05 February 2011

Diving Tower 17

I met Luis at the beach. We geared up and were ready to go in when I first noticed that the flag was not in the back of the truck, where I always leave it. I now think that we must have failed to put it in the truck yesterday. So I went to Matt's to buy a new flag, but the kind I wanted was not in stock, so he gave me a loaner. I drove back to the beach and we went diving. There were plenty of Portuguese Man-of-Wars, but we managed to avoid any nasty accidents. We swam out and found a Little Coral Knoll and explored that some. We found a juvenile Yellowtail Damselfish and got some nice shots of common reef fish.

On our second dive, I had students out for their 4th and final open water dive, so I did not take my camera, even the Intova. Of course, we just reached the Reef when I spotted a baby nurse shark and could not get a picture. We then swam to the Coral Knoll and saw a turtle after we had been there a while. This was a Green Sea Turtle and a young one who did not enjoy spending time with us. On the way back to the beach, though, we encountered a Crab I had not seen before. Of course, I could not take pictures, but I got a shot of the crab and the baby nurse shark from Luis.

04 February 2011

Diving with Man-of-Wars

We entered the water near Tower 17, deciding that the Big Coral Knoll was North, not South. As we entered the water, there were a number of Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish and I dropped down to try to get pictures, which was very difficult in the chop and so close to the surface.

We swam due East to the edge and found what I think was an Indigo Hamlet on the ledge. Got some good pictures of that.

The second dive was much like the first except that we did not see the Indigo Hamlet on that dive. We did find a Green Sea Turtle who was calmer than most and let me get some good shots.

03 February 2011

We decided to continue exploring to the South of Tower 17. We found a baby Yellowtail Damselfish, some anemones, a Green Sea Turtle, some Atlantic Spadefish and finally another Green Turtle on the way back to the beach. We did not find the Big Coral Knoll.

Our second dive was colder, despite warming up during our hour surface interval. We headed back to where we had seen the turtles, but they were gone. Saw some butterflyfish and doctorfish with Isopods, but nothing really interesting.

02 February 2011

Luis and I dove off the beach near Tower 17. I was looking for the Big Coral Knoll. We went in South of Tower 17 and my camera battery died on the first photograph. Luis got some pictures of a small nurse shark, a Blue Hamlet and a Sharptailed Eel. I swam along wishing I had brought the Intova, too.

Changed batteries in the camera and got some pictures, but no sharks or eels this dive. Just the usual reef fish. We went back in the water even further South but did not find the Knoll.

01 February 2011

Diving Tower 17 with Dianne

Dianne and I went to the beach late in the morning. The wind was maybe 5 knots and seas were building but easily manageable. We swam East from Tower 17 looking for the Big Coral Knoll and ran into a Green Sea Turtle who appeared to be wrapped in fishing line or net. As we got closer, the turtle started swimming away and we discovered that it had been breakfasting on a Portuguese Man-of-War. I shot video and got some good still pictures as the turtle was swimming relatively slowly, trailing jellyfish tentacles far behind her. After a bit, I stopped following her and Dianne and I continued our dive to the edge of the reef. We ran into the same Green Sea Turtle a little later and I shot some more pictures. On the way back to the beach, we encountered some of the perfect circle amphipods, which I have still been unable to better identify. Chilly, but a good dive.

The wind and surf were both up on the second dive. Dianne got knocked over twice on the way out, but we did get out. This time we entered a little more to the South. We did not see the turtle again and not much else other than the usual reef fish. I got some good pictures of a Smooth Trunkfish and a Scamp.