Diary

I'm ahead of the game...........again!!

I have said before that I love it when there are dive-schools using my local dive sites, you will pick up all kinds of things, oh and a bit of viz news

I will start with viz......it's been an odd old weekend, starting excellent Saturday morning and around the 8m mark in Lady Hole, we then started with a bit of ground swell on Saturday afternoon and we were down to the 6m mark on the evening dip from the North Side of the point, by Sunday morning it was really all over with the viz in Lady Hole varying from 3m to about 6m on a flood tide. It was fine crap in the water and I am thinking that the flash floods we had on Friday may have washed in some fertiliser from the fields and it's causing a bloom? Well only time will tell and I am out again Wednesday (24/6) so we shall see.

They were lined up to dive in Lady Hole on Saturday afternoon and to be blunt it will have been a nice dive for the two classes which were going in, certainly it was an interesting one for me on Sunday morning......two snorkels.....a weight-belt, having 'done' the teaching side I know that things get lost but really? As for snorkels, they are no good for me as I don't carry one, I know that 'people say' that you need one if you are waiting in choppy conditions to be picked up, or if you have to 'swim back'. My opinion is that 50 bar of air on the surface whilst waiting for the Ancient Diver to pick me up is more than adequate for a long, long wait. 

Sunday morning was an interesting dives it was from LW on the flood, as I thought all of the sandeels in the shallow water were in one single 'super shoal', I am not sure if this means that the small groups of twenty have all joined up or another shoal have hatched and are swimming about, but they were all in one group and doing their best to keep out of the way of the saithe that were mooching about. I think that I mentioned, at low water there simply isn't the cover for these bait-fish to hide.

There was an angling competition in progress with a couple of chaps fishing 'into' Lady Hole so I was intrigued to see where they were casting, well it gives a clue of where to find weights! The vis was really ropey and changeable during the dive so I was very careful, always looking up and around for the fishing line and eventually I found where they were casting and checked out their gear, all very nicely presented 'peeler crab' and grip leads in deep kelp so I fancy a few weights from their in the future and yup I picked up a few today!

It was a strange dip insofar as the vis was a bit all over and despite this the lobsters were out and about in numbers which was a little thought provoking as usually they are tucked away if the water is mucky which make think that the problem was a bit of an algae bloom, unfortunately there were none which I thought 'wow' so they were all left to go on their merry ways with perhaps just a little teasing from me. The other crustacean out in numbers were velvet swimming crabs, there were loads of these little devils all over the place, although none appeared to be eating anything which was a tad strange as they are voracious predators and often catch 'small' fish and will eat them up a bit at a time starting at the tail.....I guess it is so the fish can't swim away, which it could if there was just a random 'chomp' from somewhere on it's side. There was a story years ago about a now closed saltwater aquarium that was forever needing to get 'new' thornback ray as their tails were being eaten away by a 'bacterial infection', eventually they checked when it was dark and yup, velvet swimming crabs. You have to love marine biologists, I honestly believe that divers with double digit years of experience have more useful practical knowledge than the people sitting behind desks and occasionally, as in the case of St Andrews University, me and Greenland sharks (apex predators) you can really wipe their noses in it!

As you would expect it was a bit of a chore on the return journey to the exit point dragging a bag full of dive gear and lost fishing weights and yes at times you think 'awwwwww this is making my arms five inches longer' but in the long term it is helping the environment and in the short term it pays for my diving so that's no bad thing.

And despite their being an angling competition I didn't see a huge amount of fish to catch, certainly no sign of any of the red 'kelp cod' that the guys were obviously targeting, a more sensible approach would have been to float-fish slivers of mackerel in shallow water to target the saithe but habits die hard, I must admit that with the degradation in vis I would have thought fish would have moved in from deeper water but there were no signs, maybe the groundswell is transient and I did spot the first 'bait-ball' of the year out to sea so there must be plenty of food in deeper water.

What a pleasant weekend diving in my local sites and with things set fair I think I shall take a camera mid-week, hope to see you there, say hello and make sure that you........

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 20.0 kg

Weight this year - 170.8 kg

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