Babbacombe, day one, dive one!

I do enjoy my jaunts to fresh fields around the UK, the variation in sea-life between the North and South is huge, and it shows when you shift from Beadnell to Babbacombe overnight!

I will refrain from the nuts and bolts with the exception of the vis which was about 6m when I got out of the way of the silt kickers who went in half an hour or so ahead of me.

As is usual with this site I was expecting to see cuttlefish but almost as soon as I got in I was worried, the weed was much further advanced than normal, which meant that not only did I suspect that the cuttles had largely disappeared but also it wasn't as easy to spot the multitude of lead weights that litter this site.

Having reached the bottom of the boulder slope in about seven meters of water it wasn't long before I started spotting the large spider crabs that are common in the South East and as is usual once your 'eye' is in they start appearing everywhere, now I did get some photos but there appears a bit of an issue uploading them at the moment, so as and when everything is sorted I will post the link and you can all have a look see.


Continuing on the vein of crustaceans it wasn't long before I started seeing large edible crabs in their hidey holes but this week they are safe as I brought my camera rather than a hook, although I must say that should I fancy crab they are usually 'extractable' by lifting off the top stone and picking them up! Last year I spotted and 'fun extracted' a largish lobster just to show a guy I was diving with and whilst there were odd lobsters none this year were really of a size and as I just wrote my 'ook' was up north in Gods Country.

And finally on shellfish, just about the turnaround point I spied a single crawfish which was takeable and yes I got it out and then thought, hmmmmmn probably a few too many crusties to whip it up to the hotel to be cooked......but next time! Strangely enough I only spotted the single craw and when I have seen them before they tend to be in little groups with a male holding court of a harem of maybe half a dozen females, maybe this was a youngish male, who knows?

On the fish front.....loads of em....sandeels, wrasse both cuckoo and ballan, coalfish, pollack, pouting and loads of shoals of immature roundfish, that is to say they were too small to positively identify. There was a single pot that I initially thought was 'ghost fishing', it wasn't, and it's sole captive was a rather cocky tom-pot blenny that was of course small enough to swim in and out at will, I guess that it was quite happy to be picking off parts of the bait quite safe from predators. There was a smaller tom-pot that posed long enough for a few photos, one of which was ok and yup you know.

Now despite the layer of weed I thought that just maybe there may be some cuttles and although there were none against the base of the slope when I headed out over the flat(ish) ground towards Teignmouth I eventually spotted one smaller specimen, again I got a couple of nice shots before it had enough and zoomed off, but without the puff of ink so fortunately I hadn't frightened it, more spooked it. Maybe it's one of the last and is pig sick of divers? I do know that in season the cuttlefish life is spectacular and if you are not spooked by night dives the shows that they put on can be spectacular!

As I wrote it was tough spotting lost weights but I did bag a few, maybe three kilos but without a set of scales I cannot give an exact figure to add to this article so I guess that at the end of the week I can add the total weight.

That's it for today, maybe a couple of dips tomorrow before a trip to see Dirty Dougie at Aquanauts on Thursday.........

Dive safe


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