22 April 2014

A Solo Dive on the Big Coral Knoll and to the North to Investigate a Dive Charter Anchored on the Reef

Dennis elected not to dive this morning, so I figured I should be good for only one long dive and I decided to go to the Big Coral Knoll.  There was a dive charter which appeared to be anchored on the reef, but it was quite a bit North and East of the Knoll.  I wanted to get pictures of the anchor.  I geared up and swam out to the concrete blocks to descend.  I went up the gun sight.

Found a Yellowline Arrow Crab tucked under a small coral head.  He seemed to like the strobe and came out a bit after the first picture.

I've seen this little Seaweed Blenny on Irish Thighs for the past several weeks and have often taken his picture.  I think he recognizes me.  He does not duck in his hole anymore, but waits to see what I'm going to do.

This Juvenile Queen Angelfish can usually be found at the Cigar Rock, but usually stays well inside.  Today he came out and posed for me.

On the way to the Gray Mid-Way Rock, I overcompensated for the current and ended up next to the broken coral head.  As I turned to pick up the Rock to the North, I spotted this small Nurse Shark, who promptly took off.

I continued North to the Perpendicular Rocks and got some shots of this Greater Soapfish.  These are usually very shy and I was fortunate that he let me take his picture.  

Near the Swept Rock, I spotted this Redband Parrotfish who appeared to be having a huge belly laugh. I couldn't resist taking his picture.

I continued onto the Knoll and got this picture of a Hogfish just along the Southern edge of the Knoll.

I swam out to the English Garden and got this picture of an Orange Spotted Filefish.

I also surfaced to see where I was with respect to the charter boat and it was a ways North and East.  So I swam on for another 15-20 minutes and surfaced again. It looked like Todd's boat and I began to feel a little creepy about the whole thing, so I headed back to the Knoll without getting a picture of the anchor.

The water was warmer today than yesterday:  77 degrees.  I was shivering, nonetheless.  Remember that water conducts heat away from your body about 20 times faster than air does.  This dive lasted 2 hours and 7 minutes.  I was cold.  It was overcast and a little rainy so the beach wasn't crowded.  I hadn't warmed up in 45 minutes, so I headed home.    

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