Friday, November 28, 2008

I don't think I blinked the entire time

I have been dragging this out for far too long now.

I can blame part of it on work and the holiday and on not wanting to be tied to the computer every spare minute.

But enough is enough. I need to finish the vacation blogging. So, I will do this post to log in the last dive we did Nov. 13 and then another post to log in the three dives we did Nov. 14.

And maybe I will do one last post of just the other non-dive photos that are interesting.
So, three more posts?

OK. The plan is to be done with this by the end of the day tomorrow so I don't go into my weekend with it. Besides, I have some food to blog about, too.

Now, let's get on with it.

Here are the details on my first night dive.

Coki Beach, St. Thomas, USVI
Nov. 13, 2008
Logged dive: No. 27
Max depth: 55 feet
Bottomtime: 50 minutes

As I said, this was my first night dive. I really did not have any idea what to expect.

Even after the manfriend told me about the night dives he had done, I was still totally in the dark, so to speak.

We got to Coki Beach just before dusk and waited for Peter to get there.

By the time we got all our gear ready and Peter went over the dive plan and explained a bit about night diving to me, the sun was gone and we were ready to get in the water.

This was the easiest beach entry I've done. There is basically no surf here.

Peter explained that we would drop down and swim out over the sand for a couple minutes. Then we would start to see bits of coral where the reef started.

We would swim along the edge of the reef for a bit, heading toward Coral World.

When it was time to turn around, we would come back over the reef, back to the sand and make our exit back at the beach.

Peter gave us flashlights to use.

Wow, it really was dark!

I had thought about taking mostly video on this dive, but soon realized that it was not really going to work out unless I had a large dedicated light on the camera.

I did take a snippet of it, below, just to give an idea of what it was like.

After that I switched to photo mode.

This is an octopus, curled up in the sand. Anytime I had seen them during the day they were tucked into rocky areas.

This is a very long-limbed anemone. It was using those crazy limbs to reach out and reel in some of those tiny blue fish.

This one did not seem to be doing the same kind of business as the longer-limbed one.

We passed what looks like the base of a table sitting in the sand.

As with most things that end up on the ocean floor, something has made a home in it. This looks to be an arrow crab or something similar.

Also sitting in the sand was this guy, below.

He headed out after I took a couple pictures.

Peter took my camera and followed him to get a couple more pictures.

And then he was off again, fleeing the crazy humanfish with their crazy flashing things.

After a while, not that long really, it became too much to try to work the flashlight and the camera and really pay attention.

So I gave up on the photos.

I really wanted to just see everything that was happening.

And man, was it creepy! Awesome, but creepy.

In addition to the critters above, we saw a spotted eel sliding through the water looking for a good place in some rocks. They are so cool but also so odd that they are a little frightening.

There were several fish, but they seemed to be more in slow motion at night than during the day.

When we hit the support pipes that come down into the water from Coral World, we turned around and headed back over the reef.

Finally, back over the sand to the beach. Amazing. We surfaced in exactly the same spot where we had descended. I wonder how many times Peter has done that dive?

Once we had our fins off and were exiting the water, Peter asked me how it was, my first night dive.

"It was so cool and so creepy! I don't think I blinked the whole time!"


April Cavanaugh (& Family!) said...

Wow, Jill...that sounded so cool! I am impressed. I handled the dive okay during daylight, but I think a night dive might freak me out a bit since I'm a little claustrophobic. I loved the photos you were able to take. I saw a rather large octopus when I dove in Mexico. It was awesome! I showed it to everyone else. Way to go!

ReesePie said...

Wow! Night diving must be pretty awesome! I would have to really focus on the fish to not freak myself out with all the "what if"'s but it looks like you saw some great stuff!