01 May 2015

Night Diving off Catamaran Beach

I got up early this morning and worked on the computer, took the dog for a walk and then headed for the beach. Got in the water and swam out to the swim buoy to descend. Tried to go East, but I must have overcompensated or just turned into the current because I was set well North, although I didn't realize it at the time. I didn't see any turtles this morning. I missed the staghorn coral; missed the swiss cheese section of the reef with all the fish, too.

I did spot this Banded Tube Dwelling Anemone, but it has a short tube and appears affixed to the side of the reef. I ended up on flat sand well to the East. Got into 20 feet of water, but I was at 40 minutes, so I surfaced.
Bottom temperature was 76 degrees; dive time was 41 minutes; consumption was 26.71 psi/minute at an average depth of 16 feet and my SAC rate was 17.99 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

Discovered I was almost to the Marriott Courtyard when I got to the surface, so I spent the surface interval swimming South and a bit East, apparently. I dropped down on 20 feet of water, but really didn't recognize anything on the bottom. I went West towards the beach, then changed my mind and headed East. I ran into the North-South running swiss cheese reef with all the fish.

I got this great close up shot of a Smooth Trunkfish, then I continued East looking for the corridor with the Plow Anchor. I thought I found it and headed South but did not find the anchor. I was getting down to 1000 psi, so I surfaced.

Bottom temperature was 76; dive time was 39 minutes; consumption rate was 25.41 psi/minute at an average depth of 17 feet and my SAC rate was down to 16.77 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

 I swam to the SW towards Tower 4 during the surface interval. Dropped down to 24 feet and headed to the beach. I spotted this Giant Anemone and couldn't resist getting the picture.

I had less than 900 psi in my tank when I finished with the anemone picture and I dropped to the bottom and stayed close to reduce drag. I raced along and almost had a head on collision with a little Purplemouth Moray Eel. I don't know which of us was more frightened. By the time I calmed down and got a shot, though he was headed away from me.

Made it to the white sand and surfaced in about 6 feet of water to regroup and swim in. There was a 3-4 foot step up to the beach. I tried to manage it slowly, but the undertow pulled me back and I lost my footing several times. I tried to get some help from a breaking wave, but there wasn't much lift. I ended up crawling out on my knees.

I threw my fins up on the beach and quickly got upright, but somewhere along the way I injured my left foot. Pretty badly. I could barely walk on it by the time I made the shower. It swelled up like it did on Scubatyme with Ricther. I hoped it would return to normal like it did on the boat, but it was swollen and painful all Friday evening. I still could put no weight on it by Saturday morning, but by 2:00  pm the swelling went down significantly. I stayed off the foot as much as possible, but I went to the shop to fill tanks and by Saturday evening it seemed okay.

Bottom temperature was 76; dive time was only 27 minutes; consumption was 31.30 psi/minute at an average depth of 17 feet and my SAC rate jumped to 20.66 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

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