The calm after the storm.......

There was some grotty weather last weekend but since Wednesday the sea has been like glass so I thought lets have a splash!

And where better to splash down than at Beadnell and into Knacker Hole, nice?

Yes, the vis was a measured 8m, a minor 'wibble' would be that if it wasn't 'milky' it would have been better!

I really badly organised this one, having had a quick recce dip at 8am I looked at the tide and thought, 'yeah eleven am will be good', well it wasn't and the tide was maybe a foot too high to walk out to Black Top Rock.......so I entered just after what I call the knife edge walk so maybe twenty meters inshore of where I was planning.

Well the sight of a fat diver sculling over the kelp was enough for quite a few Ballan Wrasse to come and look at me in a very accusatory fashion, well I guess that I was swimming in the reason of their nests so they were coming up to 'frighten me' away from the area. If I had taken a camera I would have started grubbing about to find a nest and photo it as I haven't got any wrasse nest photos but no camera so I kept on going.

Close to the end of the kelp beds I headed North, 'bashing' through the kelp looking to see if there was any lost lead, yes there was so great, I headed 'out' into the site just where the reef kinks, so in water you are suddenly metaphorically hit a wall from the bottom in about 6m to the surface, this is the inland edge of Black Top Rocks and although I haven't checked for a while the corner where this wall meets the  main reef there is a deep hole where a big blue fiend usually lives.

It is patently obvious that the lobsters have moved inshore as there were three strings of pots on the site, whilst two were commercial there was also a private string closer to the shore line. It was obviously private as the string comprised of a miss-mash of floating and sinking line with nowt, apart from a few velvet swimmers in the pots and lots of loose rope looped onto the sea-bed. The commercial pots were obviously taken from deeper water in the recent past as they were smothered in dead-mans fingers and each pot that I saw had three or more lobsters inside. I probably only saw a couple or three pots during my bible but all were full of fiends, I just hope that there is a market with the current issues with C19 and the lockdown.

One of the better developments is that the last storms have taken most of the loose sea-weed and either macerated it to 'nothing' or dumped it elsewhere, I just hope that 'elsewhere' isn't south to Lady Hole and around Beadnell Point only time will tell and maybe I will get a splash into Lady Hole before the end of the day if the gods are smiling. However there has been a light dusting of sand brought in, probably from Beadnell Bay, but it isn't enough to 'cover' things, rather just like icing sugar dusted onto surfaces.

I decided to head back to shore at the far side of the site along one of the mini-reeflets, a route which I don't usually follow but was very pleasant, quite a few flatfish with some larger plaice lying on the light sand covering and also a few lost weights. I guess that the anglers in the 'know' are aware that a 'big chuck' at a certain point will probably snag a flattie.

The reflex here is shale so quite a soft rock which is studded with fossils of belemnites and the like and also home to quite a few big blue fiends in shallow water, there was one that I had a good look at that was living in 3m of water and at Astronomical LW it would be closer to 1m than 2m, unfortunately with no tools I could only look as he was unwilling to exit his hide hole despite me lying doggo and 'nipping' my hand just outside his abode. Sometimes this trick works if they are cock lobsters and 'aggressive', this one was a cock lobster and he just said 'nope, no pot for me today!'

I managed to get back and through the gap in the reef with minimal hassle and went right to the waters edge before standing up, which gave a couple who were walking along the road a bit of a shock, although perhaps not as much of a shock as the Ballan Wrasse at the start of my dive!

With the weather nice and settled for the foreseeable future I would recommend that you get out there and enjoy the best that the UK diving scene has to offer, just make sure that you............. 

Dive safe


Weight this dive - 5.7 kg

Weight this year - 142.2 kg

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