04 February 2015

Diving the Yankee Clipper Jacks

Didn't leave the apartment until 8:30 am, so I'm really hoping the lifeguards aren't on duty until 9:30 am, which seems to be the case. I parked at 8:45 am, geared up and got in the water at a little after 9:00 am. I swam on the surface out past the swim buoys and then descended at 9:15 am. No lifeguards in sight. I headed East and was on the lookout for the juvenile Caribbean Reef Squid and the baby Nurse Shark I saw yesterday. Didn't see either one of them but I did get some shots of

 a Bearded Fireworm,
a Juvenile Green Razorfish,
 a closeup of a Sand Diver, and
a shot of a Yellow Sand Ray well hidden in the sand. After I took this shot, I found the tire and the Giant Hermit Crab I had seen and photographed yesterday. I moved the crab a bit to make a better picture, then went up while he calmed down and came out of his shell, again.

Dive Time was 52 minutes; consumption rate was 26.63 psi/minute at 20 ft average depth; SAC rate was 16.58 psi/minute and the RMV was 0.43 ft3/minute.

I used my breathing to get positively buoyant and go to the surface without kicking. Kind of like practicing a controlled emergency swimming ascent where I try to limit my exhalations so that I eliminate only the expanding gas while remaining slightly positively buoyant all the way to the surface, or at least as far as I can go. On the surface, I blew up my inner tube and floated, but it was pretty bouncy. I went back down hoping to find the Giant Hermit Crab and photograph him again, but I was over some patch reef and the tire and the crab were no where in sight. I was in 24 ft of water, so I headed South towards the Jacks, then decided I should really head SW back to the beach and spend more time on the Algae Patch looking for the reef squid and the baby nurse shark. I swam SE, but I didn't see either animal.

I did get shots of this small Spotted Goatfish,
this Smooth Trunkfish, and
this Sand Perch.

The water was a lot rougher today than yesterday and considerably colder, as well. I got back to the sand with still 500 psi, but only 38 minutes, so I killed some time along the algae patch before I headed in.  I surfaced in 10 feet of water pretty close to the beach. The flag line was wrapped around me and I could not stop shivering, but I did calm down and unraveled everything, then swam in. My left leg was useless. It tingled but did not respond until after I had crawled out of the water and onto the beach.

Dive Time was 41 minutes; consumption rate was 35.2 psi/minute at an average depth of 17 feet; SAC rate was 23.23 psi/minute and the RMV was 0.6 ft3/minute.

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