23 March 2012

My Solo Dive on the Fish Camp Rocks

The husband had a good nights sleep and decided to try a second open water dive.  Seemed like a good idea to me.  He had completed one dive yesterday and appeared to have just been exhausted on the second.  We packed up and headed for the beach.  I did not take a camera this time since the visibility was bad yesterday and I expected to be helping the husband much of the time today.  When we got to the beach, he wanted to sit out the first dive, so I went in.  It was an unremarkable dive, and not a particularly difficult dive.  Visibility was about the same as the day before, which was bad, but not so bad I couldn't navigate.  When I got out, the husband had reconsidered and decided not to dive.  Since the Lifeguards were on the beach, I could not dive without him, so we went home.  Somedays its like that.  

22 March 2012

Open Water Divers in Rough Surf

 Had some cruise ship guests from the Bridge who wanted to learn to dive.  We went through the classroom work and the pool sessions and were ready for the ocean.
Unfortunately, the waves were 3 - 5 feet and breaking on the sand bar.  They were intimidating, but not terrible.  The wife quit on me before we even left for the beach.  The husband and I went diving.  We waded out as far as we could then finned up and swam the rest of the way.  We descended before the reef and the husband held onto my tank in the 3 ft visibility as we swam out to the reef.
  Once on the reef the visibility started to improve, but never got better than about 8 feet.  Still, that was enough for the husband to swim unassisted and he was getting the hang of buoyancy.
 He was a little light or, more likely, he was anxious and holding his breath.  Either way, he had to swim to stay down and that meant he quickly sucked his tank dry.
We swam West to the beach and surfaced in 5 feet of water on the sand bar, then just let the waves push us onto the beach.  The husband was slow to get his fins off and was toppled at the beach by a wave.  He had to crawl out. 
I got lucky and rode a wave up onto the beach, where I landed with both feet.  We sat out for a long surface interval before deciding to try a second dive. 
I put another 4 pounds on the husband and he panicked getting out through the breakers.  As soon as we got outside, he wanted to go back in.   He was adamant, so that's what we did. 
He did better getting out this time, but collapsed at the edge of the beach and jsut lay there resting.  I was getting a bit concerned, but could see that he was breathing and had good color, so I left him alone.  He got  up in a bit and we packed up and went home. 

20 March 2012

Solo Diving the Big Coral Knoll

I got to the beach about 6:15 am.  The tide was higher than usual and there was very little surf when I went out.  It promised to be a good day of diving, except that I forgot to put a card in the camera.
I had a 2 GB card in my case, so I installed it, set up the +4 and +2 diopters and went diving.   Swam East, but got set to the North and ended up at the Swept Rock. 
 Shooting small stuff:  Dusky Jawfish, Smooth Flower Coral,
 Yellow Sponge Zoanthid,
 and a tiny Red Striped Hermit Crab in a tiny shell.
 The 2GB card filled up pretty quickly.
and I was cold by the end of the dive.  Between the chill and the full card, I went home. 

19 March 2012

Solo on the Fish Camp Rocks

I got to the beach a little before 7:00 am.  The fellow I had met in the Shop who so badly wanted to dive, was no where to be found.  I suited up and got in.  The surf was a little rough but manageable.
  I descended just past the swim buoy.  I had a +10 diopter on the 100 mm macro lens, so it was a supermacro dive.   
There was a lot of surge, however, and holding and focusing the camera was very difficult.  Spent the whole dive swimming out to the Fish Camp Rocks,  Got some good shots, but lots of backscatter.
Took off the +10 diopter for the second dive.  Just too hard to shoot.  Couldn't hold the camera steady in the surge.
  Swam out to the reef before descending and swam out to the Fish Camp Rocks, again.  Finished by swimming over to the Big Coral Knoll and then heading back to the beach.
Spotted this Smooth Trunkfish on the sand on the way back in.  Not a bad shot, but could have been better. 

18 March 2012

Dianne Completes the Rescue Exercises and We Dive the Big Coral Knoll

Dianne and I got to the beach and Ray Lawson pulled up behind me.  I got him a tank and he made the dive with us.  Dianne wanted to complete the rescue exercises. 
She started with the missing diver exercise.  Ray took the flag and stayed with her.  She watched me go under, but came out too far East to find me.  By the time she found me, I would have flat lined. 
We then swam back closer to the swim buoy and I was her victim for the rescue scenario.  She found me on the bottom, determined I was unresponsive and brought me to the surface. 
She then blew up my BCD to make be buoyant, but she had to do so manually and it was a problem.  She checked for breathing, looked for assistance then administered 2 slow rescue breaths and towed me in while providing one breath every 5 seconds. 
Ray wanted to make the second dive with us, so we returned to the water and headed to the Fish Camp Rocks.  We descended on the reef at the concrete blocks and headed out at 90 degrees.  I took my camer and was shooting with the 100 mm macro lens. 
 We got set to the North and ended up on the Big Coral Knoll, where I shot many of these pictures. 
Ray left for the Dania Swap Meet and Dianne and I made one last dive.  We were both a little cold and certainly tired. 
We got out quickly and swam to the reef where we descended near the concrete blocks.  That was about the last thing I recognized.
I was shooting macro and looking for the Fish Camp Rocks, but never saw them.  I apparently drifted North as we came up well North of where I thought we were. 
 It was an interesting dive and I got some nice pictures, including the following two pictures of a flounder, which Dianne had not seen before.