02 August 2014

Two Dives with Leo and Luis on the Little Coral Knoll

I got to the beach a little before 6:00 am and was surprised to find many of the parking spots taken already.  I was the 6th car from the entry.  A lot of cars left by the time Leo came at 7:30 am, however, and both he and Luis parked near me. Leo made the snorkel swim and the tired diver's tow.  He also briefed us on this dive on the Little Coral Knoll. We got in the water and followed Leo, but he got set to the Northeast by the current.  We came to some rocks I recognized. I went to the sand sea and headed West to find the counter-weight, then we headed to the knoll.  Even so, we were set a bit East and spotted the concrete block before we found the knoll.  From the block, we went SSW to the knoll.

Found a Green Turtle on the knoll and got a couple of nice photos. We were able to swim with the turtle for several minutes.    


Caught these two crabs in the doubler position, in which male crab carries the female crab.  Mating usually lasts for 5 1/2 hours, but the crabs will maintain this position for up to 3 days after mating. The female crab stores the male’s sperm on the underside of her abdomen and will use that sperm for two or more spawnings within her three year lifespan.

I also got a nice shot of this Red Grouper and then soon after I got this shot of the same grouper flexing its mouth.  

Nice dive, if not the longest.  Dive time was 114 minutes.  My RMV was 0.38 ft3/minute.  

Leo headed home and Luis and I made a second dive.  This time, we started from the smaller rock and went by the knee high coral to the counter-weight and then to the knoll.  Spotted the Dog Rock as we went by, but I did not get off course to check it out.

I found this very young Smooth Trunkfish and got some good pictures.

Also had a Nurse Shark swim up to me on the knoll. Surprised me, but I got this shot before it was gone.

Luis and I took a side trip to the Porthole-rocks, but the Grouper wasn't there and there were no sharks there either.

I did get this shot of a Hogfish on the way back from the Porthole-Rokcs.
I then found this Purplemouth Moray Eel on the way back to the knoll.  From the knoll, we went back to the smaller rock, and then we back tracked to the beach.

Dive Time was 132 minutes, but I still had 700 psi left in the tank.  Could have been 25-30 minutes longer.  RMV was 0.36 ft3/minute.

01 August 2014

Solo Dive on the Big Coral Knoll

Got to the beach early, but got caught up in the sunrise and didn't get into the water until 6:45 am.  Swam out to the swim buoy and descended at the Sea Rod, then swam slowly out to the blocks.  Visibility was terrible.  I went up the gun sight to the Gray Mid-way rock and turned North to go to the Perpendicular Rocks, the Swept Rock and the  Big Coral Knoll.  I made several trips around the perimeter of the Knoll.

Saw this little guy waiting for the small fish to clean him up.

And this fellow skimming along over the coral.

This guy was feeding on the sand and algae leading up to the reef.
Got this shot of the Rock Hind sitting on top of one of the boulders on the North edge of the Knoll.

I made three trips around the Knoll.  Got some fish portraits, but lots of backscatter, too.

 Got this photograph of a Blue Tang,

this shot of an Ocean Surgeonfish getting cleaned by a Neon Goby,

and this shot of a White Grunt.

Came back a little early.  I got to the blocks with over 700 psi so I hung out there while I breathed the tank down below 500 psi, then headed over to the Sea Rod and up the beach.

Dive Time was 145 minutes and RMV was 0.4 ft3/minute.   Not bad after two days out of the water.

29 July 2014

A Solo Dive on the Staghorn Coral Forest

I had trouble getting to sleep last night, so I did not make an early morning dive this morning.  I got to the beach about 8:10 am and parked just before a female life guard pulled in.  She did not open the Tower, however, and she did not hassle me.

I headed due East from the swim buoy just South of Tower 19 and found the Staghorn Coral Forest with little problem.

 Found some squid just as I entered the forest and got a lot of pictures.  I hope some of them turn out okay.
Got this shot of a Squirrelfish in the coral.

this Smallmouth Grunt,
and this Pigfish
 Really like this shot of an Ocean Surgeonfish.  Looks like he is in the choir and singing for all he is worth.
 Also got this shot of two French Grunts fighting, though I'm not sure what they are fighting over.  

Left the forest at 1000 psi and hung out at 10 feet just off the beach to get to 141 minutes of dive time.  Not bad.