Random Jottings

When will it calm down?

The plan had been a quick dip on SS Shadwan on Sunday but it's been so bleedin' 'orrid that the guys from Marine Quest pulled the plug on Thursday, so how bad has it been?

Well basically it's been a swell of 3m plus since December with those big tidal surges causing chaos on the Northumberland coast, washing away some of the booths on Seahouses pier and taking out 3m of sand tune on the beaches around Beadnell. For video footage go onto the Serenity blog produced by Andrew Douglas, he has some shots of Seahouses harbour which are unbelieveable!

Last weekend I spent a day walking the dogs around Beadnell, the swell was straight easterly and in the region of 5m smashing along and onto Beadnell Point, the water was chocolate brown with a huge amount of spume. Looking out to sea there were white-caps all of the way and the water had a browninsh tinge as far as you could see. My thought then was that the diving would be off but being on rock the diving around Eyemouth can clear quickly.

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This weekend, after the call-off I decided to walk Howick, a dive which I don't do enough in the summer purely because of the horrible long walks. Heading down the main track it was distinctly squishy underfoot and reaching the cliff-top the conditions were horrendous!

The swell has shifted to South-Easterly but the water was still chocolate brown, but only to an estimated 2 miles out where it looked a little more blue/green, well that's a good thing and maybe means diving in the near future.........the problem for inshore diving is the amount of run-off water from the fields, there were streams of brown water every fifty yards pouring down the rocks and into the sea, allof this run-off will be the silt that's problematic in the summer.

Moving on to Newton by the Sea a large portion of the reef and haven was flat calm being protected by the reef, again it was chocolate brown and looking out there was a large amount of flotsam...or should that be jetsam on the rocks, several plastic pot buoys being the most obvious. The difference between the area in the lee of the reef and the exposed section was marked with the swell smashing up and onto the rocks.

On a negative point, well the weather has put paid to any diving in December and january, however on the plus point the conditions will have ripped up huge quantities of kelp easing shore access and exposing more 'bits and bats', the swell will also have moved around boulders, possibly exposing parts of wrecked vessels, so more keel pins and the like.

It's an ill wind that blows no-one any good so dive safe if you can!

Oh and keep your fingers crossed that a Plymouth weekend with Aquanauts is on for 8th and 9th February!

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