Diary

There's what, where?

One of my favourite movies is "Paint Your Wagon' with Lee Marvin so when someone says 'brass' the Nunkie and I tend to go all like the people in that film when Lee said 'gold'.....

That is to say wild eyed and mad! Not that it is any secret where this particular load is/was, just that with the winter storms shifting stuff around we now had access!

Anyhow, the nuts and bolts!

The temperature was 12degC so typical 

The vis was around 7m and you know what? The plankton bloom has gone, that's the good news, the bad news is that the bad weather may be early.

So with a bit of swell in I leapt, it was about 'top of the tide' so getting out would be easy as there are a couple of options and with a swell of maybe two feet running that would help push me up and onto one of the steps should the 'lift' prove too difficult!

Once in the water it is dead easy to find the boiler, head about ten meters out from the wall then go towards the sea and very quickly it will come 'looming' out of the murk. Now around the boiler is a 'crud' field where rusted iron and stone have formed a false bedrock and everyone knows that studded into this 'rock' like a plum pudding are a multitude of brass bits. Yeah the boiler is moved in the bad weather but the main thing is that the bad weather lifts up and pulverises the crud leaving behind a cloud of rust, stained stones and of course brass bits.

Having had some very 'destructive' winter conditions we really hadn't give this particular area any thoughts and then it dawned that every year more things start poking out from the crud and every year lumps are worn out........

Arriving at the site I wasn't disappointed.....an stop valve lying in the sand, a nice start and after about twenty minutes work I had extracted half a dozen bits including taps a large yoke shape handle and some six inch diameter, two inch deep discs which may be the guts of a valve, that said most valves had lead seats as the softer material seals more easily than brass. After this work it was time for a bimble!

Now I had written about two missing features and both were about today, I must be a clairvoyent! So the first large fish that I spotted was a Ballan Wrasse, it was a bit skittery but judging by the braided fishing line which criss-crossed the site, very, very early in the year, I am guessing that there has been some angling pressure for them which is a tad strange. Years ago these colourful fish were a bit of a pain as you simply wouldn't eat them but I gather that not only are commercial fish farms catching them like billy-oh but also they are a very popular fish with sushi-chefs, strange. The second thing that I saw was at the completion of my dive and that was a huge shoal of bait-fish swimming at the surface, now these were not sandeels rather they were almost transluscent 'normal' fish about two inches long and whilst I am not sure what species they were I am quite sure that they will attract some attention from both aquatic and aerial predators in the future.

I must say that the plankton has disappeared rapidly this year, I was expecting that it would be 'going' at the weekend but here we are on Thursday and it is gone, I suppose that if it arrived just after the dive before last then it has had a week or so, let's see if it's a problem for the Ancient Diver this weekend on the Islands. On that kind of subject we were comparing notes on plankton recently and both had noticed a bloom of plankton a couple of weeks ago that was on or very close to the surface and the plankton looked for all the world like the 'shucks' of hatched nymphs that you would see on a river. Now initially I put them down to a hatch of flies on the Long Nanny which had been taken to my dive site on the South Side of the Point by the ebbing tide. However the Ancient Diver had also seen them around the Islands so there is no way that they could be a freshwater thing. Next year I will try and grab some in a jam-jar and identify exactly what they are, I do hate a mystery!

Despite the dive being an evening dip I was disappointed not to spot many blue fiends, these tend to be a good barometer of what is happening so I am guessing that they are tucked up at the bottom of their little hidey holes waiting for the bad conditions that were due on saturday, although as I wrote the way things are looking the sea may very well be 'away' a day early. That said it is only a short blow so all things being equal it should be possible to shore dive again by the middle of next week, fingers crossed eh?

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 14.7 kg

Weight this year - 183.1 kg

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