11 January 2015

Luis and I dive on the Eastern Ledge off Tower 15

The sky was cloudy and threatened rain, but we were going to get wet, anyway. I met Luis at Birch State Park. While we were gearing up, a cute woman ran by, smiled, waived at me and made some comment about how much easier it was to park on A1A. It was such a rare event that both Luis and I looked up. After the shock wore off, we walked down the hill, through the Center, across the road and into the water. I dropped a fin along the way and Luis took the flag from me. While it was still tricky getting out, it was so much easier without the flag. Got to deeper water and finned up to swim out, then swam back to Luis to take the flag so he could more easily get his fins on in the breaking surf.  We got out to the swim buoy and descended.

Water temperature was 73 degrees. I couldn't see much, but I thought I recognized a sea rod and headed NE looking for the old buoy pin and the Big Rock. Found them both. Took some pictures, but visibility was terrible and there weren't a lot of fish around.

Got this shot of a Bluestriped Grunt on the Big Rock

as well as this shot of an Intermediate French Angelfish. I've cleaned these pictures up in post processing, but you can still see particles in the water.

I headed South in the surge looking for the smaller rock, but never found it. I confused Luis, since we had discussed heading to the Eastern Ledge if the visibility was bad, and it certainly was, but I thought I might find my marks to the Little Coral Knoll and wanted to try. Unfortunately, we must have gone by the smaller rock, so I conceded and we headed East.

I saw almost no life until we got to the Ledge itself.  Water got warmer there: up to 75 degrees. The sun came out for a bit, too. Not as much surge at 30 feet, either, but I had blown through half my air getting there and didn't have much gas left to stay.

Got this shot of a Juvenile Stoplight Parrotfish,

this shot of a Sand Diver,
and this shot of a curious Seaweed Blenny.

We headed back when I was at 1200 psi, but I had plenty of gas to get back. Just not used to the dive, so I was worried, which did not help my usage any. Just broke 400 psi when we passed the swim buoy. The damn flag was surfing the waves in front of me and pulling me fins over face mask, so I signalled Luis that I was ascending and swimming in on the surface. We were still in 4 ft of water just yards off the beach, so it was tricky getting fins off and holding the camera with one hand while holding the flag and the fins in the other, but it worked.

Short dive.  Water temperature was 73 degrees; Dive time was 81 minutes; consumption was 33.28 psi/minute at an average depth of

20 feet; SAC rate was 20.72 psi/minute; RMV was 0.53 ft3/minute.

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