Got to the beach early but managed to fritter away my time and got in the water 8 minutes earlier than yesterday. Took the camera and headed to the East looking for the plow anchor. I swam slowly, trying to spot a Banded Tube Dwelling Anemone. I haven't seen any lately and I am curious as to why. Certainly did not see any this morning. Did get this shot of a Sharpnose Puffer.
Got into a little Staghorn coral, but not the big thickets I know are out there. Kept swimming East to water 23 feet or deeper, but I never got there. I was looking for the tire and the L-shaped cable, but I didn't find them. Surfaced at 40 minutes.
Bottom temperature was 78 degrees; maximum depth was 21 feet; bottom time was 40 minutes; SAC rate was 18.38 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.
Although I thought I had done a decent job of holding a 90 degree bearing, I was past the second building and well on my way to the Marriott when I hit the surface. I spent the surface interval swimming South then dropped into 22 feet of water. I did not recognize the area, at all. I thought I might be too far East, so I headed West looking for the Swiss Cheese Reef, but I couldn't find that, either. Just swam around until 40 minutes and surfaced to see where I was.
Got this shot of an Intermediate French Angelfish
Bottom temperature was 78 degrees; maximum depth was 23 feet; dive time was 40 minutes and my SAC rate was 18.85 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.
Just drifted during this short surface interval. I was concerned that I had not seen the plow anchor and Luis expected to help haul it in this morning. Still, I was low on gas. I made one pass going North looking for the tire and the L-shaped cable, but no luck. I turned and headed back to the beach.
Got this shot of a Yellow Sand Ray.
Bottom temperature was 78 degrees; maximum depth was 24 feet; dive time was 31 minutes and my SAC rate was 18.31 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.
Luis met me at the South Beach parking lot. I was still warming up after my first dives. We talked about the plow anchor I had previously located and how I had failed to locate it earlier this morning. Then we geared up and got in the water. Swam on the surface out to the swim buoy and descended. Headed East.
I really focused on holding my bearing. We swam out to 24 feet of water and started looking. I first went North and South on the sand, but did not see the tire and the L-shaped cable. So I surfaced to see where I was. We were East of the buoy and off the catamaran masts. Should be the right spot. Went back down and looked. Spotted the tire. It was not alone on the sand, but set back on a bit of uncovered reef. Headed West and spotted the line then the anchor. Then the work began.
I brought a hammer and cold chisel and tried to break some of the chain links, but had no luck. Luis saw what I was trying to do and took over. He managed to break one of the links, so now we were rid of the line, but still stuck with the heavy chain. I coiled it up and tied it off and Luis hooked his lift bag onto the coiled chain. Mine was hooked to the head of the anchor and had no trouble lifting that.
Unfortunately, Luis' lift bag leaked terribly. Though it would lift the coiled chain, it only held air for a few minutes, then sank. Luis put his SMB sausage on the coil and that helped. He had his finger spool from the SMB and stayed on the bottom pulling the anchor and chain while I held onto the chain and pulled it along at about 12 feet. We muddled along like that and finally got to white sand near the beach. Wish I could have gotten pictures of us bobbing along pulling the anchor and chain, but I never would have been able to get out of the water if I had the camera with me.
At about 4 ft we stood up and started disconnecting bags and anchor. Then we went ashore and dropped out gear so we could go back out and bring in the anchor. The step on the beach was about 2 feet and a stretch for me, but I made it twice. We left the anchor and chain on the beach and took the gear back to the truck, which was no small distance. We came ashore in front of Tower 3 and had to walk down to Tower 4, where we parked, but I was just happy to get to the beach. I did notice that I had lost my hammer.
Bottom temperature was 78 degrees; maximum depth was 24 feet; dive time was 76 minutes and my SAC rate was 25.59 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.
Luis wanted to make a second dive and talked me into it. It wasn't a tough sell since I had lost the hammer somewhere over the white sand and since the likely spot was where we go out of the water. I wanted to go back and look for the hammer. Since I thought I would be searching for lost gear, I did not take my camera as it is often just in the way. We got in the water in front of Tower 3 and a fellow noticed Luie looking for something and asked what we'd lost. Luis told him we lost a hammer and he said it was with his stuff on the beach. His boy had stubbed his toe on it, so he had removed it from the water. I should have brought my camera. We headed out East off Tower 3, which was a new area, except we got set by the current and ended up where the anchor had been. I collected shells and just looked at things. Luis took pictures. It was a pleasant dive, but I was exhausted at the end of it. Maybe it wasn't five hours in the water that morning, but it was close at 284 minutes. I was the worse for wear.
Bottom temperature was 78 degrees; maximum depth was 23 feet; dive time was 97 minutes and my SAC rate was 15.13 psi/minute (compared to 25.59 psi/minute towing the anchor).