[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ebruary heralds a full change to the winter weather patterns. Water temperatures can drop to the low 70s F on some reefs, and even cooler to the high 60s F on the bank. So unless you have a dry suit, try to schedule your dives at the Sapona and Hesperus that are on the bank, at high tide. It will bring in clear, warmer water, often almost ten degrees warmer, from the Gulf Stream. The cold fronts become much more frequent in February. Northerly winds, stronger than our traditional winds, can cause days too rough to get out, and swell conditions for a day or two after, often causing low visibility.
February is also the peak month of the great hammerhead aggregation here in Bimini. The season is in full swing and at least 15 different tagged great hammerheads have returned already from previous years, as well as quite a few new sharks that were never tagged. These unique sharks can grow up to 20 feet in length, but the common sizes in Bimini’s waters are 9 to14 feet.
There are a few dive shops locally on Bimini, and all three of them can arrange a hammerhead safari for you. Viewing these alien shaped sharks firsthand is a dive that you will never forget. Keep a close eye on the hammerheads jaws and teeth, because when they feed, teeth often fall out. On almost every dive we have been able to recover one or two teeth!
Try not to forget that Nassau grouper are now ALWAYS closed in winter months, but there are plenty of other fish to chase in Bimini’s bountiful water until next month. Have a great February, and get in the water this month!