Dive #154 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
© Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:


Dive Info:

Dive Start:

Bottom Time:
53 minutes

Maximum Depth:
31 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
1000 psi

Weather Conditions:
Sunny 84°F

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

60+ feet
* * *
Oct. 13,
Janel, Linda and Johnny
We were studying this jawfish just before Janel hit the fire coral
Videograph by Rich Torkington in Bahamas 2003 
Dive Journal: We motor back from Allan’s Cay quickly and meet up with the AquaCat for our 3rd dive. We’re moored at Barracuda Shoals, and we transfer almost directly from the SeaDog into our dive gear.

Once in the water and submerged, I see that I’ve got video camera trouble right away. We swim about 30 yards from the boat in 30’ of water, and since it’s shallow I decide I’m going to surface and fix the problem. I meet Gavin on the dive platform and he helps me dry the housing so I can open it and check the cables. Seems the “confused logic” problem has struck me again, and the camera is fixed once I remove the primary battery and replace it, this time hanging off the platform mostly in the water. I hate to expose the camera so close to the open water, but, ya gotta take some chances…

Rejoining Janel, Linda, and John, we start touring the reef. For some reason, I also soon realize I haven’t digested the dive briefing, the compass bearings, or the boat location very well, and I just never get settled on navigating the dive. Soon we’re off on a careening figure-eight sort of pattern, seeing some nice reef features nonetheless.

After a while, Linda and Johnny decide they’ll surface, so Janel and I go off in search of more sights. We discover a big school of southern sennets, and swim a long way to get closer to them. We then spy one of the fishes Gavin has told us to look for, a group of yellow headed jawfish. Both of us hunker down into the sand and examine them for a few minutes. It is then that Janel suddenly grabs my arm. Her eyes are wide and teary and she points first to her leg, and then to the surface in a request to head up. We exchange underwater signs and begin a swim back to the boat, even though I honestly am not sure where it is.

Videograph by John Torkington in Bahamas 2003 
We swim for a few minutes, and Janel is clearly upset and not swimming very well. It is then that I see a rising welt on her leg and I suspect that nematocysts of some kind are the culprit, maybe hydroids or a jellyfish perhaps. Since we’re so shallow, and I’m not proud, we decide to surface so we can vector directly to the boat. We come up some 100 yards away, and we then have to arm-signal to the crew to let them know we’re OK (shameful).

We swim again towards the boat around 10 feet deep, surfacing one more time in the process, and finally reach the stern to exit. I call up to Gavin that we’re OK but Janel needs some vinegar. Her injury is a nasty scrape with fire coral, and she’s got a big crescent-shaped weal just above her knee. Ouch! She’s naturally upset about it, but nice words from Gavin and Lars help her with the pain, and she deals with it well.
Mares Avanti Quattro
U S Divers Matrix
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
2mm shorty
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
10 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment:
Sony DCR-TRV11 digital handycam in Top Dawg housing