Todd and I met at Loblolly parking lot for our fish count dive. We had planned to do the point but the cove looked so much more convenient and doable, being right there with high tide coming in. The currents visible on the surface at the shores of Loblolly Point made it easy decision. Our dive was at Loblolly Cove for fish count.
It is so easy to get stuff down, don on and then get in the water at Loblolly Cove. I told Todd “We will probably see some sand lances”, he hasn’t seen any before. I hoped we would see some, but the fish are never made to order, unfortunately!
The visibility was ok at the beginning. We followed the yellow sand road. The sand itself is beautiful, once you look closer you realize that what you call sand is actually bunch of tiny shiny sea shells, it is like jewels paved the way during our dive. Once we came to the end of the jewel road we took 60 degrees toward the point on the right end of the cove. It got deeper ever so slowly and the visibility just did not get any better. There were bigass stripers (or maybe just one); I kept seeing one whenever I lift my head up but it would swim away as soon as I got my camera up. After 4-5 tries I gave up, I would still be ok without a striper photo in my camera.
Almost an hour into the dive, I am guessing close to the point, Todd signaled me to turn around. I was actually expecting earlier, as he expected 55 min dive and he tends to feel cold, even earlier than me. But, finally he signaled to turn around. The not-so-eventful-dive continued until we find the yellow sand road, then we saw sand lances shooting in and out of the sand. Once in a while a striper would rush in after them. That’s fun, my buddy had seen something new. Can’t beat a dive where you see something new.
Stripers were on the side, sand lances are even harder to shoot, you never know when they will appear and which way they will be rushing to. Then I saw one, just swimming but with lack of coordination. There was definitely something wrong with it. I speculate, but definitely sure (see, I am a scientist 😛 ), that it just hit its head on a rock which was hidden under the sand as it was shooting under the sand. Ouch, that must have hurt! Well, that is going to be food soon, probably to the hermit crabs! shame!
Finally we came to the shore, Todd was happy that we had a nice long dive. It was a good dive, we saw land lances, stripers, a gunnel and a few grubbies. We did have stuff to report to reef.org survey. It was a good dive, though I hope the viz improves a bit soon.
25 ft, 98 min, 5-8 ft viz, 62 F
Buddy: Todd Boothroyd