Ohhhhhhh its a long old drag back from the 'North Side'

Or at least it is when you're loaded up with miscellaneous lost weights and brassy bits!

But firstly what has happened on the vis front? Well it had been good then we had a bit of a blow up which we are just exiting before the next weather system arrives tomorrow so that meant?

Well it meant that the vis on the North Side of Beadnell Point was a milky 4m

And there remains a quite impressive surge meaning that I am not sure if it will really improve any over the next week or so, but for what I do early season a milky 4m is more than enough!

This time of the season, for me, is all about getting my bearings on the sites that have always been bashed around significantly over the winter and hit the lost anglers weights with gusto and after todays dive I was thinking 'I am getting too old for this work' whilst walking back to the car, however a saner voice prevailed saying 'you are getting old but with the tail end of covid plus a big, hot lamb curry just before diving it isn't really the ideal preparation'.

I was diving about half way down an ebbing tide so getting in was easy but I suspected that getting out would be a tad harder, strangely it wasn't, there has been some erosion on the point leaving a lovely series of steps that are absolutely ideal and will certainly be getting attention in the future!

On my last dives I have been saying 'no lobsters', well today I didn't spot any in their natural abode but there was a string of pots that must have been in a while and the few pots I saw contained plenty of fiends, so they are there but not yet showing, maybe thats a function of the milky water as I am convinced that the fiends don't like any suspension in the water as it irritates their gills, and for that reason when the water is coloured they squeeze to the inner most recess of their holes and sulk.

Now crabs, I think, really don't care about the state of the water and today there were loads of them, both small edibles and similar sized velvet swimmers out and about looking for any morsels that are small enough to be taken or large enough to be shared, oh and there were plenty of bits to be eaten as some anglers had ditched the remains of their mackerel bait into the water so there were crabs all over walking about with bits of mackerel, some letting go and others rearing up and trying to intimidate me as I swam past.

There were also a few fish about, well ok male lump-suckers defending and tending their nests and thankfully all in deeper water of around the six meter mark so I would hope that they will sit out any poor weather and then 'get away' back into the deeps where they live most of the year. I must try to get in with a camera in the near future but think that there is only a one week window before these colourful fish disappear for another year.

Today I was working over an area over the first mini-reef and just inshore of the keel section that was the bows of MV Yewglen, which thinking back I didn't spot, but anyhow I was in that gulley and my goodness it has been bashed around with large expanses of bare stone where weed has yet to take hold and boulders where the kelp was firmly sandwiched underneath and onto the bedrock. Now sometimes these conditions are not necessarily conducive to good scrap hunting but today it was a dive of moving from tosheroon to tosheroon picking up half a dozen weight from every bowled section of bedrock, absolutely great apart from the getting out and walking back.

You know that you have had a good day when despite squirting air into your suit and BCD the bag is firmly rooted to the bottom, sometimes I bring along a lift-bag, I always do in the summer to act as my lost fishing line trap but in the spring most sites aren't festooned so I don't bother, next dive I certainly will as I did curtail picking up well before I had exhausted my air-supply, or should I say before I got to my 100bar 'out' point. Always leave a bit in when diving solo incase I hit an issue on the way out!

When you are really tuned in to looking at the small stuff and being honest that is lead weight collecting as most of the times there is only a stainless grip lead, or a rust stain where an iron eyelet has rotted out that you see, anyway in this mode it is amazing how many nudibranchs and other creepy crawlies you see, today there were huge numbers of sea lemons about most of them bloody big which was good to see, as usual there were a few of the flagellina but the wow sea-slug moment today was a H-U-G-E tritonia homberg munching away on some weed. I can honestly say that I haven't seen one before in shallow water down here at Beadnell, sure there are plenty around the Islands but in the kelp here not so many, which is odd as they do live in kelp and can be hard to spot as they look for all the world like a lump of kelp with some of the outer cover removed.

So there you go, what a dive! an absolute sackful of lead and some random brassy bits that were bagged and scragged, most importantly for me is the promise of more, what with the bottom alterations there must be large amounts waiting to be picked up and although I would prefer to boat dive it I think that it will be a wheelbarrow dip as throwing in a shot so clean to shore would raise eyebrows.

The weather is due to break late bank holiday monday and then seems to be easing up for next weekend so I am keeping things crossed that things aren't as bad as forecast and we can finally get diving in anger!

Dive safe


Weight this dive - 28.5 kg

Weight this year - 248.4 kg

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