Dive conditions improved greatly

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on November 11, 2006 at 16:17:29:

Jeff Shaw joined me for a nice dive this morning at the Marineland platform. We made a leisurely surface swim out to the buoy. The water was a murky green until we hit forty feet. The vis opened up to about twenty feet there. While I went into macro mode Jeff made laps around the pool. I'd been seeing nudibranchs on the edges of my photos when I got home that I didn't see during the dive, so I decided to crawl very slowly today and check out every clump of bryozoan. I didn't find any Polycera atras as I'd seen in my pictures but I did find the two smallest Hopkin's Rose nudis I've ever seen.

Among the thick growth were Hermissenda crassicornis by the dozens, Facelina stearnsi, Flabellina trilineata and many that I missed today but have seen there in the past few weeks. At the top of one of the crosses was a crab coverd with so much bryozoan I was surprised not to find nudibranchs all over him.

We spent a little over twenty minutes there before following the line back toward the 120 Reef. I found four Mantis shrimp holes in the sand, but only two were sticking their heads out. None of my shots came out. A lone Sarcastic Fringehead guarded the line. He's done a good job, as the line was unbroken today.

When we arrived at the end I took out my spool to add another section of line. An octopus walked out from under the post I have the line tied to. I tried to coax him back but he wanted to head for the beach. I added the new line and finished my original plan to have line all the way from Greg's Pipe in fifteen feet near the entry point all the way outto the platform.
When we got back onshore Jeff entertained three divers nearby. His drysuit (my old one)leaked...a lot! I told him to lay on a rock with his head pointing downhill while I lifted his legs. I was hard to keep his neckseal open because he was laughing so much. After dumping a lot of water he got up and emptied his sleeves. After flooding my drysuits so many times it was a pleasure watching someone else experience it. :)

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