23 July 2014

Two Solo Dives on the Little Coral Knoll

Gets darker each morning and more difficult to plan for a 60 minute surface interval between dives.  Sunrise used to be at 6:30 am, but is not 6:42 am and getting later by about 1 minute per day. Anyway, I get in the water a little after high tide and creep out to the swim buoy and the Big Rock.  The current sets me and I find a different Big Rock to the Northeast of the one I wanted.  Not a big issue, I don't discover the problem until I headed South looking for the smaller rock and ran into the Big Rock I sought.  Lots of Lobster, though.  I counted 14 lobster on the Big Rock, when I found it. Also found a small Nurse Shark just swimming up for a nap.  I got some pictures, but they were awash in back scatter and I just deleted them.

From the Smaller Rock, I headed 130 degrees to the Knee-high coral and then on to the counter-weight. I went by the Dog Rock and then to the little knoll.

Found a little green turtle when I got to the knoll.  I swam with him a bit.  He came over to me and I just let him swim over me.  I think he was curious about the strobe.  Got lots of pictures, most of which were filled with back scatter.

Made a short trip over to the Port-hole rocks and found a Nurse Shark there, too.

Got some good shots of a large Red Grouper who now hangs out there.

Just hung with the fish until 1000 psi, when I headed back to the Smaller Rock and then the beach.

Dive Time was 153 minutes; RMV was .37 ft3/minute.  

I was chilled when I got out of the water after my first dive.  The sky was filled with clouds, but the cab of the truck was warm and my towel felt so good.  I had a cup of coffee and a vitamin water and it was time to get in again. I floated at the surface to complete my surface interval once the Life Guard got to the beach. Then I descended and essentially repeated the first dive.

 Got this shot of a Blackbar Soldierfish
and this shot of a Cero.  I've been trying to get a good shot like this for some time.  These fish just fly by and I can hardly see them coming.  Getting two pictures was remarkable.
 This Red Hind is apparently now living on the knoll.

Just like this shot of a White Grunt who appears to be reading the riot act to a Hogfish.

I was using my air better, though, and made 162 minutes on this dive; RMV was 0.35 ft3/minute.

Noticed a guy watching me swim in.  He walked over to where I was trying to climb out of the water and tried to strike up a conversation.  It's nice that people are interested and I would be happy to talk to him, but after I get out of the ocean, after I get my gear off and after I pour myself a cup of coffee and dry off on my warm towel.   When I am struggling to maintain my balance and carry the tank, camera, fins and flag, however, I would really like him to just go away.  

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