18 November 2014

Solo Diving on the Little Coral Knoll

The City sent me a letter advising me that the State Park would honor my City parking pass.  If that is true, it would allow me to dive off Tower 15.  I decided to try it out this morning. Got to the park at 8:00 am, but was advised that the fence to get through did not open until 9:00 am. I parked near the entry to the park, geared up and walked around to the beach.

I got in the water and swam out to the Big Rock before descending. I checked around for shells and moved slowly to the smaller rock to the South. From there, I headed at 130 degrees past the knee-high coral and to the dead limbs and then to the counter-weight, except that I did not find the counter-weight on the first pass. Instead, I wandered around and ended up to the East of the Big Rock. From there, I retraced my path to the smaller rock, the knee high coral head, the dead limbs and this time I found the counter-weight and headed off at 130 degrees to find the little coral knoll. Spotted an octopus under the tipped coral head on the NW corner of the knoll and a green sea turtle on the tipped coral head on the NE corner of the knoll. This is one of those dives that make me wish I still had a camera. Swam out to the tiny knoll to the East and the cushion coral but mostly just drifted over the knoll and watched the fish. Lots of grunts, but small grunts.  I left the knoll at 1000 psi and worked my way back to the smaller rock then the Big Rock. I hung out there until I made 130 minutes, then I swam into the beach.

Dive time was 135 minutes; consumption was 23.16 psi/minute at an average depth of 17 feet; SAC Rate was 15.29 psi/minute and the RMV was 0.39 ft3/minute.

16 November 2014

Tommy's Third and Fourth Open Water Dives

Milton and Tommy were 30 minutes late driving up from Homestead this morning. Wind was out of the NNE at about 10 knots, so the surf was too rough for Ryan, who had some errands to run. He told me to park in his spot and go for both dives. We parked as he had directed and geared up, but Mike, the chairman of the Board of Directors, came to tell me that because I was a "commercial diver" and engaged in transacting business, I couldn't park in their lot.  I told him we were just diving and that Ryan had directed me to park in the spot for which he pays rent, but Mike thought that would still be a problem. This is absurd.

Anyway, we headed off to the beach to make Tommy's third dive.  The surf was up, but not impossibly so. We all got out, though Milton had more problems with his bum leg than Tommy did. I ended up towing Milton much of the way out, but he kept sitting up in the water which killed his forward momentum. I asked him once not to do it, but he couldn't help himself, so I just swam off and left him to figure it out on his own.  We got to the sand and descended. Milton held the flag line while Tommy and I did the ascents.  Even though I asked Tommy to signal that he was out of air before he went for my octupus, I had to remind to do it him when we were actually performing the ascent. We went up slowly: 35 ft in 105 seconds or 3 seconds per foot.  The CESA was faster:  35 ft in 46 seconds or 1.3 seconds per foot, which is slower than the 60 ft per minute PADI requires but triggered some ascent warnings from my Suunto computer, which preferred a 30 ft/minute ascent rate. Anyway, we swam back in and I showed them a common octopus hiding in a hole and a Yellow Sand Ray buried in the sand. Visibility was poor but it was a fun dive.

Dive Time was 35 minutes; my SAC rate was 18.51 and my RMV was 0.48 ft3/minute.

Ryan was at the apartment when we got back and Mike had spoken with him. Ryan wasn't too concerned about it all. Mike apparently has a reputation as an old maid. The more I think of it, the more I get pissed off, but its really Ryan who ought to be upset.  He pays for that parking spot and Mike has pretty much made himself a part of any decision regarding it.

Regardless, Milton, Tommy and I packed up and drove down to the South Beach Parking Lot to make our second dive and Tommy's final dive necessary for certification. We walked in just South of Tower 2 and headed East. We somehow missed the tiered reef, so I headed South and we went right to the beginning of the Jacks.  Swam along the North side for a bit, but turned the dive when Milton indicated he was down to 1,100 psi.  We headed back a little faster than we swam out. Might have made 2 hours, but wasn't sure how Milton was doing for air. Just as well. We came out just North of Tower 1 and walked up to the truck. Tommy did well using 8 pounds of weight.

Dive time 104 minutes; consumption rate was 23.81 at an average depth of 17 feet; SAC rate was 15.71 on an 80 ft3 tank; RMV was 0.41 ft3/minute.