I rose early today, the wind had died completely and the boat lay sideways to the occasional wave and would cause some rolling and creaking which was just loud enough to get me to wake. I played around with PhotoShop® to look at and edit the previous day's pictures and made a leisurely breakfast before cleaning up the cabin (my previous day's task which had been left undone) and getting underway.
I opted to stay put today and finally replace the broken salinity probe on the Spectra watermaker, after doing another dive or two.
The two dives were awesome, I can't think of another site which offers so much, at least with the unseasonably calm conditions that are present today. I decided to switch lens housing and put on the wide-angle lens for the first dive and was rewarded by very clear water that favoured making long-distance shots (long-distance underwater means more than 5 or 6 feet). After taking a break from the first dive I went in again with the same camera configuration but somehow, perhaps due to the angle of the sun, the visibility wasn't quite as good but I got some great images nonetheless. I'd decided to venture further around the rock but somehow it went too easily until I realized that there was a good current that was assisting me and would make returning a bit difficult so I turned around early and made it back to my dinghy with plenty of air left.
Back on the boat I thought I'd quickly replace the defective salinity probe on the Spectra Newport watermaker but the terms “quickly” and “repair” usually only appear in the same sentence with the word “not”; but I did manage to complete the repair just as the sun was setting.

Dive site at Ile Fourchue from above The little mooring ball can be seen to mark where the dive site is. I find it hard to imagine the diverstiy beneath the water when this picture, from above, looks so mundane.
(2012-02-18 11:11:46 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/9.0, 1/50s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Dive site at Ile Fourchue from above
Cloud covered distant Saba The distant island of Saba seen on a clear day with the top of the volcanic island covered in the typical perpetual cloud.
(2012-02-18 16:56:15 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/7.1, 1/800s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
[17°57'24.66"N 62°54'19.19"W (facing SW)]
Cloud covered distant Saba
Fourchue vista The unusually clear waters with the calm waves and nonexistant wind made for clear wide-angle distance shots, at least for this morning's dive.
(2012-02-18 11:52:27 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/50s] ISO 100 Focus 0.35m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Fourchue vista
Goby and sea feather Goby and sea feather
(2012-02-18 15:37:56 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/6.3, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.27m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Goby and sea feather
Rocky landscape at Ile Fourchue The unusually clear waters with the calm waves and nonexistant wind made for clear wide-angle distance shots, at least for this morning's dive.
(2012-02-18 11:44:37 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/9.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.30m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Rocky landscape at Ile Fourchue
Trumpetfish Trumpetfish
(2012-02-18 11:47:34 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.28m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Trumpetfish
Colorful growth on the rocks Colorful growth on the rocks
(2012-02-18 11:48:22 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.28m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Colorful growth on the rocks
Blue Vista The unusually clear waters with the calm waves and nonexistant wind made for clear wide-angle distance shots, at least for this morning's dive.
(2012-02-18 11:49:04 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/50s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Blue Vista
Sandy bottom at Ile Fourchue Sandy bottom at Ile Fourchue
(2012-02-18 11:49:17 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/100s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Sandy bottom at Ile Fourchue
Hovering Great Barracuda On this second dive of the day I noticed many schools of barracuda. I saw at least 30 in total and I wonder where they all came from, and why - perhaps it was feeding time.
(2012-02-18 15:34:15 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/6.3, 1/80s] ISO 100 Focus 0.35m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Hovering Great Barracuda
Whitespotted Filefish This odd-looking fish caught my eye due to its unusual shape.
(2012-02-18 11:51:18 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.27m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Whitespotted Filefish
Spot the Red Hind I was looking at taking this shot of the fan coral when I noticed the Red Hind hovering the background (and hoping I'd disappear quickly).
(2012-02-18 11:52:07 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.27m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Spot the Red Hind
Pair of Spotfin Butterflyfish Pair of Spotfin Butterflyfish
(2012-02-18 15:43:57 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/6.3, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Pair of Spotfin Butterflyfish
Corals at 30 feet The unusually clear waters with the calm waves and nonexistant wind made for clear wide-angle distance shots, at least for this morning's dive.
(2012-02-18 11:53:16 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/25s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Corals at 30 feet
Field of Yellow Garden Eels Just as the fish identification book warned, even by lying still for several minutes the eels in the holes close to me wouldn't come out - the bubbles from my scuba gear were sufficient to keep them in their lairs.
(2012-02-18 11:59:03 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.30m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Field of Yellow Garden Eels
Two Toby on the reef Two Toby on the reef
(2012-02-18 12:02:53 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.30m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Two Toby on the reef
Solitary sponge in the sand Solitary sponge in the sand
(2012-02-18 12:04:13 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/20s] ISO 100 Focus 0.30m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Solitary sponge in the sand
Web Burrfish Although this picture isn't sharp, the web Burrfish is rare enough and odd-looking enough to warrant keeping a picture of.
(2012-02-18 12:06:47 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.27m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Web Burrfish
Rock Beauty in the rocks This one ignored me until I tried to approach, then moved away - just far enough away to make taking a closeup picture impossible
(2012-02-18 12:09:07 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Rock Beauty in the rocks
Pretty but unidentified This small shelled creature is quite pretty, but I have no idea what it might be.
(2012-02-18 12:12:12 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.24m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Pretty but unidentified
Looking at the surface The unusually clear waters with the calm waves and nonexistant wind made for clear wide-angle distance shots, at least for this morning's dive.
(2012-02-18 12:18:30 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/8.0, 1/100s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Looking at the surface
Conch moving about This very slow-moving conch was just getting ready to take another step - then it noticed me or the flash and retreated back into its shell.
(2012-02-18 15:49:22 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/6.3, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.30m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Conch moving about
Pair of Banded Butterflyfish A pair of Banded Butterflyfish moving about the rocks at Ile Fourchue, St. Barths.
(2012-02-18 15:44:04 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/6.3, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Pair of Banded Butterflyfish
Southern Stingray at the mooring I had just swum to the concrete mooring in order to ascend and saw the two eyes of this Southern Stingray look at me.
(2012-02-18 12:30:11 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/10.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Southern Stingray at the mooring
Southern Stingray departing I had approached just a little too close for (southern stingray) comfort.
(2012-02-18 12:30:30 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/16.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Southern Stingray departing
Caribbean Lobster This lobster was quite big and would have made a big meal for a family, but it is protected in the natural park of Ile Tintamarre, St. Barths.
(2012-02-18 15:24:38 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/16.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.32m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Caribbean Lobster
Looking up at the dinghy So close, but 3 minutes (a safety stop) away.
(2012-02-18 12:32:37 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/16.0, 1/40s] ISO 100 Focus 0.35m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Looking up at the dinghy
Squirrelfish checking me out Squirrelfish checking me out
(2012-02-18 15:08:16 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/16.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.30m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Squirrelfish checking me out
Southern Stingray buried in the sand I kept on edging closer to this ray in order to get a picture and it just stared at me, until it felt it was time to depart.
(2012-02-18 15:31:16 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/16.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.35m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Southern Stingray buried in the sand
Southern Stingray flying away I'd gotten just a bit too close, or else it was tired of the flash bulb going off, and it glided away.
(2012-02-18 15:33:13 NIKON D7000 with a "10.0-24.0 mm f/3.5-4.5" lens. [f/16.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus 0.35m)
[17°57'23.04"N 62°54'36.61"W ]
Southern Stingray flying away
New salinity probe The replacement salinity probe, give to me under warranty, before installation.
(2012-02-18 17:10:49 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.2, 1/60s] ISO 800 Focus 0.50m)
New salinity probe
Spectra Newport repair The Spectra Newport main system opened up in order to replace the defective salinity probe. Although it might look busy, most of the work involved was cutting wire ties and replacing the probe itself (plus putting on new wire ties when the job was complete).
(2012-02-18 17:59:07 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/60s] ISO 800 Focus 1.50m)
Spectra Newport repair
Defective Salinity Probe The old Spectra Newport salinity probe after replacing with a new one.
(2012-02-18 18:54:35 PENTAX Optio WS80 [f/6.5, 1/80s] ISO 250)
Defective Salinity Probe
Ile Fourchue day ends Another day comes to a glorious ending with a typical golden sunset as seen from the anchorage at Ile Fourchue, St. Barths.
(2012-02-18 18:11:07 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/10.0, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
[17°57'23.41"N 62°54'20.12"W (facing SW)]
Ile Fourchue day ends
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