31 January 2015

Diving the Yankee Clipper Jacks

I left for the South Beach parking lot at about 7:30 am.  I was the first one there, then Luis came at 8:00 am and Leo came at 8:12 am.  Air temperature was 61 degrees.  I was cold.  Nonetheless, we geared up and got in the water. I suggested swimming out to the Jacks, or at least to the sand.  I wanted to maximize my photo time on the Jacks. We descended at the sand and I drifted a bit South with the current, but Leo and Luis were soon out of sight. I didn't see them again until they got back to the cars.

I got this picture of what I think are Cottonmouth Jacks a little South of the Yankee Clipper Jacks.
 Took this shot of a French Grunt on what must have been the 3-tiered reef, but South of the Jacks.
 Got this shot of a Hogfish.
and this shot of a Juvenile Beaugregory
This Spotfin Butterflyfish was on the reef to the South of the Jacks.

I never saw any single Jack, which seemed strange.  The cutouts in the reef were not familiar, either.  I assumed I had gotten set to the South by the current, so when I got to the sand after the reef, I headed North.  I found the Jacks but did not see Luis or Leo, so I decided to surface and look for them.

The Dive Time was 45 minutes; consumption was 28.56 psi/minute at an average depth of 19 feet; my SAC rate was 18.12 psi/minute and the RMV was 0.47 ft3/minute.

I looked but could not find Luis and Leo, so I decided to descend and take some pictures and just wait for them. As I went down, however, I spotted something shiny to the North. I left the Jacks to see what it was.  Turned out to be an aluminum Danforth anchor with about 3 feet of chain. I considered marking it and coming back for it, but decided to just carry it in. I ended up swimming it into about 3 feet of water when a wave somersaulted me.  I had my fins on, my camera in my left arm and the flag attached to my left side and the anchor in my right hand.  My mask strap came over my mask and I dropped the anchor in time to save my mask, but I was sitting in about two feet of water nearly on the beach. I got my fins off and managed to stand up and walk out, but I was dragging the flag.  I headed up to the truck and rinsed and stowed my gear.  Luis and Leo got there shortly after I did. Once we compared stories, I decided to head back into the water to see if I could find the anchor.

I spotted it in about two feet of water in between breaking waves that almost pushed me face down in the sand. The flukes were buried in sand, but I managed to grap the anchor and extract it and take it back to the truck.

Dive Time was 35 minutes; consumption was 34.06 psi/minute; SAC rate was 22.94 psi/minute and the RMV went to 0.59 ft3/minute.

30 January 2015

Diving the Yankee Clipper Jacks

Surface temperature was cold, but the wind was out of the NW and the ocean was flat.  I decided to dive. Got to the South Beach parking lot about 8:30 am, geared up and walked to the water.  Swam out towards the swim buoy, but descended over the sand. Got on the algae patch and spotted a small Burrfish, but it swam off while I was messing with the flag line, which had unspooled.

I did get this shot of a Dusky Jawfish,
 this shot of a Gray Angelfish, and
this Sand Perch.

I was shivering at 50 minutes, so I surfaced and warmed up a little.  There was a thermocline, and the surface water was a lot warmer. I also discovered that I had gotten set well North of the Jacks.  I was on the Eastern Edge of the 3-tiered reef, but well North of where I wanted to be. I descended and swam Southwest taking pictures and looking for shells.

Got this shot of a Seaweed Blenny basking in the sun,

this shot of a Slippery Dick,

and this shot of a Sharpnose Puffer showing off its painted eyes.

I got to the Jacks at about 1200 psi, but I was down to 900 psi when I left the Jacks and headed West to the beach.  Made it inside the swim buoys, but I was sucking the bottom of the tank. I was shivering for most of the dive.  


26 January 2015

Diving the Little Coral Knoll

It's been eight days since I have been diving.  Just so cold.  I decided to go to the State Park and dive the Little Coral Knoll off Tower 15.

I got to the Park about 8:30 am, parked, geared up and got in the water.  Swam out past the swim buoy and descended. Surface was windy, but it was a SW wind, so although there was a lot of surface current, the current was mild on the bottom. I went down and found the Big Rock.  Took some pictures, then headed South to the smaller rock, 130 degrees to the knee -high coral head, across the sand sea and South to the counterweight. From there I headed 130 degrees to the knoll. Hung with the fish and took pictures, including the following:

 Barred Hamlet
Blue Tang
Butter Hamlet

I surfaced at about 2000 psi to try to warm myself. I was so cold. Once I got feeling back in my hands, I descended onto the knoll, then headed off at 45 degrees to the Porthole Rocks.  Took pictures there, then swam back to the knoll and got some more shots there, including

 this shot of a Scrawled Cowfish with a Gray Angelfish in the background
and this shot of a hogfish yawning.

At 1000 psi, I headed back to the beach and ascended in 9 ft of water and 193 psi.