Babbacombe, day two, dive one

Although it can be a bit of a pain there are benefits in getting in the water early, that is no silt kickers and the creepy crawlies are just starting to hide away, so it was a relatively early start this morning....

Well not super early at about nine, but most importantly I was first in so happy days!

The vis this morning was a bit strange, it was crystal when I first got in maybe 8m but just prior to heading back to the pier there was a wave of plankton taking it down to about 3m, strange.

When I was slowly getting my bits together on the pier steps, well it is less risk than clambering over stones, there was a friendly young female grey seal that had spent most of the morning looking at people and being a photographic subject. I half dreaded the island problem of the seal just wanting to play and I felt fortunate that she left and only came to play about half way through my dive when I was stopped to pick up weights and found that I was being slowly pulled backwards! As is common when I quickly turned she looked, turned tail and zoomed off.

I took some nice shots around the pier, well breakwater to be accurate, and they show a huge amount of life, small fish darting in and around the weed that comes up and off the bottom in the same shape as a christmas tree, larger wrasse moving more leisurely and shellfish. Yes there was a takeable blue fiend in the undercut section by the steps so I guess that is why the anglers leave an old pot down whilst they are fishing!

On the subject of pots I worked around to the single pot again and this morning it held a couple of lobbies and their presence meant that the tom pot blenny had zoomed off to its usual hidey hole, I suppose that he was happy enough having had a good feed yesterday with no chance of predators catching him unawares when he was eating.

Other fish.....well I am not sure of the species but will find out, there were quite a few 'clearings' under rocks which were quite like scrattings from smaller blue fiends but when you looked there were no wiggies about, rather a pregnant member of the wrasse family, quite small at about up to five inches, very skittery and a plain dull orange colour with a dot towards the tail end of their body. Maybe a goldshinny or similar, I will update and when I get a shot on one of the next dives I will be able to positively identify. talking about wrasse there are a few large ballan wrasse but there is also one which is coloured an almost electric blue and that is looking at him without a torch, I guess that a shot with a flash attachment would be out of this world. However there isn't the head of sea urchins here to make them tame like the groups which inhabit some of the sites on the islands which will eat urchin from your hand!

Moving on swiftly before the tree-huggers are too much up in arms, oh and talking tree-huggers I had a lucky escape by leaving the crawfish yesterday as there is an organisation which is urging divers to leave them alone.....really divers don't even take a single figure percent of the amount taken by the commercial potters, hey ho shades of the VOLUNTARY marine reserve at St Abbs or should that be New Asgard?

Seemlessly moving to crustaceans, today it was strange that whilst there were loads of fiends out of holes and indeed retiring back into them following a night moving about looking for food, even if the food is inside pots as per the caught two, however the spider crabs were in hiding and slowly starting to get active. I wonder if the spider crabs are more day predators whilst the fiends and edible crabs are creatures of the night?

I blagged a few weights again and it was noticeable that most were found where they had been turned out by crustaceans digging holes under large stones, at one of these 'scratting sites' I picked up eight weights, I am guessing that they slowly work into the boulder and scree slope and then are thrown out by digging or after bad weather has mixed everything up, I do think that a dive after a big blow would throw up tonnes of weights as even as I write there are four anglers throwing away leads.....as per the last write up I will update at the end of the week.

So in summary a great dive, loads of fiends out and about and some nice scenic stuff, a webcam at the pier would be awesome to watch the undersea life, there is one in Oban that is on a platform and quite boring but this would be your own personal aquarium, a second dip beckons later this afternoon......

Dive safe


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