South Side of Beadnell Point

The problem with a gash back is that although the conditions look promising you really don't fancy lugging a 12l tank for the first time in a while down to one of the various dive sites around Beadnell, but today I did!

I will discuss vis first!

It has been a horrendous March up here in Gods Country with the unseasonal dips in February being forgotten as there has been never ending 'storms' with vis nil and charlies who have parked alongside Knacker Hole finding that at high tide its water and pebbles deposited onto their 23 plate Audi (buggerem)

However today was quite good, around 4m on the ebb on the South Side probably equates to around 5m on the flood with fresh water coming in, so yes acceptable vis!

The temperature was 'not so' and despite an unhealthy amount of bioprene and the usual thermals I was bloody cold after the first forty minutes or so, although a slow grubby dive does mean that you don't generate a lot of your own heat!

I had a dip in this general area earlier in the year and mentioned that there had been quite a few changes, well there have been more physical changes and even more kelp that was growing on the little reefiest ripped off, the kelp has been removed to such an extent where the first area by the entry point has a few plants on the landward edge and thats your whack! Great for finding weights lost many years ago but not much good if you are a cover loving sea-creature.

I started at the wreck field that was ST Mistley and again its all change, with the wreckage that was on the slope now missing, presumed mashed back onto the main wreck and a large area at the Easterly end now fully open, to the extent where I picked up a couple of kilos of copper pipe which had been exposed and wasn't 'stuck' under any iron sections.

The row of boulder that almost formed a wall between the wreck and shore has been shifted at the Easterly end, meaning that if your dive route was to follow the boulders and then come back on yourself then this doesn't work anymore and you will end up at the Little Rock if you try it.

Now I will have a slow work over the wreckage to see if anything interesting has been unearthed, but I suspect everything other than bits of copper plate and lead scupper pipe have largely been squirrelled away over the years.....although I do know where what seems to be a brass porthole is situated under a lot of concreted iron and rock, one day after a particularly storm I am sure it will be gettable but not for a decade or so yet.

Working west from the wreck the stones and boulders have been bashed about with large areas of the gray shale bottom visible and weed free, indicating that it was a fresh surface which had either been covered in weed or sections of shale have been washed away during the storms, probably a combination. On the sides of the reeflets there was the usual large amount of static or slow moving life, loads of nudibranchs, I spotted three different types and I am sure there will be more for those with the eye-sight, patience and also ability to stand the cold. Over the last year or so I have seen more and more different varieties of anemones turning up and they do offer a splash of colour on the reeflets which are predominantly shale sides with sandstone tops.

With regards fish-life it was again quite disappointing, and although there were plenty of scorpionfish, both large and small those were the only piscine activity which I spotted, there were anglers fishing from the skier ends so you would think that there would be some larger fish about but not today. Whilst diving the reeflets and also on the shallow kelp beds I kept my eyes open for nesting lump-suckers but again no good. I know that they will not have spawned and gone so its just a case of carefully looking in the various nooks and crannies where there is protection along with some tidal movement until I spot one. I know a good spot on the wreckage located on the North side of Beadnell Point so when I feel fit enough for the yomp and climb I will let you, the reader know, and maybe try to get a few photographs. Its bloody madness I have two very good underwater camera set-ups and so rarely carry either when diving, I reckon that a new years resolution ought to be more camera work, looking back at my various albums I can see that my skill and dexterity has reduced over the years with the lazy route of 'everything auto' being used when I should really use a manual mode to get the best results...........one day....

Having had a good mooch around, if a little slow I called it a day with a good old 'stone' of lost fishing weights, for sure there are more to be lifted and maybe next weekend if I add my 'romper suit' on top of my usual thermals then I might just last long enough to need a lift bag.

There have been quite a few changes and I look forward to diving a few inshore wreck sites to see just what has been uncovered, there has been lots of sand shifted about so maybe Howick will be under a few meters of sand this year, who knows? Certainly there has been a big drop of sand on Beadnell main beach and the area just after the beach 'cricks' between Beadnell and Seahouses has also had a good load dumped.

Wherever you plan to dive in the coming days and weeks please...............

Dive safe


Weight this dive - 7.2kg

Weight this year - 314.5kg

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