For the second day of my Advanced class, Ethan and I rode out to Halfway Rock to work on some deep diving skills, and then some more night diving skills at Magnolia Rocks. The dive at Halfway Rock was amazing-so awesome that the view is almost indescribable. Halfway rock may look like a smallish rocky island from the surface, but underwater it is completely different. Gigantic slabs of grayish rock seem to be stacked on top of each other like a triangular house of playing cards. It extends from the surface all the way down to the bottom at ninety feet. You feel completely dwarfed as you swim around. The rocks are covered in black sea urchins, and we saw a few lobsters and little fish. It was really cool to be swimming in an environment so large, the visibility was excellent and the whole place was surrounded by very light minty green colored water. It’s beautiful.
The dive was awesome, until we hit the safety stop at thirty feet and I couldn’t stay down! Even though we dumped all the air out of my drysuit and BC, Ethan still had to hold onto me so that I didn’t shoot up to the surface. Another lesson learned- forgotten ankle weights makes a HUGE difference, especially with the buoyancy change in Aluminum 80s! I sure didn’t forget to put them on when we made the next dive at Magnolia Rocks!
The environment at Magnolia Rocks is beautiful too, but very different from Halfway Rock. This dive was a lot shallower (30-40 feet), the rocks were smaller and covered in long, flowing seaweed. There were lots of hiding spots for lobsters, which I was looking for, and then came face to face with a large pout- I was wicked surprised to see THAT!! It’s a dark gray fish with a large head and huge lips, whose body curls up into an eel-like tail. Neat creature. I would say that today’s class was definitely an exciting one!