17 July 2014

Couple of Solo Dives on the Big Coral Knoll

It was still night when I got to the beach.  I decided to try dropping 2 pounds and carrying 6 pounds today, geared up and then waited for the first few streaks of dawn and got in the water.  Descended at 6:30 am, but it was hardly daylight.  Still, I could see enough to read the compass, so I headed out to the Sea Rod and then to the reef.  Found the rectangular rock and the concrete blocks.  Headed up the gun sight to the Cigar Rock and the Gray Mid-way rock, then North to the Perpendicular rocks and the Knoll.  Hung out at the Knoll for most of the dive. Got some good pictures, I hope.

 Really like this shot of the two White Grunts going mouth-to-mouth.
This is a good shot of a Townsend Angelfish.
Got lots of pictures of Green Sea Turtles on the reef and close by.
Spotted a Nurse Shark lying under the bigger of the Perpendicular Rocks, and I was able to get several pictures without scaring her off.
I don't know what this insect looking thing is, but I have begun to see several of them out on the reef.
My friend the Rock Hind likes to sun himself on the large boulders North of the Knoll.  She is getting used to me and the strobe, but she still runs if I get too close.

Left the Knoll at 1000 psi and went back the way I came.  Hung at the blocks for a bit.  Six pounds was light.  I could adjust with the air in my lungs, but I was always light. Dive Time was 143 minutes; RMV was 0.38 ft3/minute.

Changed back to 8 pounds.  Could manage at 6, but it wasn't comfortable.  Oddly, I kept floating up with 8 pounds, like I started breathing more knowing I had more weight on.  I got in the water at 9:25, but I only had 30 minutes of surface interval, so I swam out on the surface and must have been daydreaming because I overshot the blocks by quite a bit and had to swim back.  Just as well.  I descended and essentially repeated the first dive. The Nurse Shark was still under the bigger of the Perpendicular Rocks and the Rock Hind was on a boulder to the North. I went off the Knoll a bit to the NW and found a little Goldentail Moray Eel. Saw a couple of turtles.

Got this picture of a Stoplight Parrotfish.
This is a nice portrait of a French Grunt.
 Not certain what kind of a Jack this is.  The fins do not seem yellow enough to be a Yellow Jack.  The tail lacks the black tips to be a Blue Runner.

This Sergeant Major is also a nice portrait.

Did a little better on air.  Dive Time was 150 minutes; RMV was 0.36 ft3/minute. When I came to the surface, though the sky was Black to the West and North.  I took this picture, but it isn't quite as bleak as it looked on the beach.

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