Jewfish Sink Dive on December 19th, 2017

Our last dive of the calendar year was to Jewfish Sink, a deep sinkhole located about a km offshore, just south of Aripeka, FL.  We left the lab around 9 AM and arrived at the Aripeka boat ramp at about 10:30. The tide was low so we had to be careful maneuvering out the channel.  It was slightly foggy at first and we saw a terrific fog bow just after we left the ramp.  It became a beautiful day with glassy smooth water and we saw a couple of sea turtles and some small bonnet head sharks along the way. We anchored at the hole and Bobby and Dr. Garey suited up with Vickie doing boat support. Gulf water was 65 degrees F and. the air temperature was about 75 so a bit chilly for us Floridians. The first dive was along the wall down to the anaerobic zone where we collected water and biofilm samples at about 110 ft. The hole is about 18 ft across at the surface but gradually widens to about 200 ft wide, so the divers had to swim back under the overhead as they headed toward the wall.  After a bit of decompression and a good surface interval, the second dive followed a line we had left on an earlier dive. This line terminates on the debris mound at about 160 ft where we collected sediment for Madison's experiments. At that depth there is no light, no oxygen and a lot of hydrogen sulfide. All went well and we had a great trip back to the dock, and again, a long night processing samples.

fog bow in the morning just offshore from aripeka, fl

fog bow in the morning just offshore from aripeka, fl

Diagram of Jewfish sink

Diagram of Jewfish sink