Browsing articles from "July, 2014"

Pendennis Shore dive – Silver Steps 28-06-2014

After the refresher course we drove to get some lunch and met back up at the silver steps on Pendennis headland for another shore dive in Falmouth bay. The sky was still clear with a few clouds passing by and from the surface the vis looked great even though we were going in as the tide started to come in. We left the car park and walked into the small wood, headed to the right and with some help got Elli down the rocks to the shoreline.
elli coates

It was great to get Elli in the water for her second dive as it was a much more relaxed dive, 40 odd minutes of just enjoying a bimble with Paul taking us along the reef to the boiler. Elli is another of those divers that can’t help but be inquisitive about a dark hole in front of her, am glad we haven’t really got anything over here that is dangerous, as she found small nooks and some interesting critters in them over the next couple of days. Following Paul we headed out through the gullies at a depth of about 5m and water temperature of a balmy 17C.


The colours as always were amazing, the huge variety of seaweeds gently swaying with the tide was just breathtaking and meant the hunt would be on for critters hiding in them.


It was great to bimble along the reef, finally saw a fish I think is one of the cutest critters in the sea and as I had my camera and he was posing couldn’t resist snapping him.


There were plenty of snakelock anemone as always, not so many crabs for a change but did find this edible hiding in a little crack.


Also saw something I can’t identify, didn’t get a great picture but it is there hidden away.


We made it out to the boiler and it was great to finally see it close up, when Paul pointed out the holes at the base of it Elli was straight in there to see what she could find.


It was surprising to see how big it actually was, sticking out of the sand like an obelisk covered in seaweed, the knees in the picture below are only about 1/2 of the height of the boiler under the kelp to the left.


We could have stayed in for another 20 or 30 mins with the air Elli had left but as it was my second dive on a 10l I was down to 80bar and after signalling Paul we started heading back. Paul’s knowledge of the site was great as he took us straight to the gully we would exit from, have been on dives before where we ended up going up the one before, when you see it can understand why it is a little confusing though. I did feel as if I should have been a priest at one point though as Elli and Paul posed for one of those shots.


As we were entering the gully Paul stopped and pointed ahead of us, there was a massive shoal of sand eels flashing in the distance, without thinking about changing the aperture I tried to take a couple of shots quickly and the best of the 2 shows how much care needs to be taken when using a camera and thinking about its settings.


So 2 dives down and a very tired Elli in the car on the way home, I agreed she shouldn’t do the last dive of the day which Kernow Divers had put on as a shore dive at Mevagissey. We had no way of getting in touch with them to let them know we wouldn’t be there till we got home and headed for a pleasant drive to a couple of North Cornwall’s beaches, stopping first at St Agnes and then Newquay Headland before heading home to rinse the kit off and get in touch with the dive club to apologise for not turning up.

After some indecision we decided to get our dinner from The Gurkha, a Nepalese and Indian restaurant/take-away in St Austell and it was a great dinner, we were both knackered and couldn’t finish it, but the 2 complimentary drinks when we picked it up went down well.

The end of day 1 shore diving Falmouth bay was welcomed to prepare for Sunday and 3 more dives to enjoy.

Gyllyngvase refresher dive with Elli 28-06-2014

I had invited Elli to come to Cornwall to dive over a year ago and finally work gave her some time off, and her first dive started on Gyllyngvase beach with a refresher dive with local Instructor Paul Allaway. The weekend began for Elli when she finished work and had to board a train at Paddington, London; for me it began at 11.30PM when I picked her up from the station. I first met Elli online through Google+ and it was because of her enthusiasm and passion for marine conservation that I invited her down for a weekend of diving.

As the rescue diver for her refresher course I had to have my hands free so didn’t take my camera, it was a pleasant dive with Elli successfully completing her training after a review of the questions in the book over a cuppa at the Gylly beach cafe. Paul was gently but thoroughly making sure Elli understood the things she learnt over 2 years ago when her original training took place on the Great Barrier reef in Australia, which had been her home for 14 years (Elli is 25 btw). I was of course listening to the things they were discussing as it is never a good thing to be over confident in the things you think you know when diving. Having met Paul through Kernow Divers I knew he was a friendly chap and a comfortable person to have in a group of divers, it was impressive that he had stored so much information about diving from his instructor training and I was looking forward to the next couple of days diving, with a guided dive in the afternoon, Mevagissey again in the evening, another guided dive on Sunday morning, 2 more in the afternoon and 1 more on Monday morning; that was the plan anyway.