Diary

An afternoon on Beadnell Point

It was the hottest weekend of the year and the dive schools were in at the usual sites and some of the more unusual sites, so I marched to the end of Beadnell Point to get far from the madding crowd!

As always the nuts and bolts first!

The vis was outstanding, 10m and maybe more with no crud in the water at all!

The temperature was 'lovely' no idea how warm but nice.

Today I decided to go in at around LWS to make getting out easy.....then all my plans about ease of getting out were thrown out of the window as I loaned out my single tank set up and had to trudge down Beadnell Point carrying my twin-twelves. Although it wasn't so much the distance rather the rough rocks and beating sun so leaping in was a god-send! 

As I wrote the vis was great and you could see everything when standing on top of the reef let alone before throwing yourself in, with large shoals of both sandals and launce swimming up and down almost within touching distance and of course when you got into the water..........

There were quite a few larger Pollack patrolling up and down, just waiting for a few of the bait-fish to break ranks and they would end up being eaten! On the subject of oddities regular readers will know that I spotted a smallish angler-fish a couple of dives ago, well today was the turn of a subject common just a bit up the coast.....a wolf-fish! I have previously spotted these toothy visitors in deeper water around the Farne Islands, well more specifically set-up shop under some large boulders out in the flats off the Pinnacles in thirty meters of water or thereabouts. This one sounds to have been in about six meters, so not unusual by St Abbs standards but not so common down here in Gods Country.

The weather has been settled for quite a while now so that the bottom had a fine coating of light green weed that is like a very fine grass, its common enough in rock pools which have been left high although not dry due to changing tides although not so common in open water, the down-side is that it makes spotting other pieces that are also 'green' rather difficult despite the excellent vis, that said I did manage to pick up half a dozen weights and dodge the myriad of lots fishing lines that were strewn all over the site!

Lobsters were all over the site but nearly all of them were 'soft' obviously taking advantage of the conditions for a little growth spurt, there were a couple of hard uns and also, very interestingly, the hole which was filled for years by a large cock lobster has a new incumbent. Whilst he doesn't yet have the size of the last blue fiend he is a good size, certainly much larger than anything else I have seen recently in the area, so fingers crossed we have a new big lobster to show people!

I guess that it should have been obvious that the blue fiends on the North Side were casting and therefore 'soft' or at best 'crunchy' as there were no pots strung around the site. But only yards away on the South Side there were several strings of pots, the question is why? Is the slightly shallower water that tad warmer so that they are a little bit ahead......are there simply 'more' so that they can still take a few lobsters from the pots and drop back the ones which are 'soft'.......have they been caught up with lost angling gear and didn't enjoy the experience, not sure why and perhaps there is no good reason.

I was a little surprised that with all of the bait-fish and also Pollack mooching about that none of the half dozen or so anglers had caught anything of note, I think that one of them admitted to a Ballan Wrasse, which are now very popular for 'casseroles', back when I was more 'keen' they were all carefully dropped back in due to their rather obvious teeth! Although that said they became the sushi fish of choice about a decade ago, with many Japanese restaurants using wrasse when the menu said 'fish'. More recently I guess the big 'location' for wrasse isn't the big sea in the sky, rather they are very popular in the aquaculture industry as they do pick lice from other fish, or at least that is the story. Strangely enough the group that shadow divers around the Pinnacles have quite a few lice attached and are rather partial to sea-urchin!

With the weather and sea conditions set fair for a while I would suggest that you take the opportunity for some superb shore (and boat) diving which is here in 'staycation island' now, but when you do please.........

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 1.5 kg

Weight this year - 396.1 kg

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