09 June 2014

A Solo Dive on the Big Coral Knoll and a second solo dive along the Western Edge of the Reef

Got to the beach by 5:40 am.  It was dark.  I spent 20 minutes reading, then geared up and got in the water. I descended in 10 ft of water.  I was on the 100 degree bearing when I dropped down, but I missed the sea rod and I did not recognize anything I saw when I started looking for the blocks. I surfaced and found I was well North of the Tower.  I descended and swam South and found the blocks.  Rested and set up the camera.  The strobe didn't fire.  I don't know why. So, I shot natural light. Went up the gun sight to the Cigar rock and the Gray Mid-way Rock, then  turned north to the Perpendicular Rocks and the Swept Rock. Tried the strobe again, but still nothing.

Went to the knoll and shot using natural light.  Got this shot of a Star Horseshoe Worm;

this picture of four Ocean Surgeonfish and a Blue Tang.
 I found and photographed a Hawksbill Sea turtle on the Big Coral Knoll.
I also found this Marbled Blenny, which is the first one I have ever photographed and identified.
 Got this shot of a White Grunt hanging out in a small sea rod.
Got this shot of a French Grunt in front of a purple sea fan.
 Got this shot of a Porcupine fish swimming to me.

Made a couple of trips around the knoll and it was time tohead back.  I missed everything after the Cigar Rock, Dive time was 132 minutes.

Couldn't get the strobe to work during my surface interval, so I rinsed and put the camera away.

I swam out to the Sea Rod and descended right on it.  From there I went towards the blocks and this time I found them without going to the surface.  I spotted a Guitarfish being closely followed by a Jack, but I don't know if the Jack intended to steal whatever the Guitarfish caught or if they were hunting together.  Instead of heading onto the reef, I continued South along the edge of the reef.  I did not surface to see exactly where I was and I was swimming against the current, but I think I made it South of Tower 15.  Turned back at about 18000 psi and made it to the blocks by 1300 psi.  Stopped at the blocks and again at the sea rod, then headed into the beach with 400 psi.  Dive time was 153 minutes.

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