Diary

2018 ends as it started on the South Side of Beadnell Point

It is rare that conditions are settled enough over the winter to dive from the shore in Northumberland, but today was one of those twice a decade windows!

Usually you will look at the water and think that it is crystal clear and that was what I thought when bimbling on the beach early in the morning so a quick check-up found that I had a full 10l tank and I was rapidly ready for business and it was just as well, the wind was picking up and by the end of the dive there was a not insignificant groundswell on the point!

But that is getting ahead of myself! Having decided to drop in I didn't bother with anything except a scrap bag for weights, well I have lobster in the freezer and the vis is never good enough for photography and so it turned out as the water had that milky hue and the vis was down at maybe three meters which I wouldn't bother with in the summer but on New Years Eve?

I went in on a ebbing tide with the plan being to drop in directly in front of the entry point, swim along to the wreck at the bottom of the reef and then head back in among the kelp, hoping to pick up the odd weight or two, which incidentally I did!

Perhaps it's the poor vis meaning that I wasn't zipping about but there were some rather large genus crispea nudibranchs on the site, again more investigation needed but does this particular species reach maximum size about now and then breed and die off in the colder weather? Certainly they were significantly bigger than the ones I see in the summer and maybe they are a seperate species but they really do look like the same ones but 'on steroids', as I wrote investigation needed.

Working along the reef there was no sign of any blue fiends in residence although I had noted that boats were out lifting and setting pots quite close inshore, maybe thirty meters or so further out than I was so there must be a head of lobsters still on inshore sites, I guess it is the water conditions that has kept them firmly shut-down in their lairs, ceratinly the storms which we have seen so far in 2018 appear to have done little damage to the rocks although I did notice that there were large amounts of kelp ripped out and thrown onto the shore.

As you would expect in the low vis conditions there were no signs of fish and any codling that maybe inshore were certainly keeping out of my way, although I suspect that on sensing and seeing my arrival they would simply squeeze into an available hole or less likely swim away, I picked up enough lost fishing weights to deduce that the fishermen had been there trying to catch cod so the fish must be there....somewhere!

Having reached the wreckage and seen that the storms hadn't turned things around I headed up the slope and back towards the intended exit area, I did pick up a lump of copper which I will take a look at before it is thrown into the 'scrap-man' sack.....I did this a few years ago and found that I had picked up one of the electric motor rating plates from G11 at Howick!

So always take a careful look at any brass or copper scrap and please make sure that you.......

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 22.3 kg

Weight this year - 366.8 kg -> hmmmmn not as much as 2017 but still enough to cover the Calypso running costs!

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