Sea Dweller Dive Center of Key Largo Instructor David Jefferiss gives us this wonderful video I call…“A Day of Key Largo Diving on Molasses Reef”. Dave discusses the marine life a dive will reveal in it’s many forms. The abundance and diversity of marine life off Key Largo is amazing, as you can see in this video. The last 8 days has been absolutely wonderful for scuba divers here in Key Largo, as the winds and seas have been quite calm, and the visibility excellent. The air temp was averaging around 84 degrees…and of course, lots of sun!https://youtu.be/TjaknSoTEUo
More info on diving Molasses Reef – A special thanks to Dave for this wonderful video!
“Key Largo Diving Blog”
Even though this video has been on our website for a year now, I thought I’d post it as a blog to those who may have missed it. A great video of many our Key Largo dives sites visited by Sea Dwellers Dive Center. You can see the diversity of the Keys reefs is strong by Caribbean standards…or maybe even world dive site standards? Let us know your opinion on that if you like we’d love to hear your opinion!Note the minnows were in when the video was made. They visit us every year for a few weeks and it is very exciting diving in the Florida Keys for that time period.
A special thanks to Amy at Ocean First Divers for providing this wonderful video she made during this visit to our dive sites last year!
The other day we had a diver on the boat, a good diver and a very nice woman, who came across the “Most Feared Sea Creature in Key Largo”….and even came in physical contact with it!!! (More on the outcome of this encounter later in the article…)
Now perhaps just hearing this word has sent you into nervous tremors? Perhaps you won’t be able to sleep tonight just because I’ve brought this fearsome sea monster up??? Who cares about things like sharks, moray eels, or stingrays when this ravenous, man-eating monster is around…right???
OK, so I’m exaggerating a bit about this gelatinous blob, but you might not know it from the reactions of divers and snorkelers we’ve seen over the years. Seriously, it is always a bit shocking, and a bit humorous I have to admit, seeing people’s reaction if/when a Jellyfish is sighted. We have seen people literally scream upon sighting one of these monstrous little beasts. I have seen grown men leave the water and not get back in because they saw one while diving, (true). We have had snorkelers not get in the water at all during an entire afternoon after they simply heard someone say they saw one, (true). I think it really is the most feared Sea Creature to many Key Largo divers and snorkelers! Why? Should it be feared? Will they attack you? How bad is their sting, really? Will they swim you down and sting you?
According to “Jellyfish Facts” web site, (yes, it really exists), as far as the sting of the dreaded moon Jelly; “They normally do not sting human species. But they do use their tentacles to sting other prey and little fishes for food. Even if they were to sting humans accidentally, all it will do is leave a small rash as their cnidoblasts aren’t powerful enough to penetrate human skin tissues, but most of the times these stings can hardly be felt at all”
Granted, there are species that can penetrate human flesh, and can cause bad reactions and pain. But the most common one, (by far), found here in Key Largo, the Moon, is also one of the most benign. Key Largo is lucky in this, as there are some much bigger, scarier ones found around the world. There are certain times of year here where we do see some Portugeuse Man-O-War’s, which have tenacles that do sting and hurt. When these are around, they are on the surface, so managing them is by far easier, and stings are pretty rare.
What does the sting of a Moon Jelly feel like? Have you ever been bitten by a mosquito? Very similar indeed. And while we are not suggesting hugging the next one you see, it is good to understand that Moon Jellies cannot control where they go, they just float with the currents. If you are careful not to push them or swish water into them, you will not feel the dreaded “mosquito bites”. We even have a few long-time Underwater Photographers who love to photograph them as they are actually very beautiful.
So what was the outcome of the woman I told you about at the beginning of this article who came in contact with a Moon Jelly? She was calm about it as she told me she ran directly into it and should she be worried? I asked her if she felt pain and she said, “not really pain, just some kind of tingling on my arm”. I told her that “the “sting” is benign and is similar to a mosquito bite” in my opinion. She actually agreed with me and I put some vinegar on the area and she did her next dive and never said another word about it, (other than that the dives were very good that day). Very cool diver.
Maybe the next time you are diving off the reefs of Key Largo with Sea Dwellers Dive Center and come across one perhaps you might consider seeing it in a different light. I can’t help but think that the ‘ol saying; “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” certainly applies to the under-appreciated, misunderstood Moon Jellyfish. Heck, maybe you’ll even enjoy the encounter and appreciate it’s beauty as a part of Mother’s Nature’s amazing web of life!
This bodes well for scuba diving the Florida Keys, as water temperatures reflect this warm trend. In Key Largo, reef water temps have been between 75 and 78 degrees all through the winter so far. This is something that hasn’t escaped our notice…especially our Scuba Instructors, who certainly prefer the warm temperatures! More importantly, our dive customers have certainly noticed this as reflected in the many positive comments we’ve gotten about dive conditions!
And according to USA Today, “The southernmost point of the United States sits in the Florida Keys, which boast warm February beach weather. Temperatures in the Keys stay constant for most of the year, with highs ranging from 75 to 90 degrees and lows from 65 to 80 degrees. February highs generally reach the mid-70s, with lows in the mid-60s. The Keys stretch for roughly 110 miles and offer beaches on both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.”
So get out of the cold and come on down and dive Key Largo with Sea Dwellers Dive Center, you won’t regret it…especially this Winter!
Here at Sea Dwellers Dive Center, we are often asked….what’s it like in Key Largo during the Holidays? If I could only use one word to answer…it would be “busy”. As a matter of fact, the week between Christmas and New Year’s
can be the busiest of the year, especially if the weather is good. And very often, it is. Today the water temp is 77 degrees, topside temp is 84 degrees, skies are clear blue, very sunny. Not bad, huh? So while us dive shop guys are thinking “busy” when talking the Holidays in Key Largo, …I think most people are thinking about other things when they ask this question.
Ultimately, we think the summer is the best overall for diving, but in the winter, there are some advantages. I’m not talking absolutes here mind you….anything is possible, especially these days it seems! But generally, the Holidays in the Keys bring….
Not bad, huh? Must be paradise, right? Well, a lot of the time it is. We hear about all these winter storms up north, blizzards, freezing temps…yikes! For us it’s like trying to imagine living on another planet!
Now in January and February, we can get a little cold. When a cold front pushes through…it could even get to, say…60 degrees!!! I’m not kidding…do you feel sorry for us? We all bundle up, some even put on long pants! (Not socks though, let’s not get ridiculous). The water usually makes it down to around 72 for a couple weeks…(although this year it seems like it might not make it there if December is any indication. But it can get cold for short periods…. In 1976, I awoke in my Miami home to get ready for school, and lo and behold…snow…yes snow was on our green lawn. The next day, the headlines of the Miami Herald….
Certainly Miami is no stranger to “snow”, it’s just that it usually doesn’t fall from the sky. But we didn’t do a lot of diving that winter, and I think tat may have been a “once in my lifetime event”. I don’t expect the current weather trends to get to this point in the near future.
So leave the cold and come on down and go diving in the Keys for the Holidays…we’re expecting more sun and warmth aplenty!
Good diving to all,