Luis and Leo were already at the South Beach parking lot when I pulled up. We talked for a bit, then geared up and headed to the water for our First Dive. We swam out past the swim buoys, then descended and headed on an E bearing, but got set a bit to the North. We found a funny chest on the sand and were North of the 3-tiered reef. Spent some time poking and prodding the chest, but got nowhere. We continued East.
We turned at 24 ft and headed South to the Jacks. I got a few photos on this dive, including this shot of Banded Porcelain Crab on top of a Rough File Clam;
We were all low on air by the time we got to the Jacks, and I was cold, as well, so we didn't linger. Luis was towing a small Danforth anchor which was attached to their two SMBs. They had picked it before getting to the Jacks and the surface current was obviously creating problems. I put the camera away once I saw Luis with the anchor and hustled to keep my flag line out of his way. We were both moving right along on the way West to the beach. I lost sight of him a few times, but would just wait in place and he would come along dragging the anchor.
Both of us came up out of air as we went under the swim buoy line. We swam in on the surface and didn't have much of a problem getting out. Water temperature was 75 degrees; consumption rate was 33.70 psi/minute at an average depth of 19 ft; SAC rate was 21.38 psi/minute; RMV was 0.55 ft3/minute.
It took me a while to warm up after the first dive, but I was ready to get in the water for our Second Dive after about an hour. We swam out on the surface most of the way to the sand. We wanted to get more time on the Jacks with the good visibility. I still used the same approach: East to 24 feet of water then turn South to the Jacks. We got to the beginning of the Jacks when I still had 2500 psi in my tank.
Found a Lightning Welk shell that was large and really pretty, but also really alive, so we left it where we found it. We continued swimming East on the North side of the Jacks.
I surfaced at the East end of the Jacks. I was cold again, so I let the sun warm my hands as I watched a Catamaran sail by. I also checked our location relative to the East-West bearing. We were South. My computer rolled over while I was on the surface.
Water temperature was 75 degrees; consumption rate was 29.02 at an average depth of 19 ft; SAC ratte was 18.42 psi/minute; and the RMV was 0.48 ft3/minute.
After the Catamaran went by, I descended and tried to photograph some Ballyhoo near the surface. I didn't do well at that. We swam back on the South side of the Jacks. Near the end, I spotted some post-larval squid and took about 100 pictures. I hoped some might turn out, some did.
The clear water and bright sun allowed me to get some decent pictures without the strobe, like this shot of an Atlantic Spadefish,
I had plenty of air this time, so the trip West to the beach was a much more pleasant experience. I surfaced in about 8 feet of water, wound up the flag line and swam in on the surface. Cross currents made getting to the beach difficult, but there wasn't much of a step up just South of Tower 1. Much easier than last night.
Water temperature was 73 degrees; consumption rate was 31.94 psi/minute at an average depth of 16 ft; SAC rate was 21.51 psi/minute; RMV was 0.55 ft3/minute.