|Still not a keeper|
With weather calm, low sea state, I decided to take the dinghy on an outing over to South Bimini in search of more fertile grounds for the elusive conch. Dropped the anchor in about 15 feet of crystal clear water and jumped in fully armed for conch finding. There to my surprise were little mounts sticking up on the bottom with little spines sticking out of them. With trepidation, I got to the bottom, picked up the spiny shell and it was a conch about a foot across. The mother load!! I found it! Back at the surface I examined it further and found it was full of sand! No animal. Back to the bottom to get more, and all of them had previously expired. I was so depressed. Here finally figuring out how to do it and I was still at ground 0.
One issue I was concerned about was getting back into the dinghy. Back on the sand flats, one merrily stood on the bottom, gave a slight hop and in the dinghy you go. Out here in 15 feet of water, that was not so easy. Back in my younger diving days, using the flippers to kick into the dinghy was no problem, however, 40 years later and 50 pounds heavier, that was not to happen. Fortunately, having thought this issue out a little, I had rigged the bow line to hang over the oar lock, giving me something to grab hold of as I attempted to launch myself into the dinghy. I am happy to report that since I am writing this, that idea worked well. Still, no keepable conch.