05 May 2014

Adrian Gaitan and I Make Three Dives off Tower 17 for a Total Over 4 1/2 hours Underwater

Adrian Gaitan, who completed his open water course with me in June of 2011, came back for some more diving. We geared up and got in the water a little before 9:00 am, but Adrian had not checked his tank pressure until we were in the water and he asked me to turn it on for him. He had a little less than 2500 psi. A good reason to develop as a habit turning your air on when you put the tank on your back and to check the tank's pressure.

Notwithstanding his less than perfect fill, Adrian and I swam on the surface to the concrete blocks to descend.
Once down, we headed onto the reef, up the gun sight and to the Cigar Rock then to the Gray Mid-way Rock where we turned North and swam to the Perpendicular Rocks, the Swept Rock and onto the Knoll. Along the way I got several pictures, including

this shot of a Spotted Scorpionfish,

this shot of a White Grunt seeking to have a young Porkfish clean its mouth,

and this shot of a Bluestriped Grunt.

We found a turtle on the Big Coral Knoll and I got some pictures of Adrain with the turtle. I was using the 100 mm macro lens and things didn't work out as well as I had hoped.  Still, they were not bad shots.

From the Knoll, we swam over to the English Garden, then came back.  Adrian was down to 1500 psi so we took a slow turn around the Knoll then swam out to the Perpendicular Rocks then WSW to the beach.  Got this shot of a Spotted Burfish as we came off the reef and onto the sand.

Water temperature was 77 degrees and total dive time was 68 minutes.

We took an 84 minute surface interval during which we warmed up, then geared up.  This time Adrian turned on his air and checked his tank pressure before he put the tank on his back.  We got in the water, but the water was choppy and he did not want to swim on the surface, so we descended and tried to find the concrete blocks.  We couldn't, so I headed ENE, hoping to find landmarks that I recognized.  We didn't.

We ended up both North and East of the Knoll, which I learned when I surfaced to determine where we were. We came back via the Fish Camp Rocks, though we did not get to spend as much time there as I would have liked. Still, I got some pictures.

Like this shot of a Hogfish with his mottled red coloration

which turned to this pearly white coloration within a few moments of my first strobe flash.

Got this shot of a Midnight Parrotfish

this Rainbow Parrotfish

and this shot of a Porcupinefish.

The water temperature remained at 77 degrees, but our dive time increased to 104 minutes.

I sort of talked Adrian into a third dive.  We spent 79 minutes warming up, then we geared up and got in the water. This time we went out on the sand, but I surfaced when we did not spot the blocks and determined we were too far North, so we headed South and found the blocks.  From there we made the same dive as our first dive and swam out to the Knoll.

Found this Goldentail Moray Eel on the Knoll.

Adrian tried to point out a Sharptail Eel who was being followed by a Spanish Hogfish, but it took me too long to see what he wanted me to see.  I missed the shot.

Got a good shot of this Scrawled Filefish

this Orange Spotted Filefish

and this Sailors Choice.

We  might have made a 2 hour dive, but we were both cold and I though Adrian had less air than he actually did, so we headed to the beach. I spotted these claws reaching up to a bit of greenery we held over the hole. I don't know for sure what this thing is, but it appears to be some sort of Amphipod.

Water temperature went up to 79 degrees and our dive time was 107 minutes.

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