July 17, 2021 2 min read

What’s better than a relaxing weekend?  A relaxing weekend underwater!  The calm weather allowed for me and my new dive buddy to hit two different wrecks on Elbow Reef in Key Largo.  This shallow (25 ft) reef supports a wide variety of tropical fish species.  While I tend to prefer the deeper reefs for their higher coral diversity, I’ve been deprived lately of my precious underwater time.  This adventure provided the perfect opportunity to get my dose of vitamin sea.  And, in the true spirit of National Women’s Dive Day, our group took to the sea in colorful tutus to show our support!
 
Dive on elbow reef

First stop was a wreck called City of Washington, well over a hundred years old but still fascinating.  The highlight of this dive were the four flamingo tongues I spotted in a grove of sea fans.  These little sea snails have been endangered for quite some time and are considered a rare find while diving.  As gastropod mollusks, they actually stretch their skin over their shells.  However, this misled many divers  to try and collect them for their striking spotted patterns.  Without the skin, flamingo tongue shells are actually a soft peach or white in color.  On this wreck, I took the opportunity to practice more of my underwater film and photography skills. 

Dive on elbow reef

For our second dive, we stopped at the Hannah Belle; also over a hundred but not quite as old as the City of Washington.  This section of the reef was absolutely teeming with life and biodiversity.  While I didn’t spot any flamingo tongues on the sea fans there, there were TONS of yellowfin damsels to practice taking pictures of.  When in their juvenile stages, they sport these absolutely gorgeous blue spots that seem to glow underwater.  We were also fortunate enough to see a massiveelkhorn coral growing healthy and strong!  With the number of reef building corals still dwindling dangerously fast, seeing any amount in the wild is a small glimmer of hope.  After putting in the work on our first tank, I took this second round to relax and enjoy all the wonderful sights that Elbow Reef has to offer.

Dive on elbow reef

It’s so important that we treasure our moments with nature, especially with rapidly changing ecosystems being impacted by shifts in climate.  Even if you can’t get out on the water to find your peaceful moment, remember you can always appreciate what you have in your own backyard.  Don’t forget, we have to start by restoring the little ecosystems in our local communities before we can tackle the big stuff together. 

Dive on elbow reef

Stay in the loop for more upcoming dive adventures with Lizzie! 


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