10 June 2014

Two Solo Dives off Tower 17

Got to the beach early and set up my gear. The ocean was flat and calm.  There was no wind at all.

The problem with the strobe yesterday was the connection at the hot shoe on the camera.  I had managed to disrupt that while putting the camera in the housing.  I like problems I can easily solve.

I got in the water and  immediately descended in 10 ft of water and swam out to the Sea Rod, which I found.

I spotted a Scrawled Filefish in the rod and got some pictures.

I also spotted 5 baby reef squid.  I wasn't set up for super macro, but these were bigger babies, maybe 1/2 inch in length.  I must have taken 50 pictures and only one came out.  Each of the others was out of focus.   At least I got one good shot.

I continued East looking for the blocks, but I did not recognize anything, so I surfaced to find I had over compensated for the South current and was way North of where I needed to be.  Fixed that and found the blocks, then headed South like I did yesterday.  I found several pairs of rather large Gobys just hanging over the reef and I got some pictures, but I used too much strobe and burned most of them.  I did not find any of the Seminole Gobys I spotted yesterday.  Maybe try this dive tomorrow, as well.  Get it right.  I turned at 1500 psi and headed back with the current, but I missed the blocks.  Had to surface again to find out where I was.  Again, I was North of my mark, but I found them when I headed South.

I spotted a few Juvenile Cottonwicks on a small rock just past the blocks and got some pictures.  There a several of these at the Big Rock off Tower 15.

Went back over to the Sea Rod to look for the baby squid, but I did not find any.  Too bad.  Still, a nice 134 minute dive with an RMV of 0.38 ft3.

I was shivering when I got out of the water after my first dive.  The Sun was out, however, and I warmed up quickly.  Had a cup of coffee and read a little, then geared up and got back in.  I descended just after the sand bar and made my way to the Sea Rod, then to the blocks.  I did not immediately see the blocks, so I started up and the higher vantage point allowed me to spot them, so I avoided surfacing.  That was nice.

I headed up the gun sight to Irish Thighs, but stopped st the Sponge to see if the little yellow crab from yesterday was still there.  It was. I tried to get pictures, but it was very difficult.

I continued East to the Cigar Rock and then the Gray Mid-way Rock. Turned North there and swam to the Perpendicular Rocks, but there weren't many fish there. I spotted this Orange Spotted Filefish and got a few shots.

I went over to the Swept Rock and then to the Knoll.

 I spotted a Green Turtle on the Knoll but didn't get any pictures.  I kept my distance and then headed around the Knoll hoping to spot in on the return trip, which I did.

  This time I got some okay pictures.
Did not see anything particularly amazing on the Knoll, but got some good pictures of the reef fish and found a little Arrow Crab on the way back to the beach.

This was a 144 minute dive.  Spent some time reading before I put my gear away and went to the shop. Feeling a little tired and unsteady.  Nice dive, though.

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