06 January 2011

Looking for the Ledge of Turtles

Temperatures are still in the high-70's to low 80's and it has been several days since Dianne has been diving. This morning, she decided to come. We met Luis Monroy on A1A near Sunrise, then decided to head up the beach to the Pelican. As usual, we were looking for the Ledge of Turtles, but did not see it. We did see a lot of reef fish and a pair of Freckled Seahares.

We swam to the Western edge of the reef and back. The water was generally clear, but hazy about 20 ft out. The wind was fairly stiff from the NW, which meant the seas were calm. It was a good dive.

I took my Canon 5d Mk 2, Luis had his Nikon and Dianne had my Intova, but could get get the camera to work since I had managed to get the batteries in wrong. Still, we had an interesting time taking pictures and exploring the reef. By the time we got back, though, I was chilled and Dianne was cold enough to pass on the second dive. I got this picture of a Doctorfish sporting a Cymothoid Isopod. These Isopods start out as tiny free-swimming males who attach themselves to a host fish with their several pairs of legs and eat food they find floating in the water. Once attached, they loose the ability to swim and become attached for life. If they are not paired with a female, the males may transform into females. On the way in to the beach, Dianne spotted a Sea Robbin and I got a few pictures, but the battery on my strobe was dead, so only a couple came out.

After drying off and warming up, Luis and I made a second dive. The wind had come up some, but the sea was still quite calm. This time we entered slightly North of the main entry point. We headed due East, but still did not find the Ledge of Turtles. We swam over some pretty barren sea bed. We did find a fish neither of us had seen before: a juvenile Creole Wrasse. The fish was hiding in some Staghorn Coral, but I got some pictures and ultimately identified it because of the coloration and the distinctive pattern on its back. I was shivering by the time we got to the beach.

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