Diary

2020 Target Achieved at Lady Hole!

I always set myself a target of picking up scrap from the sea-bed and it is 500kg, always has been and always will be but with the Covid 19.....

Yes even allowing for a hiatus during March and April when I was dry rather than managing a typical six and eight dives for those months I have got there in the end!

But first the vis, well it was milky and a tad of surge which is unusual for Lady Hole at Beadnell.....oh and we were diving from the bottom of the tide so it was filling up....but the vis? Well it varied, sorry! It was anything between 1.5 and 3m depending on depth and bottom composition. The worst area being the 'prehistoric' shore where the surge hits the bottom of the steep slope in about 7m of depth and the best, well up the northern skeer, behind the kelp and rocks.

Before getting in we had been chatting to an angler who had just returned from Black Top Rocks at Knacker Hole and he had managed two (returned) Ballan Wrasse, so I was hoping that we might spot the odd fish but unfortunately this was not to be and even walking down to the site I was filled with trepidation as the weak sunlight made the water look very 'blue' which normally means milky and so it came to pass but hey a shore dive in November, I'll take that!

I followed the 'normal' route for a Lady Hole dive and the first point of note was that another lump of sand has been dropped into the site meaning that in the shallows there were black patches of sand where the covered weed was rotting through it, fortunately as there is a bit of water movement on this site we were not subject to the hydrogen sulphide swim that you do encounter when diving the haven, less than a mile north of this site.

In the milky conditions I didn't expect to see a huge amount of crustaceans but spotted four blue fiends and nearly decided to 'extract' one of them but with minimal tools I thought 'buggrit', it's a strange thing but my buddy didn't spot a single fiend......oh well next year as the weather and conditions improve I shall, perhaps, educate him in the way of the lobster whisperer. The other crabs were the usual suspects, some velvet swimmers and some green shore crabs but oddly no small edible crabs, there are normally odd ones dotted about but today none, maybe they are moulting but they are resident until they get to a size when they move to deeper water, it's strange but dive at Babbacombe and you can scrag some huge cock-crabs in 6m of water but up here in Gods country I always reckon on needing 20m to consistently get big crabs, indeed if I want to target them rather than fiends I tend to either be dropped in the middle of nowhere in 25m or ask to go to a deep site such as Northern Hares, Hopper or Blue Caps where I can get depth quickly and easily.

For part of the dive I went along the 'gutter' in the middle of the site where you can normally spot codling, coalfish and golf-balls but today all of these were absent but I did pick up a large vacant whelk shell that will be cleaned up and added to the rogues gallery of whelk shells sitting on top of the window frame in to toilet....rock n roll or too much information?

Just beyond the 'prehistoric shore' the source of the sand became apparent as a large swathe of bottom had been swept back to a solid shale seabed and despite thinking I would metaphorically 'fill my boots' I only picked up the single, all important 500thkg weight, and it was black as coal having been buried in the sand for who knows how long.

With target achieved we slowly meandered back to the exit point moving along the northern edge of the site, for those who know it, on and beyond the boulder and kelp that sit of that skeer, again no fish but there was a long length of lost fishing line which I followed a little way before chopping up, not that there are many divers and after the next storm it will be balled up and bashed about.

I have said this before but I do reckon that the shore season is grinding to a halt, now, if the weather is as forecast then you might be able to get in during the week and fingers crossed weekend, but with no boats running you will be limited, today I was lucky it was nice and sunny out of the water so kitting and de-kitting wasn't a chore and the vis was 'mmmmmm ok' it will be very similar next week.

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 1.0 kg

Weight this year - 500.6 kg

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