Reef Report for the week of 9-29-14
The operative word for snorkeling the Key West this week is go for it! We have a week of beautiful weather in store with no real big rain/wind events on tap till late week.
My prediction last week was off by a day. The wind didn’t come in till Wednesday and stayed around till late Saturday. With the wind down we should begin to see our stellar water clarity return. Water temp was 86 at the eco-reserve and thats about as good as it gets.
As for the Jellyfish we are happy to report that numbers have diminished. On Sunday’s trip we saw a few as we first got in but by time we made it to the reef they had diminished considerably. I would still recommend bringing some vinegar along just in case of a random encounter with a stray jellyfish but all in all I think the annual jellyfish migration is coming to a close.
Now for this week’s “pic” of the week. Every year during August and September when the water temps are at their highest corals begin to experience zooxanthellae (zoe-zan-thelly) abandonment. For those of us who are not so geeky, zooxanthellae is the algae that lives symbiotically with coral and gives coral a big energy boost; kinda like a “Five Hour Energy” meets “Red Bull”. This energetic coral-friendly algae is also the primary reason for all the beautiful colors we see in coral.
This match made in heaven relationship is about a perfect as it gets, or at least until the water temp starts to rise. After about 90F degrees the “Zoes” (Reef Geek for zooxanthellae) start thinking twice about their choice of real-estate and move out. When that happens the corals loose their color and their primary source of energy. Its actually a pretty scary event for us reef lovers. Without the zoes the coral can’t last long and their untimely demise is certain. The good news, at lease for now, is this annual abandonment is temporary. Yesterday, Trishi snapped this picture and you can clearly see the color starting to return. For us Reef Geeks we can finally exhale and celebrate that the reef will be getting its color, and by association, it’s vitality back. Yea!!!
Shameless plug time- Our new on-line booking page is up and running and its amazing how many people would rather book on-line then call us directly. I must admit I didn’t think it would work but alas I was wrong, imagine that! At any rate, take advantage of the great weather and consider booking with us. We definitely are not a cattle boat and certainly not in the same league when it comes to price point, but if you truly value personal attention and hanging with some passionate “Reef Huggers” then we are your best bet. Don’t forget the not so secret discount code- “reef” . Till next week be safe and respect the reef.