Diary

It's due to go the hell but it's still ok!

I had 'half' a tank and what with my back playing up I didn't fancy 'kelp bashing', that kinda restricts local dives so it was down and into Lady hole!

As always the nuts and bolts first!

The vis was improved, probably 4m, maybe 5m and with the absolutely flat sea there was no back-wash to throw things up, always a bonus.

Access here is 'easy' and you simply walk down the rocks and go in at virtually any state of the tide, it can be a bit 'hairy' if the rocks are wet but today I managed to get in before the rain started, oh and boy it rained! For todays dive I was going in just after the low tide so the fresh sea-water was being pushed into the site, the wet weather means that there will be a huge volume of freshwater being pushed into Knacker Hole making this particular adjacent site virtually undivable due to silty freshwater, at least that is the theory.

I had expected the bottom to be a mish-mash of broken up weeds but to be brutally honest I did think that it would be worse and this was reflected in the fact that I managed to pick up half a dozen lost weights on a dive which doesn't normally throw up much scrap. There were odd patched where weed was trapped in little clearings between boulders but that was the exception rather than the rule.

I am nearly at my target weight for this year and hopefully another half a dozen dives, including a dip or two at Oban will allow me to meet the goal, I would have reached the target if only Howick hadn't been covered in sand, I had a dip their from the RIB in mid-summer and the site was just a desert of sand with the odd rock peak poking through, maybe next year it will be washed out and with the weed dead after twelve months being buried there will be loads of weights!

Piscatorial activity today, and recently has been limited to small fish that I finally bothered getting out my reference book to check and they are Two Spot Goby (Gobiusculus flavescens) and they are exactly as described insofar as they 'do not rest on the seabed for much of the time like other gobies but dart continually around in the water a few cm or more above the bottom' and yes they are in groups as described but today there was no sign of any tracking predator! Indeed of any other fish species there was no sign at all, however as described I think that we are in the middle of the switch from Summer to Winter and the cod haven't yet arrived.

This site is very sheltered for everything apart from hard easterlies and the bottom on the shore side of what I refer to as the prehistoric shore which sits in about six meters of depth rarely changes, with the exception of sand being dropped into the entire groyne, I stuck my head into the deeper water but there was a bit of weed on the bottom and to be blunt with less than a hundred bar by this stage I reached this point I concentrated on staying in the shallow water to be 'safe'.

There were still a huge amount of crabs and lobsters about, all living in the piles of rocks and all quite happy until they sensed a diver coming into their zone when they nipped back into their holes and glowered. Well most of them did, but the velvet swimming crabs stayed out in the open and took up a bit of a 'stance'. In the past when I have picked up a bag of creatures to show interested children on the beach most crabs and the like are easy to pick up and bag but these swimmers are terrible and aggressive, I guess that they are not to know that they are going back......if the guys catch them for the French market then they go directly into a blender to make a stock sauce for fish-soup, is it a case of natural selection?

Back to the dive, having got down to the eighty bar mark it was time to head back to shore, slowly, I decided to move up to the kelp line of the Northern skeer and zig-zag back to shore and whilst there was nothing to pick up it was an interesting dive as the red croralline growth on the rocks made it a very pretty dive' Last time I headed over this area I picked up a brand new snorkel and whilst there was nothing today I was hoping that maybe this is the area where the dive schools do their training so maybe there would be a weight belt or a few weight pouches....hey ho, maybe next time!

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 1.1 kg

Weight this year - 455.6 kg

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