Scuba Conditions: Sept. 2021

September should be a very productive month for those divers seeking lobster. Here is a good size bug captured by James Renie recently. Photo provided by Steve Wood.

Diving in September is heavily dependent on tropical activity in the Atlantic and Caribbean, with dive conditions going one of two ways: (1) great visibility, calm seas and warm waters of summertime or (2) tropical storms/hurricanes and blown out visibility.

Lobster hunting is great this month too since females that may have held on to their eggs for mini season have now dropped them and are ready to come home for dinner. Crowds from opening weekend have thinned and reef sites should be restocked and ready.

Shore dives off Bryn Mawr Beach or straight out from the concession stand at Jensen Public Beach are great reefs to explore and catch bugs when visibility allows. Water temps will also reach their peak this month and temps in the mid to upper 80s are common. Unfortunately, hurricane season reaches its peak in September and divers should pay attention to the forecast for changing weather. Storms far out to sea may have minimal effect on land but these systems can drastically change the landscape beneath the surface. Large swells generated from tropical storms may shift huge amounts of sand or move wrecks into new positions allowing divers to explore fresh territory. After the seas calm down, diving can be really exciting since new reefs maybe uncovered along with grouper, lobster and large whelk and helmet conch shells scattered over the reef.

Thanks to the proximity of the Gulf stream current to our area, many are surprised to learn good visibility usually returns in a week or two once a storm has passed. The Georges Valentine wreck that sits just a few hundred yards offshore of the House of Refuge is a great example of how a dive site may be affected by tropical activity. As sand shifts with each swell, water depths on the wreck maybe as deep as 20 feet or as shallow at 10 feet, depending on the time of year.

Divers should count on calm seas and big lobster in September and if a storm passes the area, be prepared for some exciting diving when the water clears.

Deep Six Watersports – Stuart 
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