Diary

Bit of a cheeky one!

North Sea diving after September is always a 'hit and miss' affair but it just seems that we have a gap in the weather which means, just maybe a week of hit? 

First the most important thing, the vis.........oh yes in Lady Hole, nearly forgot that!

Before I call that I must emphasise that the water was very milky, gorgeous from the shore but a bit disappointing when in but the vis I would say was 4m, certainly at that distance you could see my vis checker, sure it was 'blurry' but......

And I fear that despite the conditions being quite benign that it won't get massively better in the next couple of days as there was a bit of groundswell, not terrible but sufficient to make it a bit wishy-washy towards the mouth of the site. Oh and by goodness it was bashing onto the Point with a long wave pattern giving relatively big, say two meter breakers every ten seconds or more.

However this wasn't a problem and diving from half-way through an ebbing tide it was a nice easy entry and exit, then a swim over sand....and sand.....and sand, until I finally reached a boulder that was scored out by about fifty centimetres, so the site has had quite a bit of sand dropped in, a large dollop inshore and a lighter dusting along the sloping reef to the north of the site. But isn't that the way of things, storms move sand, it's just a given and after the next blow-up we could very well be scoured down to bed-rock again.

With the water temperature 'ok', well ok in a dry-suit I did expect to see a few fish about and certainly there were anglers about who I guess also hoped that there were fish about but to be honest I was a bit disappointed, sure the summer species of Ballan Wrasse and Coalfish had disappeared but they hadn't been replaced with much, there were still some micro species about, the usual bennies plus scorpionfish and even some more exotic fish, which I will try and ID later on but the codling were a bit sparse, I did spot a few really small fish but nothing for the anglers who were fishing when I was getting in.

I had hoped for a blue fiend but with the milky water I was unsurprised that the crustaceans had battened down the hatches and were not coming out to play, I think in the entire dive as well as a solitary small lobster I spotted one velvet swimming crab. Now we all know that there is a head of lobbies here all year round but the small particles causing the water to 'milk up' does tend to irritate crustaceans which simply go into their hidden holes and sit things out, oh well always tomorrow as I know a couple of hidden holes that will be inhabited!

As we have already been hit with a couple of storms, decreased light levels and cooling seas the weed has noticeably died back, with the bootlace weed in the shallows largely gone or lying dead on the sea-bed and that bloody awful kelpy type weed also badly hit.

What do I mean 'kelpy type', well we all know kelp, a round section stem going from roots on the rock to a set of fronds on the top, very flexible and for all intents and purposes like an under-water coconut palm tree. This new stuff that has only really taken off with 'vigour' in the last few years has a stem which is like a sword, maybe eight centimetres long and a centimetre thick and nowhere near as flexible. It's bloody horrible to dive through and has pretty much taken over from traditional kelp on some of the sites out at the islands, we also have a few patches onshore, I can only hope it stays that way. Oh apparently its called furbellows and is absent from Northumberland to the Solent.....well it is marching south, damn!

I picked up a few weights when I was bumbling but nothing earth shattering because of the sand build up, maybe the sand has shifted from another one of my sites and exposed a few more weights there, oh well fingers crossed that things stay 'ok' long enough for me to find out!

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 1.3 kg

Weight this year - 472.1 kg (maybe get the 500kg in 2020!)

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