Dive #112 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
© Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:

98h
30m


Dive Info:

Dive Start:
9:30AM

Bottom Time:
64 minutes

Maximum Depth:
27 feet

Safety Stop:
not needed

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
1100 psi

Weather Conditions:
92°F overcast

Surface Conditions:
Calm

Surface Water Temperature:
86°F

Bottom Water Temperature:
82°F

Visibility:
30 feet
112
TITLE
* * *˝
July 1,
2002
TELEPHONE
ISLAMORADA, FLORIDA KEYS, USA
BOAT DIVE
VIDEO
Linda, Janel, and Johnny (buddies), Jim (Atlanta)
Photo
A beautiful hogfish in the reddish brown phase, being cleaned by a neon goby
Videograph by Rich Torkington in Florida Keys 2002 
Dive Journal: This morning’s dive site is called Telephone and it is located near the edge of the 5-mile dropoff into deeper water. The flat patch of reef is located on a shallow sand flat just inshore of the dropoff, and is roughly shaped like an old telephone receiver pointing southeast. We follow a winding path around the reef, and I admit I am sort of pleased at finding the boat again using the compass only, especially after such a curvy path.

The visibility is definitely improved today, and the water is very calm. We are diving today with a friendly guest named Jim, who apparently hasn’t been diving for a long time. On his giant-stride entry off the stern, his weight belt slips off and sinks to the bottom (which could happen to anyone). I enter right after Jim and make a quick descent to retrieve the belt for him. As I am within 3 or 4 feet of the belt, there is a small nurse shark poised immediately next to the belt, as if guarding it. Nice start to the dive!

Johnny has grabbed the wrong BC this morning, and Captain Sarah laughs out loud because she recognizes that it is actually owned by Kathy, one of the bosomy-est women she knows. The BC is HUGE on John, and his tank literally swings around in front of him when he is submerged. John is pretty annoyed by the BC, but I am really impressed at how he patiently works through the dive with this inconvenience.
Photo

Janel does the video work today and captures quite a few nice sightings. There is a clumpy school of white margates, another new (albeit drab) fish for us, a member of the grunt family. She gets some nice artistic shots of a creased opening within a barrel sponge. Jim tells us later that he saw a turtle on this dive, but we missed it.

Near a big brain coral, Janel and I spy a great hogfish cleaning station. Janel catches some excellent video as the bright white hogfish cruises in, hovers, and descends into a swarm of neon gobies cleaning. The hogfish changes color in seconds, from a bright white to an orange rust color, an amazing transformation.

There are also a few nice grey angelfish, a yellow stingray, and a very cute porcupine fish hiding within a barrel sponge.

Even after switching the video camera off manual white balance last night, I still manage to leave it set incorrectly. Much of today’s video is hazy and semi-bleached out. Fortunately, at a view spots we luck out with the camera set correctly. And luckily, the computer post-processing of the still captures does wonders in eliminating most of the bad exposures.

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Dive
Info:
Fins:
Mares Avanti Quattro
Computer:
U S Divers Matrix
Tank:
80 ft3 Al
BCD:
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
BOAT
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
Mask:
U S Divers
Protection:
3mm full wetsuit
Regulator:
SeaQuest
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
Weight:
10 lb
Water Type:
Salt
Video Equipment:
Sony DCR-TRV11 digital handycam in Top Dawg housing