1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - New Years in Australia 2007 - April 28, 2007 - May 12, 2007 - Suzuki's 1000th - November 18, 2007 - D2D New Years 2008: Cayman Islands - 2008 - 2009
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September 22, 2007: Boynton Beach, Florida

"Twin Ledges" - "Gulf Stream Ledges"
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My sister had needed stitches in her arm. She got the stitches out and wanted to celebrate with some diving ... I wanted to try out the new housing for the camera!
Diving in the Atlantic Ocean:
  • Directions from Tampa: I usually head down HW60 to Yeehaw Junction, then take the Turnpike south. I get off of the Turnpike at Lake Worth Road.
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Partly cloudy but very warm.

  • Personal Notes: Two very excellent dives.

    Twin Ledges felt like more than "twins" - just when you thought you were at the "bottom" ledge, there was another one farther down. Lots of things to photograph, including a Yellow Headed Jawfish, which I was very happy to spot and snap a lot of photos of. As a first dive, I didn't have much time to think about settings and stuff - Already I'm thinking of getting a second strobe and getting more parts for my strobe arms to give myself some more options with the one I have now. Small stuff was easy to shoot providing I didn't get too close and scare it away, and also had the strobe positioned to light it up.

    Gulfstream Ledges I had been on a couple of times before. This time, we had some swimming nurse sharks to keep us company. I got fairly close to a napping one we saw but couldn't get a shot off, and I spooked it. After a while I managed to get the camera adjusted to take halfway decent shots of the sharks and even some squid.

    Bert from Tampa Adventure Sports, my LDS, conned me into trying out a set of DiveRite fins with spring straps. My experience says that while they don't feel "tight", they do hold the fin on and they're easy to get on and off quickly (I would describe the feeling as "firm, but not tight"). I purchased a set - first new set of fins I've gotten since I started diving. They're a bit pricey (and you can get the spring straps separately, but they're like a third the price of the fins).

Pictures!

All pictures were taken with the Canon 30D and the 100mm macro lens. Note that it is a macro, so it does tend to do better when things are close, but then it is also a 100mm lens, which means big stuff that's 20-30 feet away won't fit in the frame. I like to describe the 100mm macro lens as a "good walking around lens, providing you don't mind moving around a lot to frame your shots, as it's a fixed focal length."
Twin Ledges
1/80-F10-ISO800

Bridled Goby, I think - note the white "bridle" coming from the mouth. Would have been a slightly better shot if I had gotten the strobe over him a bit. Didn't want to spook him though.
1/80-F10-ISO800

Bridled Goby, slightly better angle.
1/80-F10-ISO800

Yellowhead Jawfish. Was quite happy to spot him and was even happier that he decided to stay out of his hole enough for me to get some really good shots.
1/80-F10-ISO800

Yellowhead Jawfish. He relaxed enough to even look around a bit.
1/80-F10-ISO800

Yellowhead Jawfish.
1/80-F10-ISO800

Yellowhead Jawfish. Here he had just taken a bite at something in the water.
1/80-F10-ISO800

Christmas Tree Worm.
1/80-F10-ISO800

I'm not sure what these are - I was amazed I managed to get one anywhere near focused.
1/80-F10-ISO800

The macro lens makes it look like I'm closer than I am to this Spotted Moray.
1/80-F14-ISO800

Good shot of the Spotted Moray's nose.
1/80-F14-ISO800

Smile for the camera!
1/80-F14-ISO800

A quick snapshot of an Angelfish.
1/80-F14-ISO800

A Feather Duster Worm, possibly "Variegated Variety". The current prevented me from getting the top down angle.
1/80-F14-ISO800

Split-Crown Feather Duster.
1/80-F14-ISO800

I've always been told that these were a variant of soft coral. They're not easy to shoot in high current - they move a lot.
1/80-F14-ISO800
1/80-F14-ISO800
1/80-F14-ISO800
1/80-F14-ISO800

Not very cooperative as a photography subject, I managed to get some detail on this Balloon Fish.
1/80-F14-ISO800
1/80-F14-ISO800
1/80-F14-ISO200

This Goldentail Moray seemed to be saying "Hiya!"
1/80-F14-ISO200
1/80-F14-ISO200
1/80-F14-ISO400

It took some doing to get this Tobaccofish. They tend to move quickly and the auto focus tends to lock onto the reef instead of the fish. I had to do what I could to push the button halfway down and then use the manual focus to get it where I wanted it.
1/80-F14-ISO400

This Christmas Tree Worm withdrew his gills just after I fired off the shot ...
1/80-F14-ISO400

Almost Smooth Trunkfish butt - but I got him before all I could get was tail.
1/80-F14-ISO400

Grabbing a bit of food ...
1/80-F14-ISO400

A Star Horseshoe Worm. Didn't really get that close - didn't want to spook it.
Gulf Stream Ledges
1/80-F14-ISO400

Honeycomb Cowfish.
1/80-F14-ISO400

Pederson Cleaner Shrimp.
1/80-F14-ISO400

Pederson Cleaner Shrimp, slightly better angle showing more antennae.
1/80-F14-ISO400

He had a slightly smaller buddy nearby.
1/80-F14-ISO400

I would have been happy if this were the only Balloonfish shot I had gotten - I wanted to get the pattern of stuff in the eye; from what I understand, it's an algae.
1/80-F14-ISO400

Split-Crown Feather Duster.
1/80-F14-ISO400

Spotted Moray; the teeth are a little more noticable.
1/80-F14-ISO400

Could have used a slightly better angle with the strobe (or a second strobe) to light up his mouth.
1/80-F14-ISO400

A really good shot of his upper teeth.
1/80-F14-ISO400

About half of the Christmas Tree Worms around this guy hid their gills.
1/80-F18-ISO400

The macro lens makes these Goldentail Morays look a lot bigger than they are.
1/80-F14-ISO400

I took a lot of shots of this guy, but didn't get a chance to get a different angle.
1/80-F14-ISO400

An amazingly sharp shot of a Split-Crown Feather Duster.
1/80-F14-ISO400

Almost looks like he's trying to talk to me.
1/80-F14-ISO400
1/80-F14-ISO400

He gave me a little more of a profile.
1/80-F14-ISO400

This Trumpetfish wasn't all that cooperative, and with the macro lens I'm lucky to get the whole head in the frame anyway.
1/80-F7.1-ISO400

I kept my distance from this Nurse Shark, but she hung around for a while so I got a lot of shots of her. I was happy that the shots I was getting seemed to be clear enough, given the lens I was using and the lighting conditions, and my distance from the subject (at least 30 feet here).
1/80-F7.1-ISO400
1/80-F7.1-ISO400
1/80-F7.1-ISO400
1/80-F7.1-ISO400

None of the lenses I have can do image stabilization - I can't afford it! So I feel very lucky when I get a sharp shot of a moving subject.
1/80-F7.1-ISO400
1/80-F9.0-ISO400

Caribbean Reef Squid - hard to shoot, very shy and very quick, and sometimes seem to blend into the background more than sharks do.
1/80-F14-ISO400
1/80-F8.0-ISO400

I tried to get a lot of shots since there seemed to be more than ten of these Reef Squid around, but this was really the only one that wasn't blurry due to motion ...
1/80-F10-ISO200

Porcupinefish head.
1/60-9.0-ISO320

Suzukifish!


Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
371 Twin Ledges 65 feet 60 min. 84 F
372 Gulf Stream Ledges 63 feet 70 min. 84 F
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