Diary

First side on the North Side in 2021

I had hoped to drop in at Howick today but the groundswell had made getting out look a bit iffy, so I decided to head to the North Side of Beadnell Point for the first dip of 2021

As always the nuts and bolts.....

The vis was around the 3m mark but

And its a big one, the groundswell was horrible, a metre or more either way and it was starting to lift little bits of weed off from the sea-bed meaning that during the dive the vis slowly reduced, it is forecast and tomorrow (Tuesday 04/05) we are supposed to be having swell of around 10ft which will knock shore diving on the head for quite a while.

Being just on the ebb I went in at the rock step and just started by looking over the area where you occasionally pick up nice bits and it was a hollow victory as I quickly found another large brass rating plate but it had been worn smooth by the action of sea and sand over the years, so unfortunately its consigned to the scrap bucket, which is a shame.

Heading out, parallel to the reef it wasn't long before the winter changes seen on other shore sites was once again apparent, this time not with the movement of sand cos there isn't much on this site, rather huge boulders, maybe one meter thick and three meters square moved from their normal positions and dumped upside down at random spots and it wasn't just one or two, there were loads of them, whenever something light in colour loomed out of the murk it was a bloody boulder deposited kelp down!

As well as boulders the large sections of ship plate had been lifted and dropped on the East side of the builder which was also a bit bashed about, although still more than recognisable, I guess that the bottom is pretty concreted to the bottom and as the groundswell can't actually get underneath to 'lift' it then it will stay in place to be bashed about by the boulders.

With so much large areas of sea-bed exposed I had hoped that there may be some more trinkets exposed but unfortunately this wasn't the case, there were however loads of lost fishing weights from the ages exposed as well as log lengths of lead covered wire which were taken, thank you very much.

Heading over rocks I thought that I had spotted a 'dying' rockling or similar in a clump of weeds, certainly it was a brown colouration, however when I went to see what it was something that looked rather odd looked at me and zipped away. I can't say I have seen anything like it before, the head end was like a pipe-fish but the body shape was of an anorexic cuckoo wrasse and the colouration was as I say that gold/brown that you would associate with members of the cod family. I am pretty sure it wasn't a wrasse as there was no sign of any scales, or rather they were very small like a member of the cod family, it had a 'bit' of a look of a fifteen spine stickleback but only in shape rather than anything else. Oh well I will have to look in further reference books as there is nothing anything like it in the standard 'Great British Marine Animals 2nd Edition' that is the go to reference book.

Due to the water movement and decreasing vis I wasn't surprised by the apparent absence of lobsters, I am sure that they are there somewhere but I was quite surprised that there were so many different crabs about, or more specifically velvet swimmer and small edible crabs. I am again guessing but the absence of larger fish probably makes them feel safe to venture out and about a little bit scavenging for food but in the next few weeks when the cod, satire and pollack turn up I guess they will once again stay a bit closer to cover. On the subject of fish there are odd bait-balls out at sea so the sandals must be about, shoaled up and being hunted by birds and fish so it can't be long before the run of summer cod arrive in our waters.

As I already said the surge had been bad with the vis deceasing through the dive so perhaps it wasn't a surprise that getting out was a bit of a bugger about, that said I really did need to change my fins as the stiff old style hard rubber jet-fins have been hard work recently so I will probably go back to some chopped up mares fins which are robust and comfortable.

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 13.6 kg

Weight this year - 112.8 kg

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