03 January 2015

Diving with Luis on the Yankee Clipper Jacks

I got to the beach first, but Luis was right behind me.  We geared up and got in the water. Surf was rough but not impossible. We got out, swam on the surface to the swim buoy, then descended and began working our way East. Neither of us took a camera, and that was the right call. Visibility was terrible, probably about 3 ft at times and certainly no more than 5 ft.  But it did get better.

We made it out to the Jacks and came up from the North, then followed them East to the end and back again.  I found a large Cowry shell just sitting on the bottom near the Eastern end of the Jacks. We came back on the South side, which created some difficulties with a North current. I got dragged into the Jacks if I didn't fight the pull of the flag. I left the Jacks and headed to the beach with 1200 psi.  I thought I would make 2 hours, but the current picked up as we left the Jacks and the winds picked up a bit, too. I was on fumes as we crossed over onto the sand at the beach and I surfaced to hold the flag rather than fight it any more. The waves were tall:  4-5 ft and from several different directions. Getting out was difficult. I was really glad I had not taken the camera.

Water temperature was 76 degrees; Dive Time 104 minutes; consumption 26.53 psi/minute at 18 feet average depth; SAC rate 17.17 psi/minute on an aluminum 80; RMV 0.44 ft3/minute.

02 January 2015

Han Simpson's final Open Water Dive

Han arrived promptly at 8:10 am, packed his bag and was ready to dive. We headed for the South Beach lot.  I wasn't sure if Luis was coming or not, but he showed up a few minutes after we got there.  We geared up and hiked out to the water. Both Luis and I took cameras.  I finned up in neck deep water, but Han started putting his fins on much earlier and also put air in his BCD, so the waves pushed him back towards the beach before he realized what was happening.

After he got his fins on, we swam out past the swim buoy and descended, then slowly headed East towards the Jacks.  It took us about an hour to get to the 3-tiered reef, where I checked Han's gas. He was down to 1000 psi. We turned the dive and headed back to the beach, but we were close to the Jacks.

Han in awful visibility during the dive
Juvenile Highhat
Sand Perch
Star Horseshoe Worm

Han ran out of air and surfaced just after the swim buoy. We swam in on the surface, a little North of Tower 2.

Water temperature was 76 degrees; Dive Time was 78 minutes; actual consumption at an average depth of 17 feet was 25.76 psi/minute; SAC rate was 17 psi/minute; and RMV was 0.44 ft3/minute.

01 January 2015

Solo Dive with my New Camera on New Year's Day

Awoke very early and read and napped until 6:00 am.  Went over the camera and housing to make sure everything worked, then packed it in the truck. Packed my dive gear, as well and headed for the beach.

Parked in the South Beach lot about 8:30 am and set up my dive gear.  Walked in the water before anyone was on the Tower, but it was close to 9:00 am and I was getting worried.  Cruised the Algae Patch off Tower 2 and tried to remember how to shoot pictures. Ended up with a lot of out-of-focus shots, but I also got some good shots like the following:

 Banded Coral Shrimp
 Bandtail Puffer
 Christmas Tree Worm
Dusky Jawfish
 Gray Triggerfish
Juvenile Blackear Wrasse
 Juvenile Porkfish

Smooth Trunkfish

Swam out to 20 feet of water on the sand, just before the tiered reef, then headed back.  Maximum depth was 20 feet, but the average depth was only 14 ft.  Dive Time was 115 minutes and I could maybe have stretched that to 120 minutes, but I was in less than 10 feet of water and didn't want to swim  back out, giving the lifeguards a reason to hassle me.

Water temperature was 76 degrees; Consumption at an average depth of 14 feet was 24.28 psi/minute; SAC rate was 17.05 psi/minute; RMV was 0.44 ft3/minute.

31 December 2014

Han Makes his Third Open Water Dive

Han made it to the apartment by 8:10 am and we headed to Birch State Park.  Luis got there just in front of us. We all geared up and headed for the water. Decided to swim NE to the Ledge off Tower 17. Didn't quite make it that far North, but we got well North of Tower 16 and ran the ascents in 30 feet of water. Luis held the reel. Han and I buddy breathed and then ascended while buddy breathing. Han did just fine, but was a little slow. The second ascent was the CESA and, again, Han did fine, but he ran out of air at 10-12 feet and was hurrying to the surface. My computer warmed me the ascent rate was too fast, but I checked the computer profile later, and he was well within PADI's 60 ft/min ascent rate.

After the CESA, Han and I descended, picked up Luis and headed for Tower 15. We went slowly to give Luis time for photographs. At a little past 60 minutes, I surfaced to see where we were I didn't recognize the topography, but we were just a little North of Tower 15. Descended, corrected and swam in.

Water temperature was 76; Dive Time was 72 minutes; consumption rate at an average depth of 18 feet was 26.71 psi/minute; SAC rate was 17.28 psi/minute and the RMV was 0.45 ft3/minute.

28 December 2014

Solo Dive on the Eastern Ledge off Tower 15

Han was supposed to meet me at the apt at 8:15 this morning and we would go to the beach to finish the two dives he needs to get certified.  He didn't show. He didn't call. He didn't text. I went to the park.

I geared up and entered the water and swam out to the swim buoy. Before I descended, the lifeguards were on the Tower just setting up. No one hassled me, but I was in the water before they got to the beach. I decided to explore some rather than just head for the Little Coral Knoll.  I headed due East to the Eastern Ledge off Tower 15 to see if there is any deep water there for Han's ascents, should he ever get up before noon.  Deepest waster I found was on the sand, just beyond the reef.  It was about 30 feet.  I did find a lot of little spiral like conch shells and a few of the Gaudy Natica aka Moonsnail shells.  On the way back, I swam over the  Dog Rock, though it took a few moments to recognize and verify it.  Then I followed my trail back to the knee high coral, the smaller rock, the Big Rock and the beach.  Chilly, but not unbearable.

Water temperature was 75 degrees; Dive time was 100 minutes; consumption rate at an average depth of 20 feet was 27.77 psi/minute; SAC rate 17.29 psi/minute; RMV was 0.45 ft3/minute.