26 January 2012

Diving the Fish Camp Rocks with Calvin

Calvin had a workout yesterday and was a little laate this morning.  We got to the beach about 7:45 am. The wind was 8-12 knots from the SSE.  Surf was bigger than it has been, but not too difficult.  We made our surface swim to the Ledge and then made the three ascents he needed for certification.
When we dropped, there was a tire next to us, but there was a moderate current that pushed us to the South.  When we finished the ascents, we looked for a tire, but had to swim East to find one.  We also found a lobster trap filled with reef fish.

 Calvin tied off the line and attached it to the lift bag with a sheet bend.  I lifted the tire first, making sure to keep control by letting air out as we ascended.  Then Calvin did it, but I don't think he quite understood what I wanted.  Nonetheless, he maintained control and got the tire up and back down safely.
 We fooled around a bit trying to get all of the air and water out of the lift bag,  then we swam back to the beach.  For reasons I don't understand, I was light.  I struggled to stay down and had to pick up a couple of rocks to balance me out.  I blew through my air.
 We took a long surface interval so that Calvin could look at the 6 table problems I gave him Tuesday.  He has trouble deciding how to handle the problems and did poorly on them.  I was going to have him take the final, but even though I remembered to bring the exam, I did not bring an answer sheet, so we killed time until I could get another parking sticker.

On our second dive, we swam to the reef and descended on the 100 degree bearing off the Lifeguard Tower, then swam 90 degrees and found the Fish Camp Rocks.  The tide was low and the current was slight.  The surf had been up, so I brought the Intova instead of the Canon.

There were a lot of fish around the Fish Camp Rocks, but I saw a Spotted Burrfish duck under one of the rocks and went after a picture.  I took several, but the light was patchy under the rock and the fish was not cooperating.  
 From the Fish Camp Rocks we swam to the Pillar Coral with the extended polyps.  This used to be a very healthy and vibrant coral, but the sea was rough this Fall and there are now a number of areas where the coral has died.  Too bad.

From the Pillar Coral we swam to the Big Coral Knoll.  There were a number of French and White Grunts as well as several Spanish Hogfish.  
 I spotted a Golden Tail Moray Eel, but you can barely see it in the picture.
 I also spotted a small Green Sea Turtle, but could not get close to it.
We swam back past the Swept Rock, the Perpendicular Rocks and out to the Bubble Rocks before turning West and heading back to the beach.  Buoyancy was fine this dive.

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