|Dive #1: West Bank Buoy #5 -- Excellent dive. Lots
of critters out and about: ocean triggers, parrot fish, tons of huge barracuda, huge
streaming schools of crevalle jacks, lognose butterflyfish, etc.
Dive #2: West
Bank Buoy #5 -- Another great dive, but this one was about the little things.
Whitespotted filefish, including a juvenile about 3 inches in size. We also saw a
couple of cooperative queen angels, a huge green moray, more. Still, the coolest
part was the schools of crevalle jacks, hundreds of them, but in a single-file line in
groups of ten or fifteen. The came in a line, out of the blue distances to my left,
moving off to the right.
Dive #3: East Bank Buoy #7 -- First dive with the 105mm lens, and it's
obvious that this is the lens for fish portraits. The working distance is incredible. I
found a juvy queen angel and a juvy yellowtail damselfish, and neither was particularly
difficult to photograph. Neither eactly cooperated, but the lens let me stay far enough
away that I was able to bring home a couple of decent shots anyway.
Dive #4: East Bank Buoy #7 -- Short dive with Beth to try one more
swipe at that yellowtail damselfish. Success, I think. No sign of the queen angel.
I also found a pair of lizardfish, late in the dive, and got a couple of shots of them.
Dive #5: East Bank Buoy #7 -- Night Dive! Not much to tell, as this
was only an "average" FG night dive. Took a picture of 2 banded coral shrimp
next to a slipper lobster, played with a puffer, and chased off that cursed dog snapper
with my light.
The funniest sight was the attack of the crazed balloonfish. Ed and I were
swimming along peacefully, until we spooked a small balloonfish. It swam up Ed's
light beam at maximum speed, did a couple of quick spirals around his body & head, and
them shot off towards the surface. Weird, but hilarious.
Dive #6: Stetson Bank Buoy #3 -- Stetson never disappoints. This dive
delivered the whole range, from tiny to large. The dive started with a huge stingray on
the ground right next to the mooring bolt. I saw every manner of small fish while
touring, along with a medium-sized spotted moray, another golden smooth trunkfish, and a
hand-sized juvenile French Angelfish.
The end of the dive was not fun. The current picked up, and by safety-stop time
it was cooking along at 2+ knots. I had to use 2 hands to hold on to the side line, with
the line vibratin wildly the whole time. I sat out the next dive at Stetson due to rough
seas, poor light, and general exhaustion, and the rig dive got scrapped due to the seas,
currents, and wind. Only six dives this trip, but that was enough.
A rock beauty at West Bank (Auto 35)
A juvenile Queen Angelfish.
My favorite fish in the sea, the juvenile yellowtail damselfish.
A spotted moray at night (Auto 35)
A juevnile French Angelfish at Stetson Bank.
The rare and beautiful Golden Smooth Trunkfish.