22 February 2014

Luis, Leo and I make two dive on the Big Coral Knoll

The surface air seemed warm today, even at 8:00 am.  The water was certainly warmer than yesterday, even though my computer says it was all the same temperature.  I left the Lavacore suit in the truck and I was fine in shorts, hooded vest and long-sleeved 1.5 mm shirt.  Visibility was much better, as well.  We swam out to the concrete blocks, spotted them from the surface and descended.  We tracked up the gunsight to the Cigar Rock and then continued East to the Fish Camp Rocks.

Got some pictures of Rainbow and Midnight Parrotfish at the Rocks,

as well as a good sized Nurse Shark, then we headed off to the Knoll.

where we looked for but could not find the squid but did find a Hawksbill Sea Turtle, who was not at all bothered by 3 photographers, 3 strobes and way too many bubbles.

I was close to a two-hour dive, but I was carrying the impediment (aka a dive flag) and the others were eager to get to the beach, so I surfaced in 10 feet of water after 116 minutes.  I still had 293 psi in my tank, so I should have been able to make the additional 4 minutes.  Better, I was relatively warm and my legs were not cramping.   So much better than yesterday's dive.

We spent about an hour on the surface, then geared up for a second dive, which was virtually identical to the first dive:  up the gunsight to the Cigar Rock and the Gray Mid-way Rock, but then over to the Perpendicular Rocks, the Swept Rock and the Knoll.  We went to the Fish Camp Rocks on the way back to the beach.  Leo found a Spanish Lobster clinging to the ceiling of a hollowed out coral head.  Can't imagine how he spotted it.  I found a little Green Sea Turtle on the Knoll who was okay swimming with us, but we were at his limit.  I handed the flag off to Luis on the way in so I could stay back and make my 2 hour dive before heading to the beach.  

This was the Green Turtle with whom we swam.

This is my best shot of the Spanish Lobster Leo spotted.

This Redband Parrotfish looked like he was grinning as he swam past me.  

This is a picture of a Spotted Goatfish when resting.  They change color to this red-mottled look.

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