Diary

North Side of the Point and a bloody awkward walk!

Not down to my bloody back this time!

It has been raining quite heavily, cloudburst time, and the problem is that the doleritic limestone attracts a black coating, a lichen I guess that goes like ice when wet!

Anyhow vis, it was ok maybe 7m but the fresh water..........

Back to the walk, so there I was tottering along which is kind of 'doable' and then I started to be bombed by a pair of terns who had decided to sit out the ghastly weather along with two of their chicks. maybe they were also hunting for baitfish as I was diving mid-tide but what a chew, doddering along and having two terns alternately zip along at head height, not pleasant but after a few minutes the terns grudgingly took off with their chicks and headed down towards either Long Nanny or Low Newton nesting sites!

This was a very interesting dive in terms of fish, with several 'rare' or should I say seldom spotted species out and about, now I am not sure if it was a consequence of the sudden reduction in light level or what, but as an example I can't remember seeing a Pouting inshore in the North-East, Babbacombe and dahhn saarf, yup loads of them but up here no.

In this case it wasn't a tiny fish, it was about fifteen centimeters long, so more than large enough for a positive identification and not just a fleeting glance it was quite happy to sit for a while whilst I checked it out, strange!

The other odd-ball is regarding Ballan Wrasse, at the shore-end of the gully where the windlasses are sitting there is always a bed of smashed off seaweed, sometimes kelp, sometimes the red weed that memory makes me think is called dulse, oh and sometimes a mish-mash. Well it is currently pretty much all dulse and the large male wrasse were carrying off mouthfulls of the stuff to build their nests, so from one position I hope that the weather holds fair so that and from another I hope in the next couple of weeks to find a few nests so that I am able to get some good photographs of the wrasse looking after the eggs and who knows maybe an image or two of 'hatching' eggs.....let's hope.

The next odd-ball was a flatworm, again something that I haven't seen in this area before, I have seen loads when diving in Cornwall but none here in the North East, again no photos as I don't always carry my camera but it certainly didn't look like a classic candy stripe flatworm, it was small maybe thirty millimeters long and I have a very expensive and comprehensive guide to UK nudibranchs at home so when i get a few minutes I will look and try to identify. The joy about nudibranchs is that there are so many 'out there' that haven't yet been described that there is always a chance of finding something new, sure probably the best place to look would be Philipines/Indonesia but they are everywhere so you never know.....

Through the dive I had been picking up odd weights which will all add to the total and of course the issue with picking up scrap on the North Side of the Point is the damn long walk back, especially with the slippy conditions. To make the situation more interesting on one of the jaunts into kelp, where I follow the cracks looking for weights, there was a bit of a bowl and in this bowl was, what looked like, a bit of old lead covered cable from Yewglen, 'happy days' thinks I and gives it a tug and out came about five feet of the stuff that needed to be crammed into a bag, great stuff, but it went in and when sliced open there will be a coupe of kilos of copper there to add to a different pile, so an ill wind eh?

However more of a concern was the sheer volume of fresh water that was pouring down from the heavens, whilst there is no 'visible' sign of the volume entering the sea around the Point looking at the amount of horrible, brown, muddy water coming out from the land-drain into knacker hole post dive I do think that we will suffer a bit of a double whammy in the next days, that is to say in the immediate future we will have dirt and silt firstly in the water and then as a fine covering to be kicked up by the unwary and then of course the downpour will give rise to yet another plankton bloom which I hope will be short-lived, so fingers crossed on that one!

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 10.8 kg

Weight this year - 307.3 kg

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