibility there was too poor. We moved further south to Boom Ledge for some exploration. After our descent we swam to the west moving into the sand hole with 8 to 10 foot ledges. We saw a Giant Green Moray curled around the coral. As we came around the next ledge a small Hawksbill Turtle swam past us and over the reef to the south.

We had six people on the afternoon trip including Mike Collins who became certified at Captain Hook’s in 2006. Mike has now progressed to a Dive Master and in his words " became bitten by the bug". Our first stop was Shark Harbor. The water clarity was spectacular with over 100 feet of visibility. A Horse Conch was by our anchor making its way across the sand. We passed him twice and he had moved about 30 feet in 20 minutes, I was amazed. I also found a live Tulip. He stuck his foot out of his shell trying to right himself as I moved him. Just as we were about to end our dive we saw a Nurse Shark resting under a ledge right beneath the Reef Hopper. We moved east to Critter Ridge for our last stop of the day. As we headed west along the north ledge we found a Spotted Moray. Just past the next turn was a small Southern Stingray buried in the sand. On our return toward the Reef Hopper a Nurse Shark swam right to me and stayed beside me as I took pictures for a couple of minutes.

10 files, last one added on Jun 24, 2008

Private Charter for the Vollger Family


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This morning we had a private charter for the Vollger family. They had 6 divers, 4 snorkelers, and a bubble watcher on board the Reef Hopper. The divers were new to the sport so we started their trip with a stop at Stake Reef in Coffin’s Patch. After making our descent on the south ledge we swam across the reef to the north ledge. In 15 feet of water we took our time for some superb pictures of the divers doing swim throughs at the lighthouse rubble. Along the way we found a small Giant Green Moray winding itself in the reef. There was also a couple of BalloonFish and multiple Spiney Lobsters. Our second site was Doughnut Reef where we anchored on the southeast side of the reef. As we swam around several Brain Corals in the middle of the reef we saw two Sea Eggs. Along the northeast ledge a large Southern Stingray past exquisitely.

9 files, last one added on Jun 21, 2008

June 14 Dive Trip


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9 files, last one added on Jun 24, 2008

Friday the 13th Was A Lucky Day


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The Vollger family returned for another private charter. We headed west to Sombrero LightHouse. No sooner than we made our descent we noticed a Nurse Shark resting under a ledge. With such a large audience he rose up from the sand and made his way across the reef. We moved north along the 15-foot ledges following the sand fingers. We took a moment to watch a Porcupine Puffer hiding back in the coral. After we crossed the tall ledge to our east we turned back south and found a Southern Stingray buried in the sand. For our second dive we stayed at Sombrero but dove the western Spur and Groove Corals. A large school of Snook congregated under a ledge on the south end of one spur. We were able to find a small healthy stand of Elk Horn Coral.

In the afternoon we had three divers and five snorkelers on board the Reef Hopper. We visited Stake Reef for our first site, mooring just south of the Stake post. Everyone always enjoys performing swim-throughs at the old light rubble. The next sand hole past the rubble held a Nurse Shark. For our second site we went further east to Elbow Reef anchoring in the sand on the south side of the reef. The current had picked up so we went around the West End and headed east into the current. There were many variety of AngelFish along the way. At one point we stopped to watch a Spinney Lobster chase another across the reef and in and out of coral holes. The sea surge was increasing so we played with the water movement swaying with the schools of Grunts.

12 files, last one added on Jun 24, 2008

Our June 9th Trips


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We ran two trips today. On both trips we saw Cleaning Stations busy at work, an abundance of Sea Urchins, and Spiney Lobsters everywhere. On the morning trip we left the dock with Kate, Surge, Svetlana, and Alex from Russia who were diving. Timmy and Thomas wanting to snorkel also joined us. Our first anchorage was at Elbow Reef a slight run to the east. The winds were lightly from the east so Reef Hopper swung along side the southern ledge on the western end of the site. The divers were taking pictures so we moved along at a leisurely pace heading east. Besides the many Cleaning Stations we also found a very small ScorpionFish. Although tiny the other small tropicals moved out of his way when he moved. We moved west to Pillar Patch for our second site. The winds had shifted to the SSE and placed us right over the Pillar Corals, perfect. As we toured the site there were schools of Grunts, Snappers, and PorkFish at every turn. The Spiney Lobsters were brave as they came out of the coral to greet us.

In the afternoon we started our voyage with Brad, Greg, and Spencer. Spencer snorkeled while Brad and Greg joined me for the dives. We went to Doughnut Reef for our first stop. We settled in with Reef Hopper pointing to the east and the stern above the large Brain Coral in the center of the reef patch. I always enjoy the numerous Brain Corals at Doughnut Reef. We also saw several pair of large Gray AngelFish during our excursion. For our last stop of the day we traveled west to Stake Reef and moored just south of the Stake. As we traveled down the north side of the site we found a small Horse Conch eating another Conch. There were so many Sea Urchins at the Stake we even found them in pairs. While taking pictures of Brad and Greg swimming through the old Ligh-house debris a Southern Stingray swam right past us. It was quite an enjoyable afternoon.

11 files, last one added on Jun 13, 2008

Spearfishing & Romance on the T-Bolt


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Some days are just better than others. On board the Reef Hopper we had Dr. Matt Finn from Goodland, FL, Chris-Heijn and Amy de Vries from Marathon and Chris from Canada. Joe was diving an Inspiration rebreather limiting his bottom times to the other diver profiles. Matt wanted to spearfish and Chris-Heijn and Amy wanted to see the Thunderbolt. So we headed south for a double Thunderbolt trip.

Upon arriving we found 2-foot seas, a moderate current, and 80 plus feet of visibility. On the first dive Chris-Heijn, Amy and I spent the majority of our time exploring the superstructure. From the WheelHouse we had a magnificent view of the Cable Wheel on the bow. We spotted one Goliath Grouper off the port side and another smaller one in side the engineering compartment. On our ascent we saw Matt ascending with his second Black Grouper. During the surface interval everyone was excited by the great dive they had just experienced and were charged with anticipation of the next dive.

Once our hour had passed no-one wasted time gearing up to reenter the water. When Chris-Heijn, Amy and I reached the main deck at 105 feet we headed west to the engineering compartment and descended to the lower decks. We penetrated the Thunderbolt passing straight through to the bow hatch. After circling the Cable Wheel we headed back to the super structure where we entered the deck below the WheelHouse. A large Black Grouper who quickly left via a round porthole greeted us. As we moved toward the ascent line we swam through the Engineering Compartment once more. We saw two Goliath Grouper inside the compartment. Once back aboard the Reef Hopper the excitement was boundless. We could not wait to get to the scales and weigh Matt’s catch, 29.9 pounds and 38.0 pounds. Matt shared his catch with us and I must say dinner was wonderful.

12 files, last one added on Jun 09, 2008

Thunderbolt Wreck Dive Marathon FL Keys


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These are pictures of the Thunderbolt wreck that were taken by Sandy at Dive Chronicles. It is a beautiful wreck that's fun to dive. it recently celebrated its 20th anniversary underwater.

10 files, last one added on Feb 28, 2008

Dolphin & The Adams Family


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Clark, Pat, Rebecca and Sarah had a great day with Capt. Jeff Rella. Here is more evidence the dolphin are coming.

6 files, last one added on May 22, 2008

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