12 January 2012

Ravi and Rafael Complete the Open Water Course

The wind was calm and out of the Northwest.  The sea was flat.  We entered the water in front of Tower 17 and swam to the Eastern edge of the reef.  Ravi got to practice kicking and I got to tow him much of the distance.

Once we got to the edge of the reef, we descended and went through the ascents.  Both Rafael and Ravi did fine, though Ravi did have a few problems equalizing.
 I did an alternate air source ascent with each of them, then they made a buddy breathing ascent together, which was appropriate given that Rafael's regulator did not have an octopus.  Finally, I did a controlled emergency ascent with each of them.  They each made the ascent on the first try.

Then we swam back along the bottom.  The current had set us to the South while we did the ascents.  I corrected, but not enough apparently.  We missed the Fish Camp Rocks and I increased the correction, but we got out at the dune, South of the Tower.

 We saw a small green turtle, some lobster and I got  a lot of fish portraits.  I also found and photographed a Giant Anemone with purple tipped tentacles.
 It was a nice dive, and I stayed warm, though probably because of all the swimming we did.

 Our second dive was a bit easier despite the surf being up some.  We swam just past the swim buoy to the reef and descended, then swam East to the Fish Camp Rocks.  I took the Canon 5d Mk2 with the 100 mm lens this time, so I got some really nice pictures.  We spent some time among the Rocks, then swam to the Furry Rock, which is a pillar coral with extended polyps.  
 Then we swam over to the Big Coral Knoll, where we were approached by a small Green Sea Turtle.  We got to swim with it for a bit and I got a few pictures of Rafael and the turtle.  Using the 100 mm macro lens made it difficult to get a good picture of both the diver and the turtle, but several of them turned out just fine.
 Even when Rafael swam off, the turtle stayed with me for several minutes.  Unlike most Green turtles, this one seemed curious and actually interested in us.  Most of them are fine so long as you are at least 15 feet away, but this little guy was calmer than most Green Turtles.

We made a few passes over the Big Coral Knoll then swam to the Swept Rock and the Perpendicular Rocks, where we found a small Nurse Shark with a shark sucker attached.
Got a nice picture of this little Blue Tang.

Another nice dive, but a much longer one as we were not pushing to get out to the Ledge and then back.

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