09 March 2015

Diving the Yankee Clipper Jacks in the morning

The sun was just coming up as I headed for the beach. Read a little, then decided I ought to get in the water early just in case the lifeguards had changed their schedule. Decided to take the camera, though it was readily apparent once I got in the water that visibility was next to nothing and there would be no photographs this morning. I also took my new fins, since I noticed during the buoyancy dive I did with Ric in the pool yesterday that the old blue fins were cracked just under the footings.

I swam over the Algae Patch and out to the sand. Water was rough, visibility was poor and I was using air pretty quickly. Came to the 3-tiered reef, so I went North and around to get to 24 feet of water on the sand North of the Jacks. I turned and headed South and went up after 40 minutes.

Water temperature was 73 degrees; dive time was  42 minutes; consumption was 28.27 psi/minute at an average depth of 16 feet; SAC rate was 17.60 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

Swam NE during the surface interval and descended to 26 feet. Came SW looking for shells and the Jacks. Found the 3-tiered reef and headed West, but would turn into the current if I wasn't watching the compass. Went through the Caves looking for something to photograph, but saw very few fish. Pretty barren. Still blowing through air and a little concerned about making it to the beach, so I folded up the camera since I wasn't taking any pictures, anyway, and focused on swimming in.

I was pulling myself along over the Algae Patch and happened to grab a handhold in which a Purplemouth Moray Eel was waiting. Scared him too, but neither of us hurt the other. Did make me think I ought to pay more attention to my handholds, however.

Made the white sand at 400 psi, but the flagline got caught on some sea rods and I spent some time getting free, then moving on into the beach. I was coming out in knee deep water and just dropped to my knees. rolled onto my side and pushed back into deeper water and got my legs under me. A tourist rushed out to help me, but I was just walking out as he came up to me. Got a nice little assist from the waves and walked out just like I'd done it before.

When I got home, I downloaded the 20-30 pictures I shot and threw all but two of them away. I kept this shot of a Hogfish and

this close-up of a Triggerfish not because they were so good, but to remind me that if the visibility is poor I probably should not risk flooding or otherwise damaging the camera for anything as pathetic as these two shots.

Water temperature was 73 degrees; dive time was 45 minutes; consumption was 36.29 psi/minute at an average depth of 18 feet; SAC rate was 23.48 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

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