Diary

Babbacombe, day four, dive one.....the octopus

And not one of those fist size critters this one was probably the biggest that I have ever seen in UK waters or beyond with the main body being about the size of a kids rugby ball

Was he for moving? No, he was quite keen to just sit on the rock pretending to be weed whilst I moved around snapping away with the camera so I managed quite a few shots and not just the usual 'now you see me' type photos!

Babbacombe - 2019 (Octopus)

Anyway the dive wasn't all about the octopus, although that said it's this critter that I will remember the dive for! At the start of the dip I thought about heading off into the flat stuff as I had heard that there were a few cuttlefish there and unfortunately no luck there but I did stumble over a lobster pot which was part of a long string, now the interesting thing here is that the rope was sinking stuff so that it was lying on the bottom out of the way of divers and more importantly anglers who get snagged up every time they cast over a floating line. I guess that the issue with a sinking line over the rough ground which we have in Gods Country is that it would probably get tangled into the cracks and crevices. Down here there is no such issue as the pots were put over flat sandy ground, not an ideal home for lobbies you may think but there was a blue fiend inside along with a spider crab, I guess that the fishermen rely on smelly bait drawing fiends from their hidey holes!

The dive over the flat stuff was interesting insofar that I spotted a couple of fish that I hadn't seen up to this dive, that is to say a bull-huss and a pipefish, neither was a good subject so I didn't get any shots, indeed the huss was off like a shot when I showed interest whilst the pipefish was wrapped up in weed, hiding away, so no joy there. It is odd but I have only ever encountered pipefish once in the North-East and that was on the wreck of SS Coryton and they were absolutely everywhere, maybe they tend to live in the shallow sandy waters around Holy Island, an area that I seldom dive and the outpost at Coryton was down to some adverse weather.

The other crustaceans that I hadn't seen in numbers until this dip was hermit crabs and there were quite a few big 'uns in whelk shells, most of them had anemones attached and one particularly large lumpo had two big anemones attached and he seemed to be struggling dragging his home and garden about.

Heading back towards the rock slope it was business as usual, apart from the nagging need to pee, wrasse galore and crabs, the area where I saw the octopus is an area where there is an obvious lair with lots of broken crab shells. It is obvious that there is a octopus there, indeed the actual lair is obvious it is just that it goes away into the rocky slope for a long, long way so I guess that I am lucky to catch him outside after a night mooching about looking for food.

I must be about 'leaded out' and on this dip I picked up maybe a kilo or so with quite a few copper lures, they all go into the respective scrap metal bags so I don't really mind, one thing that I noticed today was the amount of newly lost strings of lures, on my dive this afternoon I will take along a piece of wood that I can wrap these around as the guys fishing from the pier will, I guess, be happy to get back their lost gear....

By now, about forty minutes in the nagging need for a pee was becoming a real issue so that I called the dive and headed with speed back to the pier where I was able to get up and onto the first step where the 'convienience zipper' was quickly zipped......ahhhhhhhh..... I am due to have another dive today and with the sun starting to show I am hoping that I can get some good fish-eye shots around the end of the pier!

Dive safe

RichW

 

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