Diary

As I swam out one midsummer morning

Ok so I am no Laurie Lee.....and yeah we are in September but the weather was glorious this morning, so with the dicky-birds tweeting it was off the Knacker Hole!

Nuts and bolts......

The vis, well it was 6m which is ok but that doesn't tell the whole story.

There was a milky tiunge to the water when you were in which probably wont go after a few tides have come through, meaning that this weekend, which is forecast fair will be around 6m for shore diving.....of course if there are open water training session this will be much reduced in Knacker and Lady holes respectively!

I always dive this site the same way and I am a little surprised that guys continue entering at the reef. I walk along to Black Rock and jump in, it is then so easy to simply remember 'head west' to get out at the gap in the reef, this way really does offer benefits, you use air at the intersting part of the dive, you are not spending bottom time and air at the intertidal zone and you only have to walk over rocks in knee deep water once. Of course there are rocks to be walked over if you go my way but there is a path and you don't have to walk on any weed. I guess that you take your pick.....

Once in the first thing that I noticed was a lobbie pot dropped in by a keen local, it is probably one belonging to 'Mac's son' who I often speak to when he is fishing on the end of Beadnell Point, I didn't bother to go have a 'look-see' but as this area is infested with nice size blue fiends I have no doubt that there will have been a lobbie or two in his pot.

On the subject of fiends there has been a bit of a dearth of larger lobbies this year with the ones that I have extracted either being soft or berried, most of the fiends which have made their way to my boiling pot have been maybe a centimeter or two over the limit which is fine shuld you want to make up a paella or something with linguine but a tad on the small side for throwing on the BBQ, so to speak. I am sure that next year all will be back to normal but it has been a bit of an odd year on this front.

I have pretty much given in looking in among the boulders for lost weights as I thought that I had scoured the area but today I found a spot which I had obviously missed and picked up a dozen weights in short order, these will be added to the pile and at £1.20 a kilo they do rather mount up.

Moving into the slightly deeper water off the boulder in about eight meters of water it was obvious that the more aggresive saithe had gone 'elsewhere' for a while as the codling were up in the water and not hanging around their hidey holes like they usually do! At this stage in the year they have really grown and are around the three or four inch mark and the difference between the bronze coloured fish which will migrate out to the deeper water in the winter and the local 'kelp cod' which have a much different colour scheme and 'living pattern' is marked. If you looked at the colouration and habits you really would say that they were different but remove the skin and they are identical, strange.

The other fish that was nice to see was a large male Ballan Wrasse which hung around within two feet whilst I was extracting a blue fiend, yup, I guess he has learned that divers equal food and maybe that crap divers dismember lobsters meaning that there are always claws and what-have-you lying on the bottom after an amateur extraction has gone wrong. On that subject I bought a book 'Bottoms up Cookery' which has some intersting recipes but their advice on fiend extraction is crap......get hold of both pincers and remove from the hole in a twisting action.....you'd be left holding claws, not good at all!

By now the sun was streaming through the water and I thought that it was about time to start heading towards the exit, well I had managed about thirty minutes bimbling in the deeper stuff, so started a steady and zig-zag swim back. In the shallower water there were loads of flatfish, mostly plaice but also a few flounder, again strange but most had their heads under weed, does this mean that they were sleeping or simply that with bright sunlight, shallow water and no eye lids that is what flatties do? Most were not really takable and all zoomed off but only when I was directly above them.

As the dive was just prior to the bottom of the tide I was left to stagger through the last ten yards of shallows, stopping occasionally to stick my head under water to see just what was happening as the recent big tides and swells have moved rather a large amount of stone and sand around here.

What a lovely start to a bright sunny day, hopefully I will be in again later!

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 3.0 kg

Weight this year - 363.2 kg

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