Dive #121 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:

107h
35m


Dive Info:

Dive Start:
10:50AM

Bottom Time:
56 minutes

Maximum Depth:
66 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
500 psi

Weather Conditions:
90F

Surface Conditions:
Calm

Surface Water Temperature:
86F

Bottom Water Temperature:
82F

Visibility:
70 feet
121
TITLE
* * *
July 5,
2002
THE CAGE
ISLAMORADA, FLORIDA KEYS, USA
BOAT DIVE
VIDEO
Linda, Janel, and Johnny
Photo
Linda was never too comfortable with this adult remora
Videograph by Rich Torkington in Florida Keys 2002 
Dive Journal: Were finally at Cage, and we again start out southeast to seek out the deeper waters. The reef does indeed slowly slope downward, and the four of us swim steadily quite a ways exploring.

As we go, we encounter a very interesting character who swims right up to us, looks us over, swims past, then starts circling and repeating the act. Very peculiar. Each time I see him approach, I see Linda flinch and turn to face him. Its an adult shark sucker (remora), checking us over to see if we represent a plausible ride for him. I later learn that this guy totally freaks Linda out every time he buzzes us, because she just isnt sure what this flat headed shark-looking thing is. With no dorsal fin and a big sneaker-like imprint in its head.

We continue down the gradual slope, eventually reaching about 60 feet. Were certainly at a limit for Johnny, in fact maybe a bit past it. That doesnt stop him from cruising out to the sand flats and burying his depth gauge there, reaching a personal depth record of 71 feet, before we notice. Turkey bait.

We find the edge of the reef, then head NE-ish over a variety of sandy patches and reef ridges. There are lots of nooks and crannies but not a whole lot of fish life. There are a few hamlets, barred and butter. There is also a great encounter with a blue angelfish, and I finally get a few very nice video frames of this guy.

A great little hawksbill turtle makes a showing, and Janel and I take off slowly flanking him on both side in order to get some close video. He is not too concerned with us, but keeps up a steady pace that tires us out soon. Our pursuit, however, takes us quite a distance from the first sighting of him.

We vector back towards the boat, but only in a very general direction. Ive got an idea where it is, but weve swum a long way. Johnny has taken over the video cam and takes a long series of Star-Wars-like Johnnycam. Janel also caught a few frames of a Spanish mackerel.

I finally find the boat after a bunch of messing around - and one quick peek from the surface. Sarah is impressed that we are the only divers who have found it until I confess.

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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:
Lycra
Regulator:
SeaQuest
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
Weight:
6 lb
Water Type:
Salt
Video Equipment:
Sony DCR-TRV11 digital handycam in Top Dawg housing