06 January 2014

Two more Solo Dives trying to find the Ledge of Turtles

      I might have gotten to the beach and in the water an hour earlier, but I fussed around at home this morning.  As it was, I was on the beach and in the water before 8:00 am.  I quickly descended and began looking for the rock pile, but I could not find it, so I decided to swim East from the swim buoy, which was how Daren Dalton had mapped the Ledge.  It took me a while to find the buoy, however, as I would surface and get a bearing, then descend to swim.  Always a bad idea.

     I finally found the buoy and used that as my mark.  Visibility was bad this morning:  too hazy.  So hazy that I couldn't see anything more than 8 feet away.  Anyway, I headed East, but never found the Ledge of Turtles.  I did take the camera and found subjects to shoot.

I found this Purplemouth Moray Eel peeking out from under a Coral head.  I tried to lure him out some more, but he wasn't having any of it.  

 I also found a rather large spread of Mat Zoanthid.

This Spotted Scorpionfish was lying next to a bed of Blue Y-Branched Algae.  Not the best job of blending-in I've ever seen.

 Got a nice shot of a Doctorfish sailing past me.
 I also got a shot or two of this Butter Hamlet.

Although I thought I was headed due East, I surfaced as I was getting low on air and found that I had traveled North past the Pelican. I came South hoping to find Shark's Rock or some other landmark I might recognize, but no such luck.  I never did find the Ledge of Turtles, but it was an interesting dive.

      I warmed up after about an hour in the sun.  My vest and shirt dried out, as well, so I decided to make a second dive. I hiked up to the View units to go in, hoping to avoid any trouble with the Lifeguard.  I tried to take pictures, but the camera battery seemed to be dead.  Nothing worked.

      I swam out to the Eastern Ledge and then came across the Ledge of Turtles by accident on the way back.  I then swam back to look for the Nipple Rock and Sharks Rock, but somehow got set to the North and could not find them.  Headed back to the beach.  I fell over trying to get out in the soft sand, and had to roll over and wiggle out to deeper water so I could stand up and try again.  This second time, I made it out like I knew what I was doing.  The camera survived both exits.

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