Browsing articles from "July, 2015"
Jul 15, 2015

Trenow Cove

Trenow Cove

Trenow Cove (a National Trust owned cove in Mount’s Bay) is a beautiful spot to explore near the tip of the SW UK near Marazion, Penzance; looking west from the beach you see St Michael’s Mount in the middle of the bay, I left home at 8.30am to avoid the traffic and arrive at the car park of the Dynasty restaurant for 10am to meet up with everyone else so we could make our way down to the cove in convoy. It was going to be an exciting adventure as it was one of those spots that aren’t talked about often in the diving world, and later in the day with our maximum depth at 6.4m can understand why.

When I arrived at the meeting place at the Dynasty restaurant I was surprised to be as early as I was, I thought being that early that the main roads would be busier even though I missed the 9-5er’s, I was glad to see Mat waiting before I got there which meant I wasn’t the eager beaver, and Mat knows all about them. I was wondering if the restaurant knew they were about to have about 10 or more vehicles turn up that early but it wasn’t the end of the world, and they got a mention here (not a link as I didn’t try their food though, next time), as 10am approached a few more people turned up.

We were all introducing ourselves with the people who were new to a Dive Against Debris dive and catching up with everyone that was when Rob decided it was time to make a move, and off we went through the narrowest of lanes and a quaint Cornish village with a few slightly older people tending the garden and hedges at the small church looking perplexed with a convoy of vehicles passing by; it might be worth getting magnetic Project Aware/Dive Against Debris signs made up for cars that turn up at events and sticking them on the bonnets, or something to put in the windows at the least to advertise what we are doing to the poor people who get inundated by our presence.

When we arrived at the top of the path to the cove we were lucky with so many of us to be able to park in the field above it, Rachel (Rob’s wife) was the little woodland elf holding the tree back as we drove in and we all quickly unloaded and waited at the top of the path to the beach for the dive briefing by Rob.

Dive Against Debris Briefing

Our youngest diver, Charlie, was enjoying a doughnut in the sun but this time she wasn’t diving with us, she would be surface swimming and helping with the beach clean, and enjoying the sunshine; did miss her home made cake this time, hopefully next time she will remember so we can all stuff our faces after the dive on the yumminess that she normally brings along.

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Off we went to kit up, I did make a rookie mistake and left my gloves ontop of my bag (so much for a thorough buddy check Rob 😉 ), luckily I hadn’t put my fins on but running back up the pebble covered beach with my kit on reminded me why I would shortly be glad to get in the water and become weightless. As we walked in through the small waves the vis issue was clear, well not clear vis, but clear it was going to be a struggle to see much, the amount of organic particulate matter made it look a bit like a sewer was flowing freely nearby, but there wasn’t and it was just broken up kelp/seaweed making the water really brown.

We knew we would have to swim out about 20m or so from the shore as there was a clear line the particulate matter cleared, we were still in for a shock though as we dropped down.

Wrasse

The vis was no more than about 5m, but most of the time it was 2-3m and during the dive it was easy with a couple of gentle fin kicks to lose Rob, who I was lucky enough to buddy with again, if it hadn’t been for the smb line and bubbles I might have had to surface more than twice during the 70 minute dive so it was lucky we were only at 6-7m, any deeper and it would have ruined the dive and the day.

I have been meditating a lot recently and my breathing has become a lot more controlled, ontop of that I started doing press ups and squats again, as well as a 1km jog in between 2 sets which hasn’t been easy but it has made me feel better and I look forward to the next few months as I build the number of reps I can do, as well as bring in other exercises to the routine. The confidence this gave me in controlling my breathing has been awesome, and while only a shallow dive I was over the moon as I watched my air go down a lot slower than the last dive.

Am not sure why there wasn’t much life around, the kelp beds should have been brimming but I did see a few wrasse, not sure which sub and they were too fast for me this time to capture with the camera, but no other species of fish, was it just unlucky or timing, I don’t know, however the beach was littered with cuttle bones and with the way the reef dropped away to a sandy bed about 35-40m from the shore it will definitely be a place to come back to when there are cuttles in the cove. There were a few spider crab and common spiny starfish, as well as plenty of snakelock anemones.

Spider Crab

Common Spiny Starfish

This clearly shows the amount of particulate matter in the water and how hard it was to spot things like this starfish within the 20-30m from the shoreline.

Snakelock Anemone

There were some areas the vis was clearer though, and on one part of the reef there was a whole colony of snakelocks covering it (just a small bit here) which made for some stunning shots as they gently swayed in the tidal stream.

Snakelock Anemone

So down to the rubbish, it was surprising that there wasn’t actually very much, and what there was seemed more like stuff from local residential waste than commercial, or from other places around the globe. I didn’t find any fishing lines or hooks, commercial fishing gear or anything like but only plastic bags partly buried in the sand or parts of floating in the water column, I am waiting to hear back from Rachel and Rob about what was collected overall, it wasn’t a lot even though there were 6 teams of divers in the water. Rob and I did manage to find a major brand baby wipes packet and a Frozen Turkey bag from a well known supermarket, the rest was just pieces of plastic bags as I said, it would seem Trenow cove was in just the right spot for the majority of debris to either get washed up straight onshore, or swept by the currents somewhere else in Penzance Bay.

Plastic Bag

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As you can see the vis wasn’t great but we did our best to find what we could.

The beach clean team managed to find a lot more stuff, ranging from the small pieces of buoy plastic to commercial fishing nets and lobster pots as you would expect so close to a major fishing port.

Toasting the Cove

As we were getting out we were informed that the National Trust wanted us to ‘Toast the Cove’, we obliged and it was refreshing after the dive.

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It was a fun day and dive, I enjoyed being Rob’s dive buddy again, even though that is Dave in the picture with him in front of St Michael’s Mount, it seems the others on the shore are scared to try using my camera.

We left Trenow Cove and headed to Cape Cornwall for a second dive, another beautiful spot and I made it there but some personal stuff came up and I had to leave before getting wet, am gutted as it was a stunning place that I don’t get the chance to visit often, next time folks, next time.

Cape Cornwall

Cape Cornwall

With the importance of our oceans, not only as habitats but also as a space we share on this small planet, the more people that can come to the events is important, even though we only cover a small area during the dive and on the shore, working together as divers and shore cover (beach cleaners) to remove as much as we can while we wait for global policy to change on the dumping of waste, working together we can make a difference, and after doing my Environmental Science degree over 10 years ago with the same warnings being given as now, with policy moving so slowly it is down to us to make the changes needed, not only in educating people as to the importance of the oceans, but also to the importance of not dropping our trash where we like. Sure the systems in place need changing, companies need to change what they use to package goods, councils need to recycle more of what we throw away instead of what the companies can make money off, but each small step we make will move things in the right direction.

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