Rocky Point, June 2014, followup
  • Calum and I decided to try to find Johnny Leatherback the next day. From Sandy Beach the conditions looked worse than yesterday, but we went to the cove anyway. Surprisingly the tide was a little higher and the waves looked good. The visibility also looked better. The wind must have been coming from behind the white house so the cove was protected.

    We eagerly went back to town for air, since we didn't do that yet. At the dive shop Dave told us he'd seen a frogfish at bird island. I yawned and told him about the sea turtle. Apparently they do get sea turtles around bird island occasionally, but in the winter.

    So, back to the cove. The higher tide made entrance straighforward. We hopped off the end of the path directly onto a 2' long octopus. It was doing it's best "trying not to be seen" move, because it couldn't go anywhere. It closed it's eyes, clearly thinking "if I can't see them, maybe they can't see me." It didn't work.

    Further into the dive we found honest to goodness branching coral, a ball-shaped looking thing about a foot in diameter. As you waved your hands over it the rusty-brown polyps hid en mass, leaving the coral looking white in places. After a few seconds they would come back and make it look brown again. Quite cool, and definitely living coral. Calum had pictures (and video) so hopefully that came out.

    Next was the massive swarm of sergeant majors that followed us for a few minutes. I felt like Dave in the stars. "What are you doing, Dave?". They were just starting the laying season, one or two were purple. According to Wikipedia it's the males that turn purple and protect the eggs.

    Fewer triggerfish this time, and no Johnny Leatherback. We went further out onto the fringes of the reef, max depth was 38'. On the way back we found another ball of coral, a smaller one, about 6". So there's more than one colony, which bodes well I think. It did the same hidey wavey thing. We'll try to match the species. Definitely different from the Bird Island green coral though.

    As we proceeded due north we drifted slightly and ended up in the sandy part of the cove. As usual, the beginning of the end involved surfacing to figure out where the hell we were, but this time following a 3 minute safety stop. Calum had run out of air but I still had plenty so I descended to continue my search for Johnny. I missed the path but the seas were light so egress was a dawdle.

    Dive time 1:02. Max depth 38'. Great dive, well worth the drive down. One of these days we'll be smart enough to throw some direction finding rocks down there so we can avoid getting lost. Also, we suggest a guest book for the orange house so that we can let them know how much we appreciate using their patio.
  • Gotta watch out for those octopusses!

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