Diary

Late season UK shore diving is always hit 'n' miss

And today was ok but more hit the miss I would imagine, oh it was on the South Side of Beadnell Point and the sea really starting building up!

As always a bit of nuts and bolts....

The vis looked diabolical from the shore but once in I guess it was around the 3m mark when you got to a depth

Temperature? Well I have added a second long sleeve top and it was ok with no chilling after just shy of an hour

The conditions looked great early in the morning, absolutely mill-pond flat but by the time I got my self together it was just after lunch-time and there was a anasty little south easterly chop bashing up on the reef, not massive about two feet but at low tide it was washing the crud from the top of the kelp meaning that there was a grotty band of water running maybe twenty meters off-shore, so even getting in I thought that I would have to go a touch deeper, just to the bottom of the slope to get good vis and so it panned out.

There are still loads of birds about and today there even appeared to be a couple of bait-balls close inshore so I know that the fish are there, or alternatively the gulls and the like are eating dead whale as we do seem to have a few dead cetaceans washing up lately which isn't especially good, although I do think that the most recent, a sperm whale that washed up at Newbiggin, was going to die anyway as there simply isn't a suitable food source for the poor bugger. I guess that he took a wrong turn at Cape Wrath and ended up in the North Sea rather than back in the Atlantic.

Anyway, despite the bait-balls and knowing that there must be fish about all that I saw were small gobies, almost minnow sized bimbling about whilst I wandered around the site, oh if anyone is interested I went in at the culvert with a plan simply to goon around in that area. There were however quite a few blue fiends about including two which had set up shop under a flat stone which the recent storm had shifted up the slope and over one of the deep cracks. This is a temporary abode as the next storm will shift it, I only hope that the lobbies realise this and either go into deeper water or drop over the little step and set up shop in the few permanent holes which are deep in the doleritic limestone.

I spent quite some time moving around the wreck of SS Mistley and whilst I only found some lost anglers weights the wreck has been scoured out towards the bows and flattened at the stern. I am sure that there will be more lengths of lead scupper pipe to pick up as and when but in poor vis and wanting to keep moving to stary warm I didn't spot any, I decided to work along the rough ground from the bows of the wreck and then head back up the slope after another half hour or so.......

My last dive here was after the bad weather and I stayed off the boulders simply becauise I was diving with half a tank, today with a full set-up I was relaxed in bimbling about and youv'e guessed that once again the weather has really shifted a large amount of big stones and again yes as you would expect there wasn't much evidence of lobsters here where the moving boulders must have mashed and crushed most of the inhabitants!

What I find strange is that despite the slope being doleritic limestone and most of the boulders also being limestone, it all sits on quite soft shale which forms small pinnaches just offshore, the exception is 'Little Rock' which is sandstone/limestone mix and sits towards the outside edge of the point. The boulders are shifted along the flast and seemingly 'slippy' shale after most storms and like today, it isn't unusual to dive and find quite large corridors of bottom where you are down to clean shale which was obvioulsy covered in rock until quite recently as there are no signs of either weeds or indeed the boring bi-valves which eat into the shale to ensure that they are 'safe' from predation, these sections normally throw up odd weights and today was no exception, so it always makes sense to have a good look about, sometimes you can also pick up brass keel pins.

Having got a bit of scrap and covered a fair bit of ground it was time to head out and it was noticeable that the vis heading up to the kelp beds was much worse, so when I got to maybe two meters of water I decided to stick my nut out to make sure that there were no untoward accidents.....the swell had really picked up and rather than a nasty little chop we now had rollers which were running up and onto the point, breaking in the shallow water, oh and they were in the three foot range with the occasional set of 'Dennis Wise's', thats a 'nasty little four footer' for those who don't know, so a bit of a chew getting fins off in zero vis before picking a moment and staggering ashore.

I have said before that the swell can really pick up in an hour so you have to be aware with what is happening and act accordingly to make sure that you.......

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 3.0 kg

Weight this year - 454.5 kg

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