27 May 2014

Two 140 Minute Plus Solo Dives on the Little Coral Knoll

Got to the beach before 6:00 am but took time to re-organize the tanks and change 2 O-Rings.  Then I had to hurry to get in the water by 6:30 am.  I dropped early and made my way out to the swim buoy, except I could not find it in the haze, so I surfaced to see it about 10 ft to the SW.  I dropped and found the Big Rock.  There was a Nurse Shark under the Rock, but I was not able to get set up and take any pictures before the shark swam away.

 I did manage to get this photo of a Caribbean Spiny Lobster.

Headed on a 150 degree bearing to the Little Knoll and I found it.  Always a surprise.  The turtle that came by last time I was here was back again.  I think he came to get cleaned by the little fish.

Got this picture of a Star Horseshoe worm,


 this picture of a Spotted Goatfish,
 and this shot of a Rock Hind.

A forty six minute surface interval isn't very long when you consider that it takes 10 minutes to just get out of the water, another 10 minutes to get out of my gear and change tanks, and then about the same 20 minutes to get back into my gear and into the water.  I had about 6 minutes to drink my coffee.  But the water was warm at 82.4 degrees, and though it is still 18 degrees cooler than my core temperature, I was not miserable during the dive, which lasted 140 minutes.

My second dive was a repeat of the first, except that after I found the Little Knoll, I swam out to the Porthole Rocks at about 50 degrees from the NW edge of the Little Knoll.  Got set a bit by the current on the way back, but I managed to get back.

I found this funny looking nudibranch-like creature and got some okay photos.  Need to go out with the supermacro set up.

I did well on air, 146 minutes.  That's better than the first dive by six minutes.  Water temperature remained 82.4 degrees.

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