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Monday, 19 May 2014

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

Today was a strange day. If you'd blindfolded me and threw me in the water I would have said I was diving back in Scotland (minus the dry suit and cold water). Still there's no such thing as a bad dive even though it did make for trickier than usual conditions for the old camera.

A dark and foreboding sky......
With a with blowing around 10-12 knots ENE, Captain Dave took us South to try and outrun the weather with little success but it's not as if we weren't going to get wet anyway, right?

First port of call was Crusher's Wall which has some nice cuts on the top to take you out to the drop off and a nice pinnacle for some photo opportunities with the local snappers.

Unfortunately as soon as Dave had mentioned about nurse sharks in the pre-dive brief, that was the jinx, so there was nothing to be seen in the blue today, just the usual shoals of barracuda and triggerfish with the odd lionfish cruising around.

Crusher's Wall is one I'd definitely like to get back to and explore with fewer people in the water and better overhead light as there is definitely potential for some great shots to be had from the fantastic scenery, cut outs and sponges. As always with the deeper wall dives though, be sensible and keep one eye on your NDL and the other on your air.

Just a non stop barrel of laughs at Crushers......
With another round of lashing rain, not to mention and mini tornado whipping away off on the horizon we motored along to Ironshore Gardens to see what we could see. Not my most favourite of places for macro as it predominately swim throughs but you never know what you're going to find. There was a hell of a lot of lobster out and about and I nearly got run over by one of the bigger ones as it went about it business.

A quick fin to the left prevents being trampled to death by a rampaging lobster.
There were a good selection of blennies and gobies just of the mini wall and on the coral head but they were well entrenched and a real bugger to get half decent shots of.

We also had a really nice selection of hamlets and damselfish hiding out amongst the staghorn coral, along with the grunts and squirrelfish seeking refuge from all the bubbles permeating the rock as the other divers wind their way through the multitude of maze like tunnels.

Towards the end of the dive I had a nice surprise find of a fringeback nudibranch heading over the sand, off to do whatever it is that nudibanchs do as well as a lovely little juvenile plumed hairy crab frantically waving it's claws at me. Reminds me of Vicky for some reason but I can't think why..........

And one nice orange sponge had another big orange lump right next to it but this one happened to be a spotted scorpionfish doing a sponge impersonation.

With the rain hounding us all the way back to the dock, we couldn't wait to get dried off and get a mug of ovaltine back at the ranch.

Captain Dave manfully driving the boat through the blinding rain in his anorak