22 January 2011

Back to the Pelican

Dianne and I met Luis at the beach. We geared up and entered the water a little North of Tower 20 and swam ESE, looking for the Ledge of Turtles. We found the staghorn coral forest and swam SSW right to the Ledge of Turtles. I shot a video of the approach, but there were no turtles to be found. Pity.

We did find a little eel and lots of reef fish, but no turtles. I headed South and ran a large rectangle pattern that brought us back to the Ledge after locating some distinctive features to the South.

As we swam West to the beach, we found a Florida Regal Sea Goddess and this time, I got a picture.

Also on the way back to the beach, we found an Octopus tucked in with some rocks, but otherwise exposed. If you look to the bottom of the pictures, you can make out the animal's eye. According to Wikipedia, the octopus "has two special organs, called statocysts, that allow the octopus to sense the orientation of its body relative to horizontal. An autonomic response keeps the octopus's eyes oriented so that the pupil slit is always horizontal."

It was a long dive and I was chilly, but not miserable. We did spend about 80 minutes warming up before making our second dive, however.

Dianne was convinced that we would find a turtle if we dove in front of the Pelican Grand, so we did. We swam much of the way on the surface, then descended and continued North underwater. Somewhere near the Sun Tower, we turned East and headed out on the reef. We found some eels and tried to feed them the Vienna sausages, but there were no takers. Turns out that the sausages float unless you break them up. The eels reacted as if we were lobbing hand grenades at them.

We got back to the sand with plenty of air, so I headed North to burn some before going in. Luis got concerned that I was mis-oriented and set me on a due West track. We ended the dive with plenty of air.

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