12 February 2015

Another Surprising Dive on the Yankee Clipper Jacks

Slept late, but got to the beach by 8:15 am. Read a little then geared  up. Shot one picture and everything seemed to be working, but the second one didn't fire. Seemed as if the battery was dead, but I had changed it this morning. Took the camera anyway, since it promised to be a bright and sunny day, but the the calm flat surface of the ocean was hiding a mass of currents with lots of surge and very little visibility.

I stepped in between breaking waves and was suddenly in over by head. The next wave pushed me onto a 2-foot shelf and I had to push back into deep water to get my legs under me. I started East to get beyond the breakers, but the ocean floor was pitted with deep holes and quick rises. I finned up and swam out, keeping air out of my BCD and exhaling to go under incoming waves and breakers. I got out, but it was work. I thought about taking the camera back to the truck, but decided against it. The Lifeguards would be coming soon, and I had not figured out exactly when that was. Didn't want to be beached for "my own good." So I swam out over the algae patch and then descended just before the sand. Found a couple of nice Gaudy Naticas and eventually got to the 24 ft section, where I ended the first dive and went up.

Water temperature was 71 degrees; consumption was 30.11 psi/minute at an average depth of 20 feet; SAC rate was 18.75 and RMV was 0.48 ft3/minute.

When I descended, I was still North of the Jacks by about 30 feet. I almost swam into them. Stayed North and stayed away from the Jacks. I couldn't control the flag line in the surge and I was afraid it would be hung up on the Jacks. I headed West past a single Jack and then over the sand. Seemed like I was either flying West or hanging onto the reef to avoid the counter-surge to the East. I did take some pictures, but they didn't come out very well.

 Got this shot of a Smooth Trunkfish,
and this shot of a Spotted Scorpionfish, though I had handholds to the East and West of him and had to take my shot as I flew by in the surge.
Found this little Yellow Sand Ray on the Algae Patch. It let me scratch the underside of its wings a couple of times then moved off slowly.

I got onto the white sand of the beach and went up even though I still had 1000 psi of air. I was in front of Tower 1, but there were guys riding boards down what appeared to be really large breaking waves. I swam in and timed things so I got into shallow water between breakers. I quickly got my fins off and stood up, only to be knocked down by the next wave that came along. I rolled on my side to protect the camera and managed to push back into deeper water and try again. Second time was the charm, I got pushed up the beach and held on.

Water temperature was 71 degrees; consumption was 32.47 psi/minute; SAC rate was 21.87 psi/minute with an aluminum 80 tank.

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