Two Divers take on a wall of Moon Jellyfish to get to the Lobster

Diving through a wall of Moon Jellyfish in the waters of Florida Keys turned out to be one of the most fascinating dives to this day. It was a gripping site to be sure.

My long time dive partner Howie and I decided we had the time so let’s go dive for lobsters. It was September. I knew the Moon jelly’s had began to show up on the coral reef out front. But I had no idea they were here in such great numbers. They usually begin to show up here in the Florida Keys each year in late August.

We notice the jelly’s on the trip out to the reef . The closer we got the more of them their were. I’ve never seen so many of them here. We anchored the boat and kept looking over the side. We both kept asking each other “what do you think, should we dive?” Finally we decided since we’re already here we might as well try it. We launch the Hoohah. We get our dive gear on and carefully enter the water. We’re in about 50' of water. Howie goes first and I’m right behind him. We pick our way thru the moon jelly’s to get to the bottom. These things are all over the place. I can’t believe neither one of us got a sting on the way down.

When we're about 10' to 15' off the bottom the jelly’s stop. It’s totally clear of them. They are all above us. As I look up it reminds me of a science fiction movie. These guys are all sizes and thick, like a curtain.

We’re enjoy a great dive . We’re finding lobster and are able to get our limit. We pause many times to just look up at the wonderful site above us. Wish we would have had a camera for this dive. There’s only so much stuff you can carry when diving.

Small Moon Jellyfish Florida Keys In case you’ve never seen or heard about moon jellyfish, I’ll tell you a little about them. Some are light pink and others are a blue color. As their season here gets near the end they turn more to a purple and dark pink shade. They’re a saucer-shaped dome with lots of short, fringe-like tentacles around the entire edge. They’re translucent so the four-leaf-clover shape can be seen in the middle. This is their reproductive organs. They are mildly toxic.

When you brush up against the tentacles you get a dull sting. People with sensitive skin are more affected than others. As for me, anything in the ocean causes me to have red itchy whelks for four to five days. I’ve discovered the best thing to do after getting stung is to put Clorox bleach on the area as soon as possible. I carry it with me on the boat. You’ll need to saturate a paper towel or rag with the bleach and hold it on the area for about a whole minute. This keeps it from swelling up as much. It doesn’t seem to itch like it otherwise would either.

OK it’s getting time to go back to the boat. One of us will have to go to the surface to locate the boat. Howie goes. He gives me directions and we begin our swim back. I pay close attention to the direction he pointed. We don’t want to have to surface a second time to locate the boat.

Moon Jelly Fish Florida Keys

Out in the distance I see our anchor line. Yea, only one more trip up thru the moon jellyfish. I go up first. He'll wait at the bottom until I’m out of the water before he goes to the surface. No need to hang at the boat and risk getting stung. I begin my ascent. I spin 360 as I go up trying to avoid all the tentacles. WOW! I made it. In a few minutes there’s Howie and he also made it thru the maze without getting stung. That’s amazing.

I’m not sure if we were crazy or not for diving with soooooooo many moon jellyfish in the water. I’m glad we did because that was truly one of the most amazing dives I’ve experienced here in the Florida Keys.



Return from Moon Jellyfish to Dive and Snorkel

Return from Moon Jellyfish to N The Florida Keys