22 January 2014

Solo Dive on the Big Coral Knoll

     I left the apartment at 8:30 am and got to the beach around 8:45 am.  Parked at Tower 17.  Geared up and got in around 9:00 am, but spent 15 minutes wading out, putting fins on, swimming to deeper water, fixing the flag reel and clearing my mask.  I swam out due East, but must have overcompensated and gone North. I came up well North of the Blocks, but swam over and found them.  Then up the gunsight to the Gray Mid-way Rock and then North to the Perpendicular Rocks, the Swept Rock and the Knoll.

 Spotted this Juvenile French Angelfish just as I got on the reef.  Usually very timid, this one was attracted to the strobe.
 Up near the Gray Mid-way Rock I found and photographed this Juvenile Blue Tang.
Found this Bluehead just South of the Perpendicular Rocks.
 Passed this small school of Porkfish past the Perpendicular Rocks and on the way to the Swept Rock.
 This little Green Turtle was on the Knoll. I had seen him along the reef, but I couldn't get a picture then.  This time, he was more cooperative, especially for the photograph below.

 Got a few pictures of Sergeant Majors, but this little guy is a Night Major.
From the Perpendicular Rock, I headed SW to the beach.  As I was swimming along a Bluespotted Coronetfish swam right up to me.  I stopped and he came really close and just stared at me.  
 I moved slowly and calmly, barely breathing, and he let me get several pictures.
 Then I swam away to the beach, but he followed along behind, then swam quickly up along side me and between my head and the strobe of the camera, which I was carrying in my left arm.
 He did this several times as I tried to hold a steady bearing and speed.   He got bored at some point, but we interacted for about 10 minutes as I headed to the beach.
Good air usage, but it got worse and the dive wore on and I got colder.

Just as I came off the reef, I spotted this Atlantic Guitarfish.  I can't help thinking it was the same one I saw on the Jacks yesterday.

I missed Irish Thighs and the Blocks on the way in. Ended up well South and had to swim North to Tower 17.  Still, nice dive.  Hazy, but good visibility w/in 15 ft.

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