06 April 2014

Diving the Little Coral Knoll with Leo and Luis

Leo wanted to meet on the beach at 8:00 am, and Luis was on the beach when I got there.  Leo did not show up until about 8:30 am because of a traffic jam on I-95.  We agreed to make two dives of about an hour each.  We also met the lifeguard, "Estan" I think, who wanted to talk about diving and offer us advice on places to dive.

We geared up and swam on the surface out to the big rock just NE of the swim buoy.  Under the rock, we found a small Nurse Shark, but it was difficult getting a good picture. As we took other photographs, I noticed that the Nurse Shark was moving around so I waited for it to emerge and got this shot as it did.

From the the big rock, we headed South to a smaller rock with a large Giant Anemone on it and a little eel underneath.  From there we headed 150 degrees and got to the Little Coral Knoll.

 Just off the Little Knoll I saw a Hogfish rooting on the bottom with a reddish-brown mottled coloring suggesting he was busy eating.  I got the shot to the left.

In seconds, he changed color and assumed the white coloring displayed in the picture to the right.

On the Little Knoll I found this Juvenile Creole Wrasse that I photographed last Tuesday.

We hung out on the Little Knoll taking pictures and exploring, then we headed back to the beach the same way we came.  We surfaced after 75 minutes and a RVM of .43 ft3/min.

Luis had things to do, so only Leo and I made the second dive.  I did not really warm up, but I did get comfortable.  We ended up in another conversation with Estan, then we got in the water, swam to the rock and descended.  We then went to the smaller rock to the South and then swam to the little knoll.

Just South of the Little Knoll I found this Yellowline Arrow Crab standing guard over a Corkscrew Anemone.

 Just on the other side of the Anemone, I saw a Pederson Shrimp.  Took some more pictures and then left the knoll at 500 psi, heading to the Big Rock and then the beach.

At the Big Rock, I saw this Stoplight Parrotfish with its eye bugging out of the top of its head.  I watched for a bit and saw that it was looking to get its mough cleaned.

As I watched, a small Neon Goby cleaned around the Parrotfishes mouth, then swam in so that it was completely inside the mouth.  The Parrotfish held its mouth open and tried not to move, even as I got this picture. Brave or hungry Goby.

Made a 55 minute dive with an RMV rate of .34 ft3/minute.  Got 130 minutes out of the one tank, primarily because we got out and warmed up before we started shivering.

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