Diary

Summer conditions at long bloomin' last!!!

Following a week long holiday it was back to beadnell and to be honest on the ferry back to Newcastle I thought that the vis looked 'so-so', but what would it be like at my favourite sites in the world?

Nuts and bolts first, but it was bloody great!!

The vis was good, certainly 10m at the North side of Beadnell Point and a reported 15m at the Crumstone

The water temperature was warm, about 15degC

The question you may ponder is 'why warm?', well mainly because I had forgotten my summer membrane 'bag' which is a great bit of kit and was using my ultra-super-crushed neoprene O'three suit which is also damn good and warm so a full thermal loading probably wasn't a great idea.

Before going into a few details the plus point with this suit is super padded knees so the climb onto the point at the end of the dive whilst not 'pleasant' certainly wasn't the painful event the kneeling on barnacles and the occasional limpet (aaayaah!) can be, so maybe a winter upgrade will be some sort of thick padding? A trip to Otter I think!

I was diving at the bottom of the tide on neaps and it really was so clear that I had to remind myself that the bottom was at about six meters when throwing myself in, it looked maybe three meters deep and once immersed it was great and I could clearly see most of the wreckage and a bloody great string of pots running adjacent to the boiler.......so ideal for putting off anglers!

I started the dive by using the lobster point line to quickly pull myself along to the point where the reef disappears into the sea-bed which today was at about ten meters before working back, now why you may ask? Well thigh muscles used to fin along are big and take lots of energy and air to operate and various studies have shown using a line to move along, using only shoulder and arm muscles uses far less energy and air.....so I was simply extending y bottom time!

Having reached where I wanted to be I started just going up and down the first reef looking for anything interesting and the increased vis also gave me the chance of spotting any non-Yewglen wreckage, of which there is plenty, whilst the search for wreckage was inconclusive the vis and searching over rarely covered ground threw up a few weights which will be added to the pot when I get that far.

With summer in full swing the area was absolutely infested in life with huge amounts of blue fiends out and about, most of the pots contained three or four and every nook and cranny had red antenna plus blue claws sticking out. The huge amounts of lobster also mean that we have an increased head of very large lesset spotted dogfish and also some bull huss, now I now some anglers poo-poo the idea of huss up here in the North East but think on, five years ago you wouldn't target dogfish at all and now in the summer you can catch ten or a dozen if you use fish bait whilst night fishing. These mini-sharks aren't the 'orrid little things of the West-Coast with most at the seventy centimeter plus mark so a good target for anglers and more than big enough to hunt at night looking for fiends that are mooching about looking for food.

There were loads of fish on the site, large big pollack, saithe and also ballan wrasse along with lots of very colourful micro-species like leopard spotted goby and of course the very common short spined sea-scorpion. No sign of any baitfish, sometimes you can see large shoals of sandeels against the wall of the point but today nothing obvious, they are still there as there were still terns splashing into the sea, just not tight against the wall.

It wasn't long before I started reaching old familiar sights, the first being the boiler, well in the good vis it was obvious being a dark block against the white wall, however away from that there were bits of wreckage with bollards welded on and then sections of hull and deck, which every year seem to shrink a little more, I think that in twenty years time there will be very little left of the site with only the large lumps of machinery and heavy duty bits such as the anchors being there to be witness to the resting place of a ship.......I spent some time high in the water working back and forth over the main wreckage area but there was nothing obvious that I spotted, hopefully after a few winter storms there might be more 'trinkets' thrown up.

So after a nice dip of just shy of an hour it was time to haul out and walk back to the car.

Summer is here the weatehr is set fair so get out there and get some dives in before the autumnal storms arrive!

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 4.0 kg

Weight this year - 333.3 kg

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