23 April 2014

Dennis Viaznikov and I Make Four Dives off Tower 15

Dennis got certified last week and he is now an Open Water certified diver.  We swam out to the Large Rock just NW of the swim buoy and descended though we had some trouble finding the rock because the water was really hazy. That's Dennis in the pink tank coming around the rock.

 Once we found the rock, I got some pictures, including this shot of a Purplemouth Moray Eel peeking out from the coral.

Then we headed South to the other rock for more pictures, including this one of a Giant Anemone and

this shot of a Rough File Clam.

From the second rock, we swam 150 degrees to the Dog Rock and finally 140 degrees to the Little Knoll. Along the way, I spotted this Flamingo Tongue and got the picture.  Notice the glassy appearance of sea rod beneath the Flamingo Tongue.

We hung around the Little Knoll taking pictures like this shot of a Rock Hind

this shot of a Harlequin Bass

and this shot of a nudibranch which I found near the overturned coral head on the NE corner of the Little Knoll.

When Dennis indicated that he was down to 1,000 psi, we headed back to the beach where we spent some time by the truck, standing in the sun and warming up.  Then we made essentially the same dive as our first dive.  Swam out to the Large Rock, then South to the second rock, 150 degrees to the Dog Rock and 140 degrees to the Little Knoll.  Dennis was almost out of air, so seemed like we headed back almost as soon as we got there, but still almost an hour dive.  Took some more pictures, too.  You can see them on Picasaweb.

We spent a little over an hour at the truck.  Breaking the dives up helped us to stay warm, but water still conducts heat away from your body about 20 times faster than air and the difference between the bottom temperature of 77 degrees and our core body temperature is significant. I was cold and it felt good to dry off and warm up.  But the water beckoned and we geared up to make a third dive.

Once we got in the water, Dennis complained that he was leaking air.  He had started with 2900 psi, but was down to 2700 psi when we were in the water.  I think a lot of that was the over heated tank sitting in the back of the truck and the cooled down tank in the water, but his tank did appear to be leaking slightly from around the valve when I looked at it under water.  We swam out to the swim buoy.  I went down, but Dennis did not follow.   I went back to the surfaced to learn that he had forgot to turn on his air.  We decided to head East to the ledge to see what was there.  We went through an area full of staghorn coral and reef fish.  We didn't spend a lot of time looking, but it was a much more interesting area than I remembered.  Once on the sand, I went up to fix the flag reel, which had gotten tangled.  My computer closed out this third dive and started a fourth dive.  

We had drifted quite a ways North and were about due East of Tower 16.  Dennis was still fine on air, so I started back slowly,  I wanted to explore the staghorn coral, but we did not find it.  Must still have been too far North.

I got this picture of a mottled Hogfish, which the Humann and DeLoach book suggests is a coloration they adopt when feeding.

Once the strobe flashed, the Hogfish began to change back to its usual white and Gray coloration.  The change just took seconds.

Took this shot of a Juvenile Queen Angelfish

this set of Christmas Tree Worms

This picture of a Gray Snapper, who is just too put together to be a fish. He ought to be in a James Bond movie.

As we got near to the beach, Dennis indicated he was down to 500 psi and I spotted this Green Sea Turtle and got a few pictures.

Hell of a day at sea.

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