Atlantic Goliath Grouper

Atlantic Goliath Grouper

The end of the Goliath Grouper spawning season was around the corner, and I was determined not to miss it this year.  I told Captain who I usually use for my dive students in west palm beach,  I was ready to take in this awesome experience just for me.   Friday night came, and I could hardly sleep planning for the following morning.  Once I had everything on my pre-dive checklist prepared and equipment together, I was ready to set out for an adventure of a lifetime.

Soon after leaving on the boat, the plan quickly changed due to the poor visibility from the rough tides.  Our original plan was to go see all the Goliaths at The Mizpah Corridor wreck dive site, but the water was too murky to dive there.  Captain Walker advised us we would now be dropped off at Northwest Double Edge (aka Shark Canyon) first so we could have some time for the wreck to clear up. We began to drift from 60 feet and gradually progressed to 83 feet.   There were several sharks swimming close by and in the distance where the visibility was almost zero.  That was very exciting, but my heart truly began to pound when we came upon a canyon hiding two Goliath Groupers.  These gentle giants were probably somewhere around 400-500 pounds.  Never before have I witnessed such an amazing sight!  The dive lasted around 30 minutes, but the time flew by so fast because we were having such an awesome time taking photos and soaking in the moment.

After going back to the boat to do some surface time, we were ready for the much anticipated dive at The Mizpah Corridor.  Upon entering the water, the dive conditions were still poor.   We drifted for about three minutes and there were several Goliath Groupers swimming by due to the strong current.  My heart started pounding again because I knew we were soon approaching the dive site.   We finally got into the wreck to get a break from the current.  It was quiet inside and there were no Goliaths nearby, or so we thought.  We turned a corner near the North side of the wreck and there they were.  We had around 8 giants surrounding us ranging in size from 400 pounds to their maximum weight of 800 pounds.  The adrenaline was pumping just thinking of accidently getting a little bump from one of them at 85 feet, but nothing happened.   I soon found out they are really gentle giants and they love to have their picture taken.

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