06 February 2012

Diving Solo on the Big Coral Knoll

 Dianne came over this morning to go diving, but her heart was not in it.  It took forever to get her into a plush skin Matt had loaned her.   When we got to the beach, it was one thing after another, so I took her home and then came back to make a solo dive.
There was a moderate East wind and some 3-4 ft breakers at the sand bar, but I got out easily enough.  Swam to the reef and descended over the old block.  Found a few blennies to photograph, but the connection had slipped on the hot shoe and I had no strobe.  Still, they came out pretty well.
 Caught a rather large Scamp trailing me and very curious about what I was doing.
 Swam up to a Purplemouth Moray Eel who was out hunting.  I got a couple of shots while he was still exposed, but he quickly headed under a coral head.
 I ended up on the Big Coral Knoll, even though I had thought I was headed due East to the Fish Camp Rocks.  Well, at least it was someplace I recognized. Found a juvenile Yellowtail Damselfish on the Knoll and got several good shots.
 I also ran into a Hawksbill Sea Turtle.  First one I have seen for a while.  The turtle was not concerned about me and we swam together for 10-15 minutes.

 I also spotted a large Green Sea Turtle on the Knoll, but never got close enough to get a good shot.
 I spotted a Giant Anemone with a Squat Anemone Shrimp on top, but by the time I got a shot, the shrimp had disappeared into the tentacles.
Ran into another Purplemouth Moray on the way back to the beach.  I was chilled after 86 minutes in the water.  I was wearing my rash guard, a sleeveless vest and some 1 mm shorts.  Still, it was nice to be out of the wetsuit.

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