It nearly was it, I reckon that is it now...

After the weekend where we had some bad 'wishy-washy' conditions and rough stuff forecast I said that would be it, well the rough stuff didn't happen and everything settled down, so what is a guy to do?

That's right, get in again!

Conditions were similar to the weekend, well no surprise there, with the vis around the 2m to 3m mark, the plus point was that with no surge or waves to speak of getting in and out was so much easier than of late. Oh and on the topic of vis it could maybe have been marginally better further out, I was close in and you do find that silt is washed from the top of kelp artificially reducing the vis in shallow water.......

Having noticed the amount of lost weights today I kitted up with the sole intention of spending an hour grubbing around in the much reduced kelp beds with a ghastly luminous yellow booty bag and a dumpy little lift bag, I was set up for hunting bear, so to speak and I wasn't disappointed!

The trouble with spending so much time picking up lead and the 15kg that I picked up equates to about 90 weights, so over the course of an hour, including getting in and out and bumbling to the beds it's probably a weight every thirty seconds or so. As I was saying the trouble is that you rarely get time yo draw breath and see what is about, not that the 'mobile life' is very prolific at this time of year.

There was a fishing competition at the weekend and whilst this meant that I picked up plenty of 'recently lost' lead weights it also meant that perhaps any resident kelp cod had 'gone' certainly on this dive I didn't see any fish at all, no smaller fish swimming about in mid-water, no skulking larger specimens waiting to ambush food, none, nix, zilch. I suppose if I had worked around the area where the rocky bottom gives way to little reef-lets than maybe I would have seen a few wrasse but I didn't fancy swimming so far with such rich pickings so close to the shore.  

What I did see were plenty of lobsters, still, mooching about in the kelp, nowhere near any holes. A few of them were quite 'torpid' and I do think that if the forecast weather lands later this week then they will be smashed around and thrown up on the beach. I can only guess that they don't have any hidden holes and that all blue fiend des-res in the area are taken. The other sign that there are no larger cod about is the presence of so many lobsters out and about, a larger cod of ten pounds or so would have made a meal out of quite a few of the lobsters without breaking sweat.

The other 'beastie' that made me double take was a huge Sea Lemon, these are common enough nudibranchs but this one was huge, to the extent that I took a rough measurement and it was 15cm long, so significantly bigger than the generally accepted 'max size' of 12cm. I must say that it was an impressive animal, but again so close to winter and bad weather in shallow, flat bottomed conditions I fear that it will be bashed around and die, although due to their limited life-span this one must be approaching the end of its natural cycle anyway.

By the time I cam across the Sea Lemon I was already pushing around a booty bag half suspended by a lift bag, an arrangement that is invaluable should you be doing this type of dive in summer months as this set up will 'snag' the lost fishing lines before you snare up with them, not that you should loose sleep over that just get your knife out and snip. Whatever you do don't wrap braided fishing line around your hands and attempt to snap it, you will  end up 'cheese-wiring' both hands needing new gloves and medical attention. I do try to pick up fishing line to bin it and pre-dive today there was loads of waste line on Beadnell Point, left by anglers, I don't really mind picking up and disposing of it and today there was a lost weight there but really.......with so many birds on the Point they will get snared up causing all sorts of issues especially with the National Trust in our area telling all and sundry that they own common land, bloody robbers!

On the subject of birds when I was getting out I surfaced quite close to the high water mark and a bevy of oyster catchers and some edgier ducks took it rather to heart and fled to see a big ugly lump coming towards them!

I now have a couple of dips planned for Ullswater around the piers, hopefully prior to the boats operating again, I may take a camera to see if I can get some interesting shots of the wooden supports and structure from underneath, we shall see, as in the meantime the sea is due to get a bit messy in the next couple of days. 

Dive safe


Weight this dive - 15.0 kg

Weight this year - 533.7 kg

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