16 April 2014

Dennis Vaiznikov Swims to the Eastern Ledge to Perform the Ascents and Performs the Skills on the Sand on the Way Back to the Beach

Dennis and I got to the beach a little after 8:00 am, geared up and got in by 8:30 am, then swam the 400 - 600 yards out to the Ledge, where we descended to make the ascents.  Dennis had a lot of trouble getting down, so I decided to do the Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent ("CESA") first, in case he couldn't make a second descent.  I tied off the reel, signaled to Dennis that I wanted to do the CESA first and then we did it.  Dennis was too fast out of the blocks, but I held the line and slowed him down to our 60 ft per minute rate of ascent.  At the surface, we discussed his initial exuberance on the CESA and whether or not he could make a second descent.  He elected to try and, although it took some time, he managed to get down.  He then successfully performed the alternate air source ascent.  At the surface, I advised him that he needed only to get down to 25 ft so we could swim in over the reef.  He wandered off once in a while by the visibility was good enough that I had him in sight except for two short intervals.  We swam West to the beach, but got set by the current and ended up at the Lost Knoll.  We had to correct by swimming North to the Gray Mid-way rock, then West again to the beach.  Once we got off the reef and on the sand, though, I put him through his paces on the other skills and we got them completed on this dive, as well.

We got out of the water and tried to warm up, but it was cold and windy.  I wasn't getting warm and neither was Dennis, so we went back in the water.  Dennis spotted a Green Turtle from the surface just past the swim buoy, so we descended.

Dennis with the turtle

and the turtle giving us the evil eye.

Found a Spotted Trunkfish

and an Octopus posing as part of a rock.

With all the attention he was getting from us, the Octopus apparently decided that his ruse was not working

and he swam away

only to curl up on the sand and pose once again as a rock.  He caught the attention of a Mutton Snapper, who came over to investigate.

This was short but excellent dive.

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