06 September 2014

Darryn Timm, Chad Scott and I dive the Algae Patch and Clipper Jacks off Tower 2

Luis was at the beach when we got there.  Leo came 10 minutes later.  We geared up and then Leo locked his keys in his car.  Spent some time trying to contact his wife to drive up from Miami with a spare set of keys.  Then we got in the water.  We did not follow blonde surfer dude's rule that divers had to swim on the surface until they were outside the buoys.  Luis and Leo continued to swim towards the Jacks, but Chad, Darryn and I dropped down in about 10 feet of water and went slowly out onto the algae patch.  Chad had some trouble equalizing, but worked through it. Darryn had good buoyancy control except when he was performing skills and would focus on the skill instead of his breathing.  Chad was not so good with his buoyancy, but he had moments when it seemed like he got it.  We swam out to the second tier of the three tiered reef and turned as Chad hit 1500 psi.  Darryn was at 1800 psi and I had 2300 psi.  Dive Time was 68 minutes.  My RMV was a sad 0.46 ft3/minute.

During the surface interval we went over the table problems and the guys took their final exams.  Pattie Conrad joined us.  Leo acted as the dive leader, gave the briefing and lead us out on the surface about as far as we swam on the first dive. Pattie was getting tired and we went down a little earlier than we might have, otherwise, but we found several single Jacks then got to sand.  I incorrectly decided to head South.  Chad had trouble getting equalized and Leo took him back to the beach.  I finally decided the Jacks were not South of where we had been and Pattie, Darryn and I headed North.

We passed two single Jacks in a line and I was having second thoughts, but we soon came to the Jacks.  We got on the South Side and headed East to the end, then came back to the Western end of the Jacks.

Along the way, we found a small school of Doctorfish on the Jack, one of whom was carrying a Cymothoid Isopod.

 Got this shot of an Ocean Surgeonfish.

A Porkfish.
A Sand Diver.

A Smooth Trunkfish.
and a Trumpetfish.

After touring the Jacks, we surfaced to see if we could find Leo's flag, but we could not.  In that few minutes on the surface, however, we drifted far enough North that we could no longer see the Jacks.  This time, I knew they were there and we quickly found them, but it was amazing how quickly we lost them.

We swam back in to the beach and Leo and Chad were waiting for us by the truck.  Leo's wife had not arrived with the spare key.  Pattie needed to go and I took Darryn and Chad to fill tanks.  We later met Leo at the Bridge and he worked with the guys on the snorkel skills and the regulator and mask clearing skills from the first confined water dive.

Dive Time was 96 minutes; my SAC rate was 17.66 psi/minute and my RMV was 0.46 ft3/minute.

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