14 January 2012

Charles and Vaughn on the Eastern Edge of the reef

 Ravi decided not to dive this morning, but forgot to let me know until it was too late to get Chris to come along.  Lose Lose situation.  Charles was late, but did come, and Vaughn was there at the door early and ready to go.  We met Luis at the beach and went to Tower 17. We geared up and got in the water, but it took 40 minutes or so to swim out to the Eastern edge of the reef.   Vaughn was making his first open water dive and Charles was making a search & recovery dive.
I gave Charles the flag and some general instructions on searching for a tire, while Vaughn and I made the 3 ascents he needed to make.  We then swam over to the flag, and sure enough found that Charles had located a tire, pulled it out of the sand and was tying his line onto it.  We swam down and I gave him the lift bag and showed him how to fill it and how to let air out.

He did not quite understand keeping it neutral all the way up, but he did control the speed and make a slow, safe ascent.  Then as long as we were there, I had Vaughn set it up and raise the tire.  I took pictures.  

Then we swam back to the beach.  Luis joined up just past the Ledge.  We had gotten set quite a bit South and I made some correction for current set, but we ended up at the Lost Knoll, so I adjusted some more and we ended up right in front of the Tower.  It was a warm dive, all that swimming. 

We had a fairly long surface interval, but it was not long enough to dry out the gear.  Putting on cold, wet gear for a second dive proved to be too much for Charles, who packed his gear and took off.  Vaughn, Luis and I toughed it out and had a really nice dive.

 We found a small Green Sea Turtle near the Big Coral Knoll and I found the big Green Turtle there, as well, but Vaughn and Luis were too late to see it.

 We found a Nurse Shark under the Eastern ledge of the Knoll and a Red Grouper who had a fish hook stuck holding its mouth open.  These anglers create such pain and suffering.  Really makes me want to hook them and drag them down I-95 for a few hundred miles at 70 mph.  

 After the Big Coral Knoll, we swam to the Fish Camp Rocks where we spotted some Midnight Blue Parrotfish,
 Gray Snapper, and
even a Porcupinefish.  Then we headed back to the beach, all of us getting chilled after almost 80 minutes in the water.

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