Diary

It's that time of year........

And being blunt shore diving is starting to be much more 'hit and miss' even up here in Gods Country

With this weekend being a case in point:-

Saturday was 3m or 4m vis, but

Sunday was 2m vis maximum and getting worse by the hour!

On the Saturday I decided to have a look-see on the North Side of Dell Point, I had hoped to die on the South Side which is an anglers tackle 'graveyard' but having stood and watched the swell increasing by the minute I decided that discretion is the better part of valour and took the easy route, which involved a quick scramble and then a leap from the rocks.

Now it is an awful long time since I have dived this particular site and to be blunt I was hoping to pick up some scrappage but to be honest there was little or no lost gear but at least I checked the area. The reason for the dearth of weights is that the bottom goes to sand very quickly so providing that the anglers can cast over the last reef and, of course reel in fast enough then they will loose very little tackle, bugger.

I have written previously that the crustaceans seem to know when there is a blow coming along and today was no exception, working along a very promising reef in the 'right' depth of water I think I may have spotted two lobsters and both were lurking deep in holes where they would be unaffected by the water movement although they would get irritated gills due to the silt in the water. I did however spot a crab that whilst 'legal' was too small to take in good conscience, well the work involved in picking the carapace would far outweigh the total amount of meat, but it was, for me a rare spot at Beadnell from the shore.

One fish that is no longer a rare spot is the humble Ballan Wrasse, there are now loads around the area, which is good news, as I did fear that anglers were now taking this colourful fish as there is a proliferation of 'Wrasse Casserole' recipes doing the rounds and I understand that the meal is quite tasty. In the dives this weekend there was a good spread of fish from some very small, maybe, yearlings up to some real lunkers, I have to admit that if I had the space and desire for a saltwater aquarium one of the first fish on my wish-list would be a small wrasse. The only other fish of note was a very big plaice that was very skittish when I saw it, and I guess it saw me. I am guessing that the presence of large amounts of sand as well as a gritty sand and stone mix makes a perfect environment for these flatfish. Certainly many years ago we used to regularly catch three or four very big plaice after every dive trip in Beadnell Bay where the make up of the sea-bed is very similar.

It was a very interesting dive although not quite what I expected and it was made better when I picked up a few very nice fossils whilst walking back to the car!

On Sunday it looked 'okayish' so I thought that I would risk a HWS dive at Lady Hole, this one was a bit of a disaster with the vis around the 2m mark in the shallow water and then totally opposite to my expectation it got worse as I went out, strange that as the water that was coming down from Bamburg was clean!

Heading back to the shallow water it was noticeable that the weed was dying back with the long strands of 'spaghetti weed' now lying on the bottom dead or dying rather than standing vertical in the water column. There are usually quite a few small fish using this weed as a hiding place and today these fish were swimming around above the weed looking quite forlorn, stopping to look, as there was little else to do, I managed to identify immature cod, fifteen spend sticklebacks and sand gobies. I thought that perhaps there may have been some pipefish about but either none there or they were too well camouflaged.

Many years ago there was an explosion of pipefish in the area and they seemed to be more concentrated on the wreck of SS Coryton than anywhere else, it was strange seeing all of these fish appear and then next year nothing or at least very few of them, now if you dive in the South they are common but here in Gods Country they are not too common.

So there you go, not sure how many more shore dives this year, certainly I would like to check out Newton Point to se if there are lots of lost weights and of course I need a session at Dunstanburgh cleaning up, not that I need much vis for this, if I get two meters that will be enough......tie off to the anchor line and circular search out until the bag is too heavy to lift!

Wherever you go and whatever you dive please...........

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 2.0 kg

Weight this year - 560.6 kg

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