On Monday, July 9th the afternoon dive was at Elbow Reef on a couple ship wreck named the City of Washington. and the Hanna M. Bell. The two best sighting of the dives include an encounter with some Caribbean Reef Squid and a close encounter with some small Permit.
City of Washington
The Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary website tells us ,
the remains of the City of Washington lie on Elbow Reef. On July 10, 1917, while being towed by a tug, the City of Washington ran aground on and was a total loss within minutes.
The article goes on to say,
The Steam Ship City of Washington (SS City Washington), launched August 31, 1877, was an iron hulled steamer for use in passenger transport and the cargo trade between New York, Cuba, and Mexico.
Caribbean Reef Squid
Squid are always a treat to see and I love the way they change color. The Encyclopedia of Life website and Wikipedia explains,
Caribbean reef squid have been shown to communicate using a variety of color, shape, and texture changes. Squid are capable of rapid changes in skin color and pattern through nervous control of chromatophores. In addition to camouflage and appearing larger in the face of a threat, squids use color, patterns, and flashing to communicate with one another in various courtship rituals.
Hanna M. Bell
The second tank dive was on the wreck of the Hanna M. Bell. For years the wreck was known as Mike’s Wreck. An article from the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary site explains how the true name of the wreck was discovered,
Information gathered by sanctuary staff and volunteers from the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) during a September 2012 field survey enabled maritime archaeologists to confirm the wreck’s origins.
The encounter with the “Permit” was a treat! I spotted them early in the dive but they were too far away for good video footage.I figured I lost my chance to get some video. I was happy to seem them again later on and to be able to get close video footage.
I must admit, I’m not 100% sure these fish are Permits. The dorsal fins are sloped like the Permit in the illustration below but the tail has what seems like a wide fork like the Pompano in the illustration below. The shape of the forehead looks more like a Permit than a Pompano. If the fish were larger (Pompano don’t grow as large as permits) then identification would be easy. At this size, they could be small Permit or large Pompano. I think the key is to line check the alignment between the dorsal fin and the anal fin. I have look at the video numerous times and am not sure. What do you think?
Image from https://fishbites.com/identifying-permit-vs-pompano/
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