30 March 2013

Another Cold Cold day diving the Big Coral Knoll

I arranged with Katie to meet her at the beach at 10:30 am on Saturday morning for her last two dives.  In particular, we needed to make a 400 yard surface swim to the Western edge of the First Reefline.  A surface swim to avoid any excess nitrogen buildup and to the Western edge to find 35-40 feet of water so she could make her ascents.  Saturday was supposed to be a warm day, so Luis and I arranged to meet at 8:00 am to make a dive before meeting Katie.

As agreed I met Luis at 8:00 am on the beach.  We geared up and got in, but even if the surface temperature was warmer, the water was not.  In fact, the water was as cold as I have ever seen it:  64 degrees.  
 After 10 minutes in the water, the time it took to go from the swim buoy to the reefline, I was cold.  I was shivering.  Luis was having camera problems, so I asked if he wanted to go back.  He did not.  I then gave Luis the flag and I went back to call Katie and tell her not to bother.  Luis stayed in the water.
 I had set up to shot supermacro, with the 100 mm macro lens and a +10 diopter.  Got some okay shots.  I like the shot of the Neon Goby, but wasn't as excited about the Flamingo Tongue.  The Freckled Seahare to the right reminds me of some of the wilder parites from the early 70's.  Can't tell which body part is which and what its doing. 
We headed back shortly after I photographed the seahare.  I was shivering and so was Luis.  It took well over an hour to warm up and try a second dive. 

When we got in, the water temperature had risen to 66 degrees, which is still not warm, but was warmer that our first dive.

I think the guy above is a Molly Miller.  Handsome lad.  Found him on the edge of the reefline just past the sand. 

The Arrow Crab was a good shot except for the stray gray line on the left.  
 This is another shot of the Molly Miller from above. 
 This is a picture a 3 Freckled Seahares stacked together. 
 Saw lots of these White Encrusting Zoanthids, at least that's what I think they are. 
Finally found this little White Speckled Hermit Crab inhabiting a Conch Shell that was really too big for him.  He could barely carry it. 

This second dive was definitely warmer.  I didn't start shivering until after an hour and warmed up pretty quickly once we got out. 

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