02 February 2014

Diving the Big Coral Knoll with Luis

      I met Luis at the beach behind Tower 17.  I had invited Sue Chalmers, but she did not appear.  Sky was clear and the day was sunny.  We geared up and got in.  Swam out to the blocks and descended a little West and South of the blocks.  The swim buoy moves with the wind and surface current, which makes it a poor triangulation point.  But we found them.

We went up the gunsight to the Cigar Rock and then drifted a bit South and ended up at the split coral head.

      On the way to the Coral Head and just a bit East of the Cigar Rock, I found an Octopus.  It was secure in a hole and only the eye was peeking out.  I tried to play with it by wiggling my fingers.  When I got my hand close to it, it shot water at me from its siphon.  Scared me and I jumped back.  When I calmed down, I continued East to the Fish Camp Rocks, then went North to the Big Coral Knoll.

  On the Knoll, I spotted a Juvenile Yellow Tunkfish.  As I was approaching it for a picture, a Damselfish chased it off.  I followed it to another coral head in which it hid.  I got some pictures, but not really good ones, just as good as I could get. I backed off, hoping he would come out, but he stayed put.

      While I was waiting on the Juvenile Yellow Trunkfish, though, I spotted a Juvenile Smooth Trunkfish just 3 yards to the North.  I swam over then behind the little white spotted black tennis ball until it settled down and I got some pictures of it.

 We were both getting low on air, so we headed back.  We went to the Perpendicular Rocks, then headed SW to the beach.  Along the way I found a Doctorfish with a Cymothoid Isopod attached to it just below and behind the mouth.

      As we were heading back, I found that we were close to 2 hours dive time.  I ended the dive at 113 minutes and 212 psi, which, even if I could have accessed it all, would probably have just gotten me to two hours.  Still, its the longest dive I've had so far in 2014.  Such a change from Summer.

      We surfaced in a rain storm.  The sky was completely overcast.  We decided to skip the second dive.  I was cold and unlikely to warm up in the rain.  So we cleaned up and I drove home.  By the time I unloaded the truck, however, it was sunny outside.  

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