Diary

Cheeky, late shore dip at Beadnell!

With the weather good, sea flat and 150bar left in a 12l cylinder I thought what a good time for a shore dive! The only thing that puts me off shore diving this time of year is dead weed everywhere but that is a chance you take......

As always some nuts and bolts....

The vis was quite good, maybe 4m when you got to the bottom of the slope but a grotty 1m in the shallows

It was bloody cold, quite noticeable and possibly down to the influx of cold water?

On reaching Beadnell Point the sea was 'oily flat' with no swell to speak of and the entire bay seemed to be full of common dolphins, I mean absolutely full from maybe fifty yards off the shore to the cardinal buoy, there were maybe ten little groups of half a dozen dolphins and they were 'arsing about' rather than actively hunting, breaching, standing on their heads and basically having fun. I think that it is one large pod which consists of more than fifty induividuals and is seen quite often and again I guess that they had been chasing salmon and sea-trout which were returning to Long Nanny beck to spawn, anyway a lovely site! I am sure that had I been in the water and at the 'back reef' they would have given me a swim past as they have done before in 2017 I think.

I was diving at the very bottom of the tide so decided that to make it an easy in and out I would simply walk straight down the path and into the sea before heading East until I reached the wreckage of SS Mistley, then 'up' the slope with a slight 'left hand down a bit' to get out at the gully where it is flat with no nasty little holes in the rock. This dive pattern picks up the best of the site and is 'safe' regards getting out should there be any untoward incidents.

Heading down the slope I noticed that quite a bit of the shallow sand that covers the rock had been swept away, to the stage where shallow cracks that are simply invisible when the slope has two or three centimeters of sand had been cleaned out so it meant that there were odd weights to pick up!

On reaching the bottom of the slope I made a concius decision to stay out of the boulders and kelp, simply because I wasn't diving a full tank, but even staying in the 'zone' 'tween slope and boulders it is a beautiful dive! And always changing as I found with some boulders shifted from the jumbled area up and onto the slope, I guess that recent storm must have had quite an impact. But not a massive impact as there were still quite a few blue fiends under rocks, in holes and under metal on the wreck and all were still quite 'game' even in the noticeably chilly water. I hadn't taken any implements so didn't really have the where-with-all to do any extraction but it is always quite a perverse fun to 'tittle' the lobsters feelers to see the reaction, some zip back into their holes, some interact and others come out jumping trying to get a good hold of diver!

As per my dives of Saturday there were no signs of piscine activity although there were anglers about, I am guessing that the summer species have headed off for deeper water and the winter cod are still heading inshore....... I really need to check out the NESA angling forum to see what has been reported, certainly the large amount of dogfish, or should that be cat-sharks? have simply gone as you would expect from a species which not too long ago was a rareity in these cold Northern waters! Oh almost forgot I did spot a single large male ballan Wrasse late in the dive around the wreckage of Misltley so maybe there was a single fish....

I was very fortunate on this dive that the site wasn't festooned with dead and dying weed that had been ripped off the rocks, it will be there somewhere, perhaps in some of the gullies between the pinnacles and the open sea but none in the route which I planned which made it easy to see the changes caused by the last storm. I have already talked about the thin dusting of sand that had been swept away, just past the wreck there was a deeper layer and this had also gone, but no time to look as I was down to 100bar and I do like to be heading out with plenty of air, just in case.

Heading up the slope the layer of dulse had been ripped from the rock as had the larger kelp plants, leaving the 'kelp forest' very much thinned out and with a visible stone bottom rather than the usual weed, again this threw up a few weights and made me 'desirous' of a return dip armed with booty sack and lift bag, maybe if the weather holds........If it does then my 500kg target for 2019 is do-able!!

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 3.0 kg

Weight this year - 451.5 kg 

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