Daily Log Report for
12 May 1997

Submitted by Richard Pyle

The film crew left early this morning to go back to Blue Holes to shoot general reef scenes, and to work directly with Jack. Lisa, John, Pat and I spend most of the day at the marine lab, sorting and repairing bits of gear, updating yesterday's web page log report, and otherwise working at a leisurely pace. Shortly before 2 p.m., the four of us, along with Lori Colin and our boat driver Emilio, loaded the boat and headed back to our favorite spot at Augulpelu reef. We originally planned a short dive to our usual terrace at 300 feet, but we were finding so many new fishes, that we stretched it out quite a bit longer than originally expected. Pat went deeper than us with his rebreather, but didn't stay as long. During this dive, I sent a bag full of rocks to the surface with a lift-bag, which Lori & Pat will examine for invertebrate species of interest. I also placed a trap for mollusks that we will recover later.

During the longer-than-expected decompression, Lisa joined up with us and took some pictures. Later, I built a make-shift checker board in the sand with branches of dead coral. Using different-colored bits of coral and shells, John and I tried to play a game to help pass the time. Unfortunately, neither of us could remember the rules and some of the shells we used for our "checkers" were quite alive and kept crawling away, so we abandoned the idea.

Tomorrow, we will return to the Blue Holes with the film crew.

Dive Number 1 of 1
Divers: Richard Pyle, John Earle, Pat Colin

Solid line indicates depth, dashes ("-") indicate
decompression ceilings, bar ("|") represents cleared to surface.
Max. Depth: 305 feet (92 meters) Time: 2:44 pm Duration: 3 hr, 36 min
Location: Augulpelu Reef; E side of reef; "D2" (07 16.41' N, 134 31.44' E).
Marine Life: We found a wide assortment of things today. We got five different Trimma species (tiny but colorful gobies), a fascinating little scorpionfish, an apparently new dragonetfish, another species of Plectranthias which I had seen before at Papua New Guinea, and best of all (from my perspective), a stunning new Liopropoma. We also collected a colorful Symphysanodon (a relative of snappers), and a new record other wrasse, Bodianus izuensis. I also picked up an unusual heart urchin, and sent a bag full of rocks to the surface for closer inspection of the marine life living on them. We caught a variety of other species, including a clingfish, a percophidid, a bythitid, and some types of Pseudanthias, but either they are not new species, or I didn't get good photos of them, so they are not featured here.
Remarks: We ended up staying longer than we originally intended to on the bottom, because we were finding so many good new fishes. Pat came down with his rebreather and joined us for the first 10 minutes or so. My first task upon arriving at the terrace was to fill a mesh bag with rocks from the bottom and send them to the surface in a lift-bag. This went smoothly, and then I placed a small mollusk trap in a cave near the terrace and then joined John in collecting fishes on the wall. During decompression, I met up with Lisa, who was taking pictures with a Nikonos camera with a 15-mm lens. Lisa's dive ended before we finished decompression, so John and I just sat in shallow water at the top of the drop and watched fish swim by. At one point I think I actually drifted off to sleep for a few minutes (not a problem - it was actually intentional), but I figured that might not be the best thing to do while underwater. I then constructed a checker board in the sand out of dead coral branches, and John and I got different-colored shells to play checkers, in order to help pass the time. Unfortunately, neither of us could remember the rules, and some of the shells we used for the checkers were alive and kept crawling away, so we decided to call it quits and returned to the boat.

Disclaimer: Several aspects of the dive profile(s) illustrated above deviate from conventional wisdom regarding appropriate decompression procedures. The dives referred to on these web pages are of an experimental nature, and all persons involved with these dives are fully cognizant of the associated risks. The decompression practices followed on these dives are derived from published information, in conjunction with the many years of extensive experience of the divers involved. These practices have not been tested under controlled conditions, and may not work equally well for all divers. Kids, don't try this at home!!

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