The calm before the storm.....

It is near the end of the season so Nunkie and the Ancient Diver decided to have a dip before lifting out Calypso and off they went with a few guys and gals from the RAF club to have a dip at the Blue Caps

I will report the vis and such like but it is a bit academic as the season may well be done and dusted, certainly the 18ft swell 'forecast' for the weekend and early in November will have a major impact on the ongoing visibility, so without further ado......

The vis at Blue Caps was around 6m, although it was only a 'reported' 2m on the north side of Harcarrs; and

The temperature was fractionally above 11degC, BUT after the bad weather the water will be well mixed and there will be a sudden and 'orrid drop:

The RAF chaps wanted a couple of dips but the conditions were 'strange' and with a large spring tide things were restricted for a first dip on the north side of the Islands, then with a strange swell pattern with a huge swell running onto the Wamses and also into the Hopper it was very starnge to have relatively benign conditions to the North of Harcarrs so that is where they went in.....even though the signs didn't look good at the surface.

Not for the Nunkie, he went in for the second dive at the Blue Caps and in his own words.......

It was always going to be a strange dip as I was trying to get the right weighting with a new pair of high pressure 7l tanks so went in with an estimated 8kg of lead and yup I was wrong, that said I was 'heavy', which in itself isn't always too bad, you simply squirt a bit of air into your wing and happy days. The issue was that on reaching the bottom the first thing I saw was a pair of Aqualung Surelock weigh pouches, new ones full of lead. So much for 'sure' lock they looked brand new so I am guessing that whoever lost them was far from happy to loose a pair of pockets plus lead, that said one meats loss is another mans gain!

It was this additional 8kg that caused the problem, if it was going to be a flat profile dive well no problems, partially inflate a DSMB to take the weight and away you go, the problem is that I was planning on heading through the gully to the south side of the site and then back, on a search for comestibles, this means a change from about 18m up to a couple of meters where you are grovelling about in the kelp trying to get over the big boulder and then dropping into 15m before repeating on the way back!

The dive was most notable for bloody pinnipeds, there were loads of the whiskery devils with one leaving only to get a breath of air and showing an unhealthy interest in the bagged lead and DSMB, I refrained from belting the bloody thing as it only encourages them and the last thing you need when you are on a mission is a seal who thinks it is all a very good game!

From a 'fish' point of view it was very quiet but this wasn't a surprise with all the seals zipping about, there were a few small, hand sized Ballan Wrasse going in and out of the big gaps between the boulders which lie in the gap, but they were all very, very skittery. There were no signs of Coalfish or the usual roundfish, as I say there was a huge head of seals withthree of his mates often joining my companion to nip and tug at fins.

There were not so many blue fiends on the Blue Caps and those there that were of a 'size' seemed to have a claw missing which makes me think that there have been too many amateur lobbie whisperers on the site who think to extract lunch you simply grab 'em, unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth and if you do this then you end up with a handful of claw, oh and if you land the claw but not the lobster then you had best have deep pockets as the fine is rather expensive!

I think that if the weather settles for the 1st weekend in November it will take a good week of settled weather to get the vis something like acceptable, so that takes things to the middle of November so if you are heading north for a dive please keep an eye on forecasting sites and also the webcam on North Sunderland Harbour, we do have some guys who fit in both the 'Needy' and the 'Greedy' categories and will take out divers when really sensible people are tucked up, either in bed or the Shippe Inn!

Dive safe ( not that there is much chance!)


Weight this dive - 8 kg

Weight this year - 344.5 kg

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