Cheeky one at Lady Hole

To be honest despite the C19 lockdown the conditions have never been 'right' this year to really start diving, however today it looked as good as it was going to get before the next lot of bad weather came along so in I went!

Now lets define 'looked', from a distance the water looked really clear and flat but then you started noticing that every minute or so there would be a big break over Beadnell Point......yup there was some really big groundswell coming in from the North East but you couldn't easily see it from sea-level, next day looking down from some cliffs whilst walking it was bloody obvious and you know what, once in the water it was obvious too!

It also didn't help that I was diving during some big spring tides and with the vis around the 2m mark when I went in I knew that it would improve when I got to areas that were 'permanently' under a couple of meters of sea-water and yes it was better with the best vis around the 3m mark, so fine for grubbing about but not for seeing anything mobile.

On the subject of mobile animals, well ok fish, I spotted none, zilch, zero not even any sign of the little short spend sea scorpions that are usually dotted about, I also failed to spot any lump-suckers although I am sure that there are plenty of them nesting in-among the kelp and rocks. I always think that the creatures which inhabit shallower water, where we dive, know when bad weather is coming so head into their little hide holes to see out the storm so to speak. 

The 'milky' conditions also meant that the crustaceans were tucked up in their lairs feeling sorry for themselves, again experience says that the milky conditions affect lobsters more than fish as the tiny particles get onto their gills and whilst a fish can 'shake' or 'flare' its gill covers to dislodge the bits and pieces lobsters just are not that mobile and don't have the mobile gill covers. They tend to lie doggo in their holes expending minimal energy hence not much need for the gills to work and again 'sit things out'.

I had decided to work along the left side of the site and spent the time picking up crap, and also a handful of weights, in the knowledge that this was the first sea dive of 2020 and that it would only get better as the summer comes closer and the conditions improve, I managed to reach the end of the skeer and the amount of surge from the deep ground swell was truly horrendous, a permanent pull one way or the other and then a five second 'washing machine' as the swell hit the skeer and then dissipated.

So whilst not the greatest dive in the world it was great to have a dive!

On other fronts we have had some survey boats conducting scanning exercises from Holy Island down to the Farne Islands and beyond, they have been working for the UK Hydrographic service so they are not free-lancers looking for 'interesting' things, rather a full study of the sea-bed which begs the question, why?

I suppose that it could be in preparation of off-shore wind-farms but with the areas being checked forming part of protected zones I can't really see it, also the survey was conducted into very shallow water, areas that nearly dry out on a low spring tide, so maybe it is just to increase the knowledge of what is actually there. On that point I think that we have ponced a couple of marks off them which the Ancient Diver cannot ever remember diving so just maybe we will have some new sites to visit this summer! Certainly Calypso is ready to roll having being serviced, anti-fouled and generally tarted up!

Dive safe


Weight this dive - 1.2 kg (and three golf balls)

Weight this year - 38.2 kg

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