29 November 2014

Beach Dive Spent Looking for the Little Coral Knoll

Darryn Timm came by and got an XL full body 3/2mm wetsuit. We drove to the park and met Luis, then we all geared up and got in the water. Luis forgot his fins, so Daryn and I found shelter by the lifeguard tower while Luis went back for his fins. Then we got in. Surf was up but tide was in, so not too rough. Darryn had some trouble getting his fins on and swimming out, but he figured it out. We descended off the swim buoy and hunted for the Big Rock, which we did find. From there we headed South looking for the smaller rock but we ended up at the knee-high coral head and turned to 130 degrees. Went by the dead rod and headed across the sand sea, but missed the dead sea rods and the counter-weight.  At some point, we were just swimming East and then North. Visibility was less than 5 ft for most of the dive and only opened up to 10 ft near the end of the dive.  I went  up to see where we were, which was ESE of Tower 16.  We headed back to the beach. I swam in on the surface and waited too long to get my fins off.  Had to crawl back to deep water, get my fins off and stand up to climb out of the water.

Dive Time was 91 minutes;  my consumption rate at depth was 26.07 psi/minute; SAC rate was 16.87 psi/minute; and the RVM was 0.44 ft3/minute.

26 November 2014

And Yet Another Dive on the Little Coral Knoll

Got to the State park by 8:05 am and was headed around the block to the beach by 8:15 am. Got in the water and swam out past the swim buoy to descend.  Visibility was terrible:  about 5 ft. I couldn't see the Big Rock. Even when I got down, I couldn't see the Big Rock. I swam around and found the old buoy pin and from there I found the Big Rock and headed South to the smaller rock, but ended up at the knee-high coral. Okay. From there I went 130 degrees to the sand sea and the dead sea rods. From there I went North to the counter-weight and then 130 degrees from there to the barren sea rod and then the green and red coral and finally to the knoll. I could hardly make out the ledge at the knoll from the tipped coral, but the sun came out and visibility got better. Still only about 10 ft, but better. Started exploring to the East, but got lost on the way back. Went South of the  knoll, but recognized a small pile of large rocks with a very big Nurse Shark and came back at 45 degrees to find the knoll again. Getting low on air by this time. Played around on the knoll until I was down to 1,000 psi, at which point I headed back:  130 degrees to the red and green coral, then past the barren sea rod to the counter-wieght. Southwest to the dead sea rods and then 130 degrees across the sand sea to the knee-high coral, the smaller rock, North to the Big Rock and back the the beach.

Dive time was 143 minutes; consumption was 21.54 psi/minute at an average depth of 18 feet; SAC rate was 13.94 psi/minute; RMV was 0.36 ft3/minute.

24 November 2014

Another Solo Dive on the Little Coral Knoll

Got to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park a bit after 8:00 am, parked, geared up and walked around the outside of the park to get to the beach.  Swam out to the Big Rock, though I could not see it from the surface. I descended just a few feet from the Rock, then headed off to the smaller rock to the South. Picked up a number of shells, again. From the smaller rock, I swam 130 degrees past the knee high coral head and across the sand sea.  I could not see the dead sea rods, but I swam slowly to the SW and spotted the counterweight. From there, I swam 130 degrees and went right to the knoll. No octopus under the tipped coral head on the NW corner. No turtle under the tipped coral head on the NE corner, either. Lots of fish, but hard to see. I literally could not see the knoll from the tipped coral head on the NW corner of the knoll. Lots of small particles in the water, sort of like smoke or fog. I hung out at the knoll until I got down to 1000 psi, then I headed back. Found the red and green rock and the counter-weight, but I couldn't find the dead sea rods. I missed the knee-high coral head and the smaller rock. I missed the Big Rock, too. I swam into 8 feet of water and then surfaced due West of the swim buoy and still 5-10 yards off the beach. Would have been pointless to take a camera, but I found some nice shells.

Dive Time:  122 minutes;  SAC rate was 14.54 and my RMV was 0.38 ft3/minute.