23 March 2013

Saturday Morning Dive with Luis and a mid-morning dive with Katie Simcock, a new Open Water student

 The whole week has been cold.  Nonetheless, Luis and I agree to meet on the beach to make a photography dive before my Open Water student arrives.  This might not have been the smartest idea we've ever had.  It was 69 degrees in the water and only about 67 degrees on the surface. 

I found a small shell on a rock and thought I noticed it move.  It did. I investigated and found a tiny hermit crab.  I rolled the shell over and got a picture. 
 Shooting the 100 mm macro lens with a +10 diopter.  Got this nice shot of some little Blenny. 
 As you might guess, I am fascinated by the 8-armed stars of the Knobby Sea Rods. 
 I think the little guy above is a Secretary Blenny, though I am not all that confidant.  He doesn't look it here, but he is very tiny. 

Of course, the fellow to the left is a Neon Goby.

 To the right is a Christmas Tree Worm.

And this is a Freckled Seahare.

This is Katie, who got to the beach right on time for her first open water dive.  I weighted her a couple of pounds heavy at 10 pounds, but she still managed to float near the surface for much of the dive.  One dive was enough, however. 

21 March 2013

Too Cold to Dive This Morning

Took the dog for a walk at 5:30 am.  The air temperature was 58 degrees.  By 8:00 am it had climbed to 62, but that wasn't nearly enough.  The water temperature was 69 degrees yesterday and I was shivering for the last 80 minutes of the 112 minute dive.  With the workmen still driving supports into the beach, most of the sea life has moved on.  I decided to stay home. 

20 March 2013

Solo on the Big Coral Knoll

 This being Wednesday, I need to get in the water by 9:30 to avoid the girl guard who is such a pain in the ass about solo diving.   I get to the beach a little after 8:00 am and then read until 9:00 am, when I set up my gear and get into  I swim out past the swim buoy and try to line up on the tunnel cover.  I descend, but I am West of the blocks.  I find them and head up the reef.  Should have set up for supermacro.
 Have to try several settings to get a good exposure of the Green Razorfish.  He gets bored and leaves, so I have to chase after him.  Takes too long and while the shot is nice, there isn't much contrast and it's difficult to see the fish.
I like these little Sharpnose Puffers.  Its the painted on eyelashes that appeal to me. 
 The Gray Mid-way Rock had a number of Neon Gobys on it.  I think I like this shot the most. 

I get to the Mid-way Rock at 30 minutes.  The water temperature is 69 degrees and I start shivering at the Rock.  My breathing is erratic, as well.  Its been 11 days since I was last in the water.  I begin breathing very slowly and counting during the exercise.  I get some control.

There were a number a French, Smallmouth and White Grunts on the Perpendicular rocks, but this little Sergeant Major is the only fish who posed for me.  The rest took off.
 Found this Star Horseshoe Worm just as I got to the Knoll.  Got several shots.  This was the best. 
 Its difficult to see in this picture, but this Jawfish is holding eggs in its mouth. 
 This Blue Tang came to me for this shot. 
 Found this little Goldentail Moray Eel on the knoll and got some good shots, but the eel would not come out of the reef much more than he is in this shot. 
 This Mat Zoanthid came out nicely.

 As did this Christmas Tree Worm.  I like the placement of the strobes on this picture.

 The Yellow Fanworm in this picture was well hidden in a crack in the coral head.  It was quite a trick to get the strobe to light it.


What is impressive about this shot of a Flamingo Tongue is how stripped the sea rod is after the snail has grazed it. 

Once I got off the reef and over the sand on the way to the beach, several Black Sea Bass came to greet me.  One of them was biting my bubbles, but got hold of my lip.  No teeth, so he didn't draw blood, but it definitely hurt.

Dive time was 112 minutes.