A clean sweep of local dives!

So that's Lady Hole but what a horrible groundswell, it was so bad that I fear the vis may go to hell for the season as we tend to only have a relaiable window until the end of September or mid-October at best!

You don't really notice a big groundswell in flat conditions until you stay still and it was when I putting on my fins that I thought, 'bloody hell the water is just disappearing' it probably went back about one foot in vertical height which equated to maybe four yards on the beach, then slowly over another twenty seconds or so in it came.

This meant that the vis left something to be desired, even in the deeper water, I guess at a maximum depth of about 8m I had maybe 3m vis and it was worsening by the minute with the groundswell lifting up all of the bits of smashed weed......but.....it meant that you slowed right down and therefore could see the lost fishing weights and there were loads of them dotted all over the place, many more than I expected and I picked up forty odd, so one a minute which I pretty good going, even though it made the clamber back up onto the road a bit of a drag.

Normally when crap is being thrown about the blue fiends head to the deepest recesses of their lairs and sulk, I always reckon that the silt irritates their gills, but today they were out and about. I think that maybe there was more smashed weed than silt in the water although that was rapidly changing over the course of the dive. That's not to say that there were huge amounts as the topography at Lady Hole isn't ideal with the reef being 'slatey', so lots of nooks and crannies but none that are particularly 'permanent', so to speak. However the North side of the gut is much more lobster friendly comprising of large boulders clumped together, oh and the really positive is that the fishermen rarely put a string of pots through the gut as it is tight to motor in and turn around.

Now I always, or nearly always, dive with a crab hook and it was a trick that my old dad showed me years ago and that is hook on when the surge goes aginst you and then let go when it is helping you. This really cuts down on the energy that you use moving about and makes the dive sooooo much easier, you just have to put up with the 'tutting' of the latest batch of arm-chair eco-warriors.

On the fish front there were loads about, I guess that the 'dirty' water and the big groundswell which was mixing everything up was throwing up small stuff that had been feeding on the smashed weed....this small stuff was then a foodsource for the medium size stuff....which would be a foodsource for the....well you get the idea and I kept out of the way of the great whites, orcas etc!!

Specifically there was the usual large amount of large, male Ballan Wrasse which were shadowing my dive, their bright colours are slowly becoming more 'muted' as the breeding season is done. There were also a few saithe about, mostly small stuff at ten inchees or so and I didn't spot any monsters mooching about in the background.

Near the shore there is a large area of sand which is heavily populated by lugworm, with the occasional shrimp out on the sand and today there were quite a few larger plaice hunting on this area, they were obviously 'aware' as when I got within a yard or so they zoomed off leaving broad trails of sand. The last time that I saw a similar head of large flatfish was in the bottom of a sandy hole at Howick where it was full of large flounder which I guess were eating 'creepy-crawlies'.

With such a big groundswell all of the small fish were up and 'off' the bottom, say about one foot up so that they can zip down into cover should any hungry saithe hove to. 

At the furthest extent of the dive, where I guess that I was just out of the gut the groundswell reached horrendous levels with the kelp being 'swooshed' around from root level, the good news was that you simply hooked on with a crab hook, hung on then went west when the groundswell changed direction.

The fin back was a bit of a chore with a sack full of scrap, plus a golf-ball, and worsening groundswell, it wasn't the exertion but the mental effect where the ground stays still, you stay still but both the weeds and current are travelling in the opposite direction, my advice is to look straight ahead, not at the bottom and if you still want to be sick then close your eyes!

That was a very busy weekend, out in the boat and plenty of shore diving..............

Dive safe

Weight this dive - 7.2 kg

Weight this year - 373.1 kg 

Recommended suppliers

Latest Photographs