20 June 2011

Diving the Ledge of Turtles with Dean Yates

Dean met me at the beach at 6:30 am and we dove the Ledge of Turtles. There was little wind and no surf, so entry was a breeze. There was a moderate current to the North, however, and we got set to the Crow's Nest on the way out, so I swam South to adjust and we found the mid-way rocks and swam on over to the Ledge, where we found a small Green Sea Turtle. Unfortunately, the turtle was frightened and would not let me get close. I took some shots, but there was too much backscatter for the distance. Dean is also a photographer, so we explored the Ledge before swimming over to Shark's Rock. There were no Nurse Sharks there, but there were a lot of reef fish and we both got a number of shots. Then we swam back to the Ledge, to find that the turtle had returned, but he left immediately upon seeing us. Finally, we headed West to the sand and then NW to the point of entry.

Dean was taking his son and daughter diving at the Blue Heron Bridge, so he only made one dive with me. I went back to the Ledge for a second dive and found the same Green Sea Turtle, but it was still unwilling to share the Ledge with me and took off. I got a picture of a White Grunt with its mouth open wide in front of a young Porkfish, apparently for cleaning. This time I got a picture, though it was not the best shot. I spent a good bit of time swimming slowly to Shark's Rock and poking around in the Staghorn Coral. I found a small crab but it was well inside the coral and I could not get a shot. I also found a Rock Hind who gave me the evil eye when I got its picture. I went back to the Ledge, but this time, the turtle was not there. I got a picture of a Highhat, then headed back to the beach along the same route Dean and I had used earlier, looking for the snorkel Dean though he lost along the way. I did not find it. I did find some kind of animal inside a tube, but the pictures are neither very clear or complete and I have no idea what this thing is.

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