20 April 2015

Ricther and I dive the United Caribbean and make a Reverse Profile Dive to 108 feet

Ric came by at 8:00 am. We went over the table problem I sent him, then he gathered his gear and we headed up to the boat at Sands Harbor Marina, unloaded tanks and gear, parked the truck behind the hotel, signed our release forms and got on the boat. Doug had assigned us seats on the long bench in the stern, but I put the camera under the seats inside, then moved to the port side of the boat so it would be balanced and Ricther moved back to join me.

Enzo had asked us to dive a reverse profile and I agreed since he was, afterall doing us a favor even going out. Doug tied off on the United Caribbean and then it was our turn. I went in the water backwards holding my camera and sank. I saw that Ric had gotten in and he was moving along the line. I tried to take a picture, but the camera refused to focus. Something was sticking and preventing the lens from focusing, so I closed the camera up and shut it off.

I slowly descended along the line and Ricther caught up to me. We were tied off to the top of the stern of the UC but "fell" all the way to the sand. We slowly ascended up the North face of the stern, then dropped to the sand again on the West side. We then moved South to a portion of the main part of the wreck and found a large Green Moray Eel. I sure could have used a working camera. We then swam NE along the other section of the UC and to the Rocks. We followed the rocks over to the Sea Emperor and Ric spotted a Goliath Grouper to the South. The Grouper went under the Sea Emperor and inside. We swam along the top. I did not want to enter and get caught in a confined space with the 400 pound fish in case it should freak.

We headed SE over the concrete culverts to the Rocks and back to the UC stern. We came up the line with everyone else, except we were off to the side and holding our buoyancy to make the safety stop. When we got out of the water and back on the boat, my left foot was cramping and swollen. I had two knots across the top of the foot and I had trouble walking on it.

Bottom temperature was 76 degrees; dive time was 38 minutes; consumption was 49.03 psi/minute at an average depth of 56 feet and my SAC rate was 18.18 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

By the time Bob was ready to drop us in deep water, my foot had returned to its normal size and I was feeling good. We went over backwards, again, signaled the boat and got the flag. Then we dropped.

I was maybe 10-15 feet below Ricther and watched as a large Loggerhead Turtle head right to him. We both stopped and watched the turtle turn and stop about 3 feet North of Ric, who by that time was vertical in the water, suggesting that he is too heavy at 12 pounds. It would have been a terrific picture, if I had my camera and it were working. Essentially a silhouette shot at 40 ft. Ric managed to not reach out and touch the turtle and it left.

We continued our descent to the bottom at 108 feet. I indicated to Ric that he should open the combination lock, but he just looked at me, so we swam for a bit then began our ascent. Because of the residual nitrogen from our first dive and the depth of this dive, we had only 5 minutes of bottom time according to the tables, though as I would expect, my computer gave me a longer bottom time.

I had planned to make Pyle Stops on the ascent, but made the 54 ft stop at 41, when Ric called my attention to it. We made a second  1 minute stop at 27 ft and then a 3 minute safety stop at 15 feet. Then we went to the surface and found Doug and Bob waiting for us. They picked us up and we went over to where the others were drift diving Turtle Ledge and waited for them to finish their dives.

Bottom temperature was 76 degrees; dive time rounded up to 17 minutes; consumption was 55.29 psi/minute at an average depth of 56 ft and my SAC was up to 20.5 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

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