Debbie and Clayton Bonnell came to town on Christmas Eve. Miriam and Gunter had arrived with their son, Chris, a few days before. Dianne and I dove with Clayton and Debbie on Christmas Eve, then spent Christmas in the Storm Belt with Miriam and Gunter. The weather was cold and windy following Christmas, but we dove with Debbie and Clayton twice on Wednesday and once on Thursday, despite some rough wave action. On Friday, Gunter and his son Chris joined us, as did Luis Monroy. Miriam was along to look after Chris and to hold the hot chocolate. The visibility was terrible and the waves made getting out a challenge. Debbie and Clayton came over and we cooked Dianne's vegetarian spaghetti for dinner. Clayton and I bought a bottle of Oban. Between the scotch and a cold I had been fighting off all week, I spent Saturday in bed. I got up Sunday, but lacked the heart to go to the beach. Finally, on Monday, I got back in the water.
I went to the beach early to avoid being hassled by the lifeguards, who besides believing that the flag is protects divers, also think that diving solo is a bad thing. Most of my dives are solo dives, not because I dive alone, but because the students with whom I dive are not in a position to recognize any problems I might have and certainly are not in a position to render assistance. Besides, when I take the camera, I get in my own little world and there are not many people who will watch me as I wait for just the right shot. More about solo diving later.
The wind was slight and the water calm and relatively clear. There were no waves and there was no sand stirred up, but there was a haze about 15 feet out. I brought the Canon 5d Mk II. I headed for the Ledge of Turtles, but, as is too often the case, I missed it. I found a Porcupinefish and tried several shots with the strobe in different positions. I got several good pictures and learned a little something about strobe placement.
I also found an Orange Spotted Filefish that posed for several pictures, a True Tulip and a tightly curled Basket Star. While it was not a remarkable dive, it was a pleasant dive and very peaceful. I was in the water for 75 minutes and chilled when I got out. The lifeguard arrived before I had warmed up, so I stowed the gear and headed for home.