Diary

What a day, what a dive!

I decided to have an early dive today, so it was a 7am start...... more to make sure I could get parked then anything else but what a good dive!

I constantly whinge about getting older so for that reason I limit myself to a 10l when diving Beadnell Point and today that simply wasn't enough I could have done a twinnie and still wanted more, but some nuts and bolts for the day....

The vis on the North side of the Point was bloody good, 12m or thereabouts and beyond that you could make out shapes in the gloom, the trouble with vis this good is that each lost fishing weight shines like a sixpence in a sweeps backside! Later on in the day during the flood tide it was the same sort of vis at Knacker Hole but there were areas with a tinge of silt/grot caused by both the silt and the large lumps of gently rotting seaweed in various sumps on the site.

Before leaping into the site I noticed a razorbill, it also noticed me and zip he duck-dived and was away, it is not unusual to see 'wildlife' on this site when the tide is running and its early am or late pm so not many people about. Most of the time it is birdlife, so terns, guillemots and razor-bills the occasional seal and on one notable occasion a small group of dolphins riding the tide and snatching at the fish. I often wonder if the sandals are not out in numbers if diving birds are on this bit of coast, for sure the terns will feed here as it is closer to the Long Nanny nesting sites but it's quite a drag for a guillemot to fly down from the islands to get feed for the chicks......we can only live in hope.....

Anyway once in I was subject to intense scrutiny from the three birds which swam past me time and time again, turning their heads to have a good look! I find it strange that they appear almost white underwater because on the surface they are mainly black, I gather it is because they constantly breathe out and in effect swim through a cloud of their own bubbles, they are pretty and whilst there are a few sites on the islands where you can see this show when the birds are nesting I cannot say that I have seen it from the shore.

And the reason for their presence was apparent, a huge shoal of sandeels and launce in the turbulent water where the tide was tipping over the wall into the shallow water and of course where their are baitfish you will get predators and boy were they there in force today......large pollack were mooching about in the kelp and there was one catshark, actively hunting for a change, swimming around the kelp covered boulders looking for its meal, whether that be an injured sandeel or a 'soft' crab. There were also lots of flatfish which I can't say that I have noticed before, mainly flounder but also a plaice to two and an oddball that I will need to investigate further, strange looking cove with some of the markings towards the head and gills almost bright turquoise.

Visitors will be aware by the amount of pellets that there are strings of lobster pots all over the place and I was going in just as a boat was picking up, it was like being back in the early 80s with the kids crewing the boat looking daggers as there was a diver....with a bag....going for a dive. They just went over the top of me twice, something that I am relaxed about as there is 6m of water between us. However should such instances become more common it really is amazing just how many rocks you can fit in a single pot and how it can be done is a short time before moving to the next pot.......there are idiots in this world but sometimes...

As it was with the clear conditions and bright sunshine the lobsters were all hidden away in their lairs and the crabs were also in the kelp and keeping a low profile, I guess that when you don't have any eyelids then you keep away from direct sunlight, that will also be why the large Pollack were in the top of the kelp where the light is mottled and not as 'zing'.

The vis was super so I was able to hang at mid-depth and look down from the windlass and see the plates of the Yewglen stretching away in the first real gully, these were mainly shifted last winter (19/20) and were originally in the gnarly ground after the point but their size and dimensions, thats to say large and flat means that should the storm swell line up and 'get underneath' them, then they will walk, in this case about 20m North. This will of course stop when the plates get more and more holes in them and the way that they are dissolving I would say another five years and it'll be spars only. Now this isn't such a terrible thing as there are other wrecks under the plates and just occasionally due to movement you find a really nice 'old' trinket, I just hope that the body is still willing when that time comes.

I normally leave plenty of air in the tank when I am shore diving but today virtually breathed it dry which for me was unusual, but with a load of lead weights to carry back to the car, well every little helps!

The weather is due to change on Tuesday so get out there!

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 19.3 kg

Weight this year - 190.1 kg

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