31 January 2014

Cold Solo Dive off Tower 17

      Winds have been out of the East and in the 10 - 15 knott range, so I was not expecting very good visibility. I decided to shoot supermacro; added a +10 diopter to the 100mm macro lens.  The tide was still high when I got in and I had to put fins on to go through the trench, but then on the sandbar, I was skimming bottom as I tried to negotiate the surf.

      I swam out to the swim buoy and descended.  I was not planning on going far on the reef, but had planned to spend time going over the old Nursery area.  Visibility was terrible:  less than 3 feet over sand and about 8 feet on the reef.  I did not find much vegetation and very little life in the Old Nursery, so I went up on to the reef.

I'm not sure what this is.  It could be the sprout on a sea rod, but I don't know.
This Seaweed Blenny came out to watch.  He seemed to like the strobe.
 This is a Knobby Sea Rod.  The knobs fold in on themselves for protection whenever it gets bumped.
 Venus Sea Fan.
 Yellow Sponge Zoanthid
 Neon Goby.
This is a closeup of the tip of a baby Nurse Shark's tail.  Just this six inches were sticking out from under a coral head and the baby was not moving.  I probably could not have gotten a picture of the baby had it come out because of the diopter, but at least I could have gotten a closeup of the baby's eye.

The warmest bottom temperature was 73 degrees.  The entire dive lasted 106 minutes.  I was cold when I got out and my SAC rate was .51 ft3/minute.

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