Diary

I think (hope) that the salt water dive season has started

Today I was brave and decided to 'double up', a 12l dive on the South Side of Beadnell Point followed immediately with a 10l dive on the North Side, what could possibly go wrong?

Lots! 

But first some vis! The South Side was milky 3m whilst the North Side was a milky 4m

This is always the case and I think it must be sand and the like coming from Beadnell Bay, not that there should be much of that and we were diving close to the top of the tide however the tides are strange and seem to rip directly south over the point so I think perhaps that there is a permanent 'up current along the point.

I am relieved to say that I spotted my first blue-fiend of 2022, not a large lobster but a sign that summer is on the way, there were also lots of velvet swimming crab about so more good news there, maybe things are getting into the swing?

On the South Side you are limited for safe easy access and egress at the top of the tide so we went in straight at the walk through and came out just near the concrete culvert, at both places you miss the swathe of rock which has weathered into real ankle snapping territory.

Moving about heading towards the sea there were all sorts of signs that summer is coming, there were a few anaemic looking sea-hares, by that I mean long and skinny rather than the fuller body critters that you see in the summer, I guess that it is all down to the food that is available, as usual a few polycera nudibranchs about too and even a sea-lemon although this one didn't look too healthy in its position on the side of a rock.

The rocks have been jumbled about a bit although not as much as I had originally thought, I forgot my compass but was still able to navigate via known landmarks, so on the slope the rotted on radiator and further out various odd ball rock formations. The big change is in ST Mistley, that well known wreck that the Seahouses RNLI would have you believe sank at Low Newton! The winter weather has exposed a large amount of debris field at the stern (seaward) end of the wreck and although today I only picked up odd fishing weights there were a few glints that need further investigation.

Getting out out was 'easy' and the walk back to get a new cylinder was 'pleasant' with all of the gear left at the water board cupboard, walking along to end of the point was however a different proposition, even with a lighter 10l tank, mistake no. 1, we should have really gone to the end of the Point with a 12l and dived round to the South Side, bugger!

Before we started I did a depth check for some teenagers who were jumping in from the cliffs, there was a good twelve feet of water so providing they stuck to jumping no problems, they were all done when we got out, obviously too cold in wetsuits, mistake no. 2, it was bloody cold and about half an hour into this second dip I was feeling chilly, it is still mid-April and the water cold.

This dive was really concentrating on looking over the area where bits of MV Yewglen have been shifted in the winter storms and as such I was armed with a hammer and chisel. The first thing I recovered was a lovely little brass tap that will probably clean up rather than go into the scrap pile, I have a few recovered brass taps on the shed wall, some from well known wrecks such as James Egan Layne and others from more obscure losses. One day I may set about sorting them into working order to use in the garden but I guess that is very much a retirement job.

As per my tradition I again found another couple of .303 bullets in the debris, I am really not sure if they were carried on the Yewglen or thrown away from the WW2 post on the Point, I would have thought that people would need to account for ammunition so more likely from the lost ship. I have quite a few plus some blanks, maybe they were from a smaller boat or even just thrown away by someone who brought souvenirs home from war?

There were lots of pieces of non-ferrous metals in the exposed area, some bits came loose with a clout of the hammer, others are from large items well embedded in the rusty concrete. There is one piece that looks for all the world like the tail of a maltese dolphin, now bearing in mind I found one of these about six years ago in this area could it be a twin? Who knows but I intend giving the surrounding crud a wallop or two every time I dive on the North Side and see what emerges!

Despite not looking for lost weights there were a few dotted about in this area giving me hope that as I start looking there will be a good harvest in 2022, certainly there were a couple of lads merrily loosing lead when I was kitting up!

In summary, it is still chilly and I would recommend one good long dive or two with a nice surface interval so as not to impact on your core temperature. The vis is improving with every tide BUT if the weather picks up as promised on Thursday night then it will very probably be shot for the weekend, at a guess I would hope to have 5m vis tomorrow when I will venture to Dell Point, a really nice dive site that needs careful planning to make sure you can get in and out without a real chew.

So if you can get in for a splash then I would recommend you get your skates on and visit Beadnell in the next days but maybe not at the weekend unless you have a boat place booked.

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 10.0 kg

Weight this year - 193.6 kg

Recommended suppliers

Latest Photographs