Updated: Oct 5, 2022
We took a day trip up to Jupiter, FL last week to check out a dive that I've been wanting to do for awhile...the grouper aggregation dive. What's that, you ask? It's basically where the giant, and I mean GIANT, Goliath grouper come to - cue the Marvin Gaye - do it for about a month. This romantic aggregation happens once a year off the mid to south east coast of Florida and you can go dive with these gentle giants. No one really knows why they've chosen the wrecks and sites off of West Palm Beach and down to the Keys...they probably know our diving is about the best you can get, but divers and underwater photographers flock there every year to experience a Goliath spectacle.
Because the groupers were the stars of the show I'm going to start a little backwards on this blog, but well worth it to start off with these big babies.
When you come face to face with one of the gargantuan fish it is an experience you won't soon forget. To take a picture with a diver near one of the fish helps you get a perspective for just how big they are. They can get up to 600lbs!! You're basically hanging out with a fish as big as a car. Unfortunately my camera flooded, the current was so crazy that it turned off one of my strobes...I was a mess but ended up with a couple of good pics, and Marcus caught me with one as well.
These friends are super gentle and are not aggressive at all. If they do feel threatened, they can give off a loud bark or boom. We got to hear a couple of booms in the distance - so cool, but none that we got close to barked. Secretly, I kind of hoped they would.
We went with Jupiter Dive Center which was a great, efficient operation with a divemaster to guide you as much as he could in the crazy current. We saw more than just grouper - a couple of huuuuuge southern stingrays, but I could only get a blurry shot as this one swam by Marcus.
Before the dives we stopped at The Olde Lighthouse Diner for some great diner dining. I noshed on the vegetable skillet and some cheese grits because grits just bring me back to my childhood. I think they probably have zero nutritional value, but it's a throwback for me so I always go for it when they have them.
Right around the corner is Lighthouse Park that has a great view of the Jupiter Lighthouse, tons of space, soccer fields and a bit of history. An old anchor and canons from a shipwreck have been preserved at the park, so check it out if you go. This would be a great place to take a picnic, run, do a workout or just chill out before an epic dive.
The workout that I am sharing on IG and On Demand is a quick (just like the trip) ab addition that you can throw on the end of a weight or cardio session to help build up your plank. It's a 5 minute plank BUT you don't have to hold it for 5 minutes. The key is to hold it as long as you can then as soon as you start to wiggle or touch your knees to the ground, flip over and do 5-10 situps then flip back over and get back in the plank. Every time you "break" you do sit-ups. If you keep practicing this, you'll start to see your plank time build up. If you go for a minute the first time you try this, try to go 1.5 or even 1 minute and 15 seconds the next time before you break aka do sit-ups. For the sit-ups, I like tapping behind my head and tapping the ground to get a little momentum. Check it out here or anytime On Demand!
Take a day trip, y'all. Book the dog walker, pack some waters and snacks, and go. It was a great break from what we normally do on a weekend, and a new adventure is always a great idea. Oh, and also...