13 December 2014

Ryan O'Connor joined Luis and I for a dive on the Yankee Clipper Jacks

I've been trying to finish up an open water student's certification for a few weeks. I was waiting for him when he sent me a text that he wasn't coming, I called Luis to tell him I'd be a little late as I had been waiting for him. I then saw Ryan's text that he was looking for a dive and invited him to come. I met with Luis a little after 9:00 and Ryan showed up ten minutes later. We geared up and went diving.

I wanted to salvage the anchors we saw last week, so I suggested that we start the dive North of the swim buoy and see if we could find the Danforth anchor we spotted last weekend. We did, and we did. Luis spotted the anchor a little South of where I was looking. He put his Surface Buoy on it and we swam on. We went East until we got into 25 feet of water and then we turned South and swam up to the Jacks. Worked out well, actually. We headed West along about 1/3 of the Jacks and then headed a bit to the South looking for the Plow anchor we had also spotted last weekend.  Unfortunately we did not spot it.

We headed West for quite a ways, then surfaced to locate Luis's Surface Marker Buoy. Took a while to spot it in the waves and we were way South, but we did spot it. I swam for 8 minutes on the surface to get to it, so my computer tracked two separate dives. Luis and I carried the anchor back. While he re-packed his SMB at the shoreline, I carried the anchor out on the surface, which was a lot harder than I expected it to be.

Water temperature was 73 degrees; Dive Time was 81 minutes; consumption rate was 32.32 psi/minute at an average depth of 19 feet; SAC rate was 20.51 psi/minute and the RMV was 0.53 ft3/minute.

Ryan was good with one dive, but Luis is looking to log 100 dives this year and needs a few more dives, so we made a second dive.  My computer says the bottom temperature was 75, but I have a hard time believing that. Seemed colder and I remember seeing 73 degrees during the dive. I do not remember seeing 75 degrees. Seemed like I was cold for almost the last hour of the dive. We began the dive South of the Swim buoy to look for the plow anchor, but we did not find it. We did get to the Jacks, and this time, Luis wanted to continue East so we did for quite a ways. We did not get to the end. I got down to 1200 psi and turned the dive just short of the East end of the Jacks. We headed back to the beach.

Water temperature was 75 degrees; Dive Time was 99 minutes; consumption rate at an average depth of 19 feet was 29.09 psi/minute; SAC rate was 18.46 psi/minute and the RMV was 0.48 ft3/minute.

11 December 2014

Another Solo Dive on the Little Coral Knoll

I was late getting to the park and the lifeguard was at the Tower and his supervisor was in the OR truck when I walked onto the beach. I just kept going, got in the water and swam out. Nobody even said anything, which is really how it should always be.

The visibility was significantly less than on Monday, but once I descended I found the Big Rock and swam South to the smaller rock, then 130 degrees to the knee high coral head and by the dead sea rod and across the sand sea to the dead sea rods, which are really not dead, but there is something wrong about them.  From there I went South to the counter-weight and then 130 degrees past the actually dead sea rods, the green and red  coral head and finally to the little coral knoll, though I could barely make out the tipped coral head on the NW corner as I swam by.

I looked for shells and hung out on the knoll for awhile. I could do that for hours with a camera, but I get bored without one.  So I decided to head due East from the tipped coral head on the NE corner. I went out for about 800 psi and then back, but at 800 psi, I still hadn't spotted the knoll. I went a little slower and spotted the green and red coral head, so I back tracked to the knoll.  I must have gone right over the knoll on the West leg of the out n back, but I didn't recognize what I could see. I explored the knoll until I got to 900 psi and then headed back to the smaller rock and the Big Rock and the West to the beach.  I was shivering when I came up.  Water temperature was only 71 degrees; Dive Time was only 104 minutes; consumption was 27.69 psi/minute at an average depth of 18 feet; SAC rate was 17.92 and the RMV was 0.46 ft3/minute.

08 December 2014

Solo Dive to the Little Coral Knoll

I got to the park about 7:40 am, geared up, walked to the beach and swam out to the swim buoy. Spotted the old buoy pin, so I descended and then quickly spotted the Big Rock. Good visibility today. I swam South to the smaller rock, then turned to 130 degrees and swam to the knee-high coral, the dead sea rod and across the sand sea to the larger dead sea rod. From there I went South, again, to the counter-weight and then 130 degrees to the tall sea rod, to the red and green coral head and then to the knoll. Twenty feet of visibility is a wonderful thing. Played around the knoll. Spotted a couple of small purple mouth moray eels and one Spotted Moray Eel.  No Turtles and no octopus. Lots of Porkfish and Grunts. It's not the same without a camera. I headed due East for a bit.  Lost sight of the knoll, but picked it up after swimming back West.  At 1000 psi, I left the knoll and back tracked to the smaller rock and then to the Big Rock. Hung out there until I got to 350 psi and headed West to the beach. Came up in 9 ft of water and swam in on the surface.  Water temperature was 75; Dive Time was 100 minutes; consumption rate was 29.11 psi/minute at an average depth of 19 feet; SAC rate was 18.47 psi/minute and RMV was 0.48 ft3/minute.  Cold out.  

07 December 2014

AK, Luis and I explore the Algae Patch off Tower 2

I got to the beach early, but Luis came soon after I got there. AK and her folks were just a few minutes after 8:00 am. Luis, AK and I geared up and got in the water. Wind was out of the West, so the sea was pretty calm. I could see the bottom in 15 feet of water.  Been a few days since that was last possible.  We swam to the swim buoy and descended, except AK appeared to have some problem and went back up. I went back to the surface, but her problem was just nerves. She'd done so well yesterday, too. Took a few minutes to calm down and then descended.  She indicated that her mask was leaking, so I reminded her how to clear it underwater. She didn't tilt her head back far enough, though, so there was always some water remaining in the mask. I showed her again and really exaggerated the tilt. She got it that time. We swam together holding hands for a few minutes, then she was fine. Luis took his camera, but didn't get many good shots. We just poked along to the East and then AK indicated she was down to 1500 psi so we turned the dive and headed back.  Seemed colder than yesterday, too, especially when we got out.  Dive Time was 72 minutes; SAC rate was 20.95 psi/minute; RMV was 0.54 ft3/minute.

AK and her parents left to play golf.  Luis and I got back in the water and descended just past the swim buoy.  We headed ENE for quite a ways.  Luis found a Bruce anchor on the bottom. We turned South when we began seeing sporadic reef and swam a long way to the Clipper Jacks. First headed East, then Luis indicated he was at half a tank, so we crossed the Jacks and swam West on the South side. Nice dive, all in all. Just a little cooler than I was prepared for.  Dive Time was 101 minutes; SAC rate was 16.79; RMV was 0.43 ft3/minute.