Diary

Surely that must be it.....

A last dip from the South Side of Beadnell Point in late November, well I have been saying that for weeks now.......

First thing is first, what were the conditions like? Well they worsened over the weekend but by mid-day on Sunday.......

The vis was around 3m in the deeper water

The waves and surge were horrible and real Dennis Wise conditions, a nasty, short, three foot swell which wasn't bloody forecast, the surge was nasty, maybe a five foot swoosh one way and then the other so a bit awkward but once you got into the swing of it.

I had noticed a few strings of lobster pots inshore but wasn't quite prepared for the amount of 'mobile' lobsters that were mooching about in the kelp beds, there were loads of them, bear in mind the restricted vis and I reckon at any one time I could see half a dozen lobsters and when I swam close to the pots they were absolutely full of blue fiends. If the weather breaks as is forecast on Tuesday then I reckon that there will be a load of lobsters washed up bashed to bits.

The main reason for my dive was to pick up any loose scrapple that was 'apparent' due to the recent storms blasting away dulce and also greatly reducing the kelp beds, indeed the most fruitful part of the dive was working around an area where the kelp is usually to densely packed to get in and check for weights, it was like diving a 'virgin site' pick up four weights, drop them in the bag, muscle through the beds another couple of yards, pick up another four or five weights and repeat. To be blunt if I had brought along a lift bag I fancy that I could have had a really heavy haul but no lift bag and a horrible 'destructive' wave pattern meant that I wanted to keep a sensible amount on this dive, they will still be there next dive!

I noticed that there was a fishing competition yesterday so I was unsurprised to find a few lost lengths of line but I was surprised to find a couple of fish hooked up to a 'pennel' fishing rig, now for those who are going 'eh', this arrangement normally comprises of a large bait with two hooks and on this snagged rig there was a coalfish of about four pounds and bloody large short spend scorpionfish, well its all relative so to quantify the scorpionfish was maybe thirty centimetres long and brilliantly coloured. Feeling a bit 'kind' I watched the coalfish zoom away when the hook came out and the scorpionfish was also unhooked and he almost 'waddled' back to the kelp line. I think it was a lucky escape as the velvet swimming crabs would have eaten them alive once night had fallen.

With the dive going quite well I had a shuftie over the wreckage of ST Mistily and wow, she has been cleaned out and the wreckage is down to metal hull for the entire site, whilst this is interesting and would have been super in the summer as I could have set up and taken photographs it was also quite interesting in the winter as it allowed me to see that there are still quite a few lumps of scupper pipe, so again given fair weather a dive or two using the RIB, lift bags and a pinch bar should see a fair few kilos of scrap lifted. Fingers crossed that we don't get a load of sand dropped onto the site, oh as an aside the sand taken from the area appears to have been dropped by the Long Nanny stream at the middle of Beadnell Bay.

As well as the captive fish there were quite a few fish swimming about whilst I was diving, they never got close enough for positive identification but I have an inkling that they were whiting rather than small coalfish, there was something of the colouration and eye size and position that just made me think.......oh and of course whiting are more of a winter species so it wouldn't be unusual to see them inshore at this time.

So there you go, a nice dive although conditions are due to go to hell and stay 'awkward', I fancy that the rest of my diving this year will be in Ullswater, I would recommend that if you are diving 'inland' then you try the lakes, it's free and interesting, always the chance of bottles and no idiots shouting 'the odds' as encountered at some paying sites, but you takes your choice, where ever you go please make sure that you......

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 15.1 kg

Weight this year - 518.7 kg

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