07 August 2014

Two Dives on the Little Coral Knoll

I was late getting to the beach and the road crew has now closed all the parking on the West side of A1A from Park Tower North, so I came back to park at the little coral knoll.  I still went under before 6:30 am, barely, and it was a good 15 minutes before the sun came up.  Spent  a lot of time slowly getting to the Big Rock.  

Spotted this Nurse Shark under the Big Rock and was able to get a few pictures without unduly disturbing the creature.
 Found a pile of Caribbean Spiny Lobster under the other side of the Rock.  Counted 14 lobster in all under or in the Rock this morning.
 Spent some time getting shots of this small Queen Angelfish just West of the face of the knoll.

Spotted this Star Horseshoe worm on the knoll.

I spotted this apparently melting coral just North of the face of the knoll.  Looks a lot like dripping candle wax.  Saw some other coral nearby that was glazed over as if it had been overheated.

This was, however, one of the few dives on which I did not see anything new.

Dive Time was 145 minutes; RMV was 0.36 ft3/minute.

The first dive was longer than I had anticipated.  I quickly changed tanks.  The new tank showed 3560 psi, but had been sitting in the sun.  Nonetheless, I was expecting a very long second dive.  On the way out to the swim buoy, however, my Suunto showed only 598 psi in the tank.  I was committed by that time, so I descended and swam out to the counter-weight and looked for a 20 ft hole.

I spotted and photographed this Star Horseshoe Worm.

I also got a shot of about six lobster marching along over the sand before the knoll.  

the tank pressure reading got down below 100 psi and I decided to just call the dive.  Even if I got more air, I wouldn't be comfortable not knowing how much and the gauge was apparently stuck on 100 psi.  I had hoped it might start reading something in excess of 3000 psi, but it never did.  So I got out and went back to the truck.  I put my mechanical gauge on the tank and it showed over 3000 psi.  I put the Suunto back on, and it then read 2530 psi, which sort of fits with me using 500 psi on the short dive.  

Dive Time was 34 minutes; RMV was 0.26 ft3/minute, which is sort of surprising given the amount of swimming I did and against the current, as well. It suggests that I passed on what may well have been a record breaking dive for me.  

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