24 June 2011

Diving the Little Coral Knoll with Open Water Students

I woke up Thursday morning and I did not want to go diving. I did not want to edit photographs. I wanted to take the dog for a walk. So I did. But this morning was a different story. I had an open water class that was set to make their first two open water dives. One of the students, Chris Coney, came to the apartment at 6:45 am. We had agreed to meet at 7:15 am and that he would ride with me to the beach. He got there early because he was excited. He wanted to dive.

We found a place to park along A1A just North of Sunrise. By 8:00 am, we were joined by Juliana Eichsteadt and Zahra Shiuji, the other two students in this class. I wanted to dive the Little Coral Knoll because it is close to the beach, filled with life and after diving the area most of the week, I thought I could find it, but I was wrong. We geared up, did our buddy checks and descended in about 10 feet of water. We swam out on the sand and no one had any trouble equalizing. We drifted to the North some, but I adjusted for the drift and thought I had maintained a 90 degree bearing, but we never saw the Little Coral Knoll or anything else I recognized. We did see the usual reef fish and the curious little blenny in the photograph. We had a pleasant enough dive, it just wasn't the dive I planned.

We spent our surface interval discussing decompression problems and re-taking quizzes. Then we entered as before and swam out at 90 degrees. We descended just shy of the swim buoys and went through the various skills. The students did just fine. When we had finished the schools,we again headed 90 degrees and this time, I ran into the Porthole Rocks. From there we swam 55 degrees to the Little Coral Knoll. We explored the knoll for quite a while. There was a lot to see and I'm sure that we did not see it all.

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