Diary

Strange thing the mind............

The sea looked absolutely flat so we dusted off the RIB and went for a blast!

Our first port of call was South to Dunstanburgh Castle where the plan was a quick dip at the castle cliffs so having thrown in an anchor I then threw myself in!

It was one of those dives where the vis got worse as I got deeper... at the surface I thought 'yeah, 3m', then I reached the bottom in about twelve meters of water and thought 'bugger, didn't see that!' It really was terrible, I could see my finger tips but not my fins so maybe 1.5m vis and it was terrible.

The site here is largely big boulders on a bedrock and you will not be surprised that I spent most of the very short dive with boulders looming up in-front of me! I probably went about ten meters from the anchor without spotting anything of interest, well apart from a broken fishing rod, so I turned tail, found the anchor and lifted it back up onto the boat and we were off North, looking for something better!

A major problem which I had on this dive was related to a dead humpback whale which was washed up on the sloping rocks next to the castle, now you and I both have seen the various loads of video footage where dead whales are eaten by sharks and in the crap vis with looming rocks my thoughts were getting a tad dark. Now if there had been 'something to do' that would occupy my mind, that's to say lost fishing weights, then I am happy to dive in crap vis but I think that we were a touch too close in to pick up weights and well.....dur-duh!

In flat conditions with the newer engine the RIB is quite happy bashing along at 30 knots so after a hairy couple of minutes banging through the tidal stream of Staple Sound we were arrived at Longstone just before high-water slack and yup it was a pretty big tide!

I had wanted to dive on the inside of the Brada, no tide and I can't say that I have been in there for a while but there were two hardboats already moored up in there! Now I must say I wouldn't be too happy to be dropped in the Brada if I had paid for it and as many of the divers were on twinsets I guess that they hadn't thought that a five meter bimble was on the agenda for the weekend....

Having put-putted my way past the moored boats and put up with the evil eyes I threw in an anchor got my kit on and rolled in.....

The vis here was much better and around the 5m mark, so with the good vis and nearly slack tide I am at a loss as to why they had been dropped inside the Brada? I mean there were no seals to speak of and whilst it's 'ok' there are far better dips if you have a crew up-top to pick you up, especially on what was essentially slack water.

I worked along the site checking out the rocks and crevices and yes, I am happy to report that there area few blue fiends in residence, but strangely little other life! Sure there were odd velvet swimming crabs but these menacing little buggers are practically everywhere around the UK......micro-species of fish. nope didn't even spot any scorpionfish and they get everywhere! Oh I did spot a couple of whelks ambling about but not a huge amount else.

The site was pretty weeded up which made spotting stuff difficult, but when you see guys spending five minutes trying to get a reasonable shot of a velvet swimming crab, well you know it's tough going. The bottom inside the Brada seemed to be made up of a deep layer of dead limpet shells and the white, light yellow and iridescent shells meant that not only was the vis ok but it was also quite bright which made a pleasant dip.

Having seen what I wanted to see I turned tail and headed back up towards the RIB, pausing only to swim around the guys who were still buggering about with the crab and it wasn't long before there was a 'twinkling' in the water off to my left which can only have been one thing......yup a damned expensive, lairy stainless steel prop which shifts my old RIB along at quite a lick combined with a reconditioned 90hp two smoke motor!

Heading back to Beadnell we reflected that it had been a really nice day 'up-top' not quite an Indian Summer but a nice warmish Autumnal day with the only thing missing a few dolphins....we would have to wait for Sunday for those cetaceans to put in an appearance! 

Dive safe

RichW

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