18 January 2011

Back to the Ledge of Turtles

Yesterday's dive was so delightful, that I decided to try it again. I was late getting going, so I did not get in the water until about 9:30 am, just shortly before the Lifeguards usually arrive. I got out and descended immediately after the sand bar. I entered just North of the Tower, so I swam slightly South. I found the staghorn coral forest and explored that a bit. I then found the large rocks under which I had spotted the two nurse sharks this past Summer. There was a 6-ft nurse shark under the forward rock. She kept and eye on me, but did not flee. I got a couple of pictures, but without a strobe and not in the sunlight, so they did not come out. The TTL connector was not fully connected. Great.

Then I swam WNW from the Shark Rocks and went right to the Ledge of Turtles. Two for two! As I approached, I was looking for the Hawksbill with whom I swam yesterday, but she was not there. Instead, there was a small Green Sea Turtle under one of the rocks just West of the Ledge. I headed for her, but she took off. Quickly. I never got close enough for a shot.

I spent the balance of the dive looking for crabs and eels. I did not find any. Then I decided to check out the reef to the South of the Ledge to see if I could find the Hawksbill, but I could not find her, either. It had been an hour, so I headed back, again swimming NW to avoid the lifeguard. As I got to the sand, I again encountered a school of Tarpon. They began to circle me and it was pretty amazing. I took some pictures, then swam in to the beach. I was cold by the end of the dive, but the surface temperature was in the high 70's and dried off and warmed up.

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