Diary

Gone to shite.....again!

I had held out half a hope that the vis would be unchanged for a late mid-week dip at Beadnell but it wasn't to be, I had a walk right along to the end of Beadnell Point but looking into the water on the North Side it was crap

But that was to be expected wasn't it? We are on springs with low water tomorrow being five centimetres above Astronomical Low Water and todays pre-dive walk at least let me look along the first line of 'nooks' and pick up a dozen weights and some brass bits, after this it was time to get in on the South Side of Beadnell Point!

Where the vis was in the 1m to 1.5m range, super!

Before I go further, why South Side you ask? Well it is easy to enter/exit and most importantly there are no bits of wreckage that might just stand up in the kelp and deal you a nasty stab wound in low vis conditions. I had wanted to dive on the North Side to see if anything had been turned over on the wreck of MV Yewglen but there is so much of that wreck left I wasn't 3m vis or thereabouts so as not to impale myself on either a rusty steel spear or along the edge of a rusty ships plate.

It wasn't just the springs that had buggered the job, there was a bit of a swell running yesterday, almost a due southerly which had mashed up another load of kelp meaning that in the shallow water I had to contend with a combination of silt plus small 'specks' of kelp that were maybe five millimetres in diameter, nasty. However, fortunately once you got to a depth of about four meters the visibility improved and the seaweed snow-storm had vanished. Oh I won't labor the lead weight narrative needless to say the clean up for this area is going better than 2020 although I am probably less than a quarter done.

The thing about low vis is that you slow down and look more carefully at your surroundings and today I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few large Bloody Henry Starfish. That isn't especially uncommon but the odd-ball today was the amount of large, maybe hand-size orange starfish that I saw. A sight that I cannot remember on any previous dives on shallow areas in Northumberland and before anyone shakes their head and thinks same animal time and again, it wasn't there was one on top of a pinnacle on flat rock, one on the boulders and a couple virtually next to each in among the kelp close to the little rock. 

The other things that have appeared in open sight again are crustaceans! Today I saw quite a few of those evil looking Velvet Swimming Crabs, its the dull red eyes that do it, oh and also quite a few lobsters were emerging from winter quarters, although looking at the buoys marking strings of pots maybe they have been out and about for a while in the slightly deeper water maybe four hundred meters from the shore. 

Even though the vis wasn't super nearly every lobster I saw was vividly marked in bright blues and white which usually indicates a recent moult and the two that I teased out were both....well not 'soft' but certainly 'crunchy' indicating that they had probably moulted in the last week or so. On the subject of lobsters if you do fancy extracting a blue fiend for tea one of my standard checks is the claw colour. If they are vivid then the lobster has recently moulted and as such you may be extracting a 'crunchy' which by law you need to immediately put back or maybe the carapace has fully hardened and it is legal to take but the problem here is that the meat will be very 'watery' as the bobbie is growing to fill up its space and this means that it takes water on board so that the muscles and organs fully fill the shell and fasten onto it. As time passes the water is replaced with harder meat and, well happy days for the summer BBQ season.

Some of the inshore fishermen have lost a few of their strings of pots over the winter and there were a couple that were bashed and smashed under boulders near the entry point, I managed to slash them open to make sure that they don't 'ghost fish' before I get a chance to lift them out. But there is also a marker buoy and its associated string of pots in the Haven, not one of my usual dives. The Ancient Diver reckons that the pots will be balled up so its probably not a good idea to lift them or slash to prevent ghost fishing in the current prevailing conditions but I do need to think about going in to clean up.....maybe next month!

Getting out was a bit of a eye opener, whilst it was flat getting in after just shy of an hour when I was getting out there was a set of quite large waves that came in as I was whipping off my fins. Nothing out of the ordinary for the North Sea but odd that we got a horrible set of waves then absolutely nothing for the next ten minutes, however it is due to blow up overnight, sooooooo.

So whether you are doing some spring cleaning or just having a first dip of 2021 have a good dip and pleeeeeeease........

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 10.5 kg

Weight this year - 53.2 kg

 

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